Cru Beaujolais Dinner w/ Thomas Meunier
I dedicated myself, a bit ago, to make a better effort to support Beaujolais. And why not? It’s delicious, and represents an amazing value especially when it comes to singular expressions of true place in the wine world. These wines, far more often than not, are charming, remarkable, and so easy to drink. They also suffer from a massive identity crisis brought on by large producers bent on overproducing Nouveau-style wines for a quick buck.
But, real Beaujolais. Cru Beaujolais, to be specific, is a wonderful treat and is still flying far enough below the radar to deliver “Aha!” wine moments at a price where we’re usually content with “good enough.”
This delicious Bonne Tonne Morgon will be lovely with braised sausage and duck fat mashed potatoes!
They also go wonderfully with our cuisine. Soft on tannins, long on fruit, so they marry to the bold flavors of Asian cuisine rather than spar with it.
Well, a few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a special tasting of Beaujolais where all 10 “Crus” were featured. These Cru are individual villages within the greater Beaujolais region that have been identified as producing wines of particular distinction. Some, like Chiroubles, are known for elegant wine; others, like Morgon and Brouilly, are known to make stouter (even age-worthy) wines. I’ve selected a few of my favorites from the event along with a unique sparkling wine, also made from the Gamay grape responsible for the reds of Beaujolais. This, made into a white by pressing it quickly off the skins and produced in the same manner as Champagne, should be a wonderful way to start.
Chapel Hill’s own Thomas Meunier, the French-born importer of these wines, will be joining us to share his enthusiasm and knowledge about these beautiful wines. I did my homework and have based each dish on a traditional one found in Beaujolais, but, of course, gave them a little Jujube twist. I mean, of course I did!
Vietnamese–style liver pate with pickled onion and Chinese mustard
Frank Besson “Dentelle” Blanc de Noir (Gamay)
Salad of Kurabuta pork belly, frisee, and slow-poached egg
Chateau de Javernand Chiroubles “Indigene” 2015
Roasted Cornish hen with baby bok choy
Les Freres Perroud Brouilly “Amethyste” 2013
Sausage braised in Beaujolais and ginger with duck fat mashed potatoes
Bonne Tonne Morgon “Cotes du Py” 2011
$55 per person does not include tax or gratuity