Beaujolais tasting with Liam Campbell at L’ATITUDE51

Ga-may the force be with you

There are ten Beaujolais villages or crus entitled to use their name on the bottle of the attractive, light and fruity red wines of the region. All are made from the Gamay grape, but it's rare to see more than one or two crus together on the shelf in this country. Fleurie is the best known of the ten, with a small following for Brouilly and Moulin-à-Vent, and maybe Saint-Amour in early February… but that's about it. November sees a flurry of activity to do with Beaujolais Nouveau, the very first wine of that year from the region, whose merits or demerits—the style is so simple, there's nowhere and no time for faults to hide—are largely drowned out by the din of the last big event in the wine marketing calendar before Christmas takes over.

Beaujolais — "beginner's wine"?

I have heard the wines of the Beaujolais described as 'beginner's wines', and though there's truth in the description, it's not fair or by any means the whole story. Having an immediate appeal shouldn't be held against them, and while the juicy style and generally very gentle tannins mean that a Beaujolais is often a better recommendation for someone new to wine than a thunderous Rhône red or such, there's surprising variety from village to village. Beaujolais tasting with Liam Campbell at l'Atitude51

To boldly go

And so it is that the Bubble Brothers team are looking forward no end to beaming down to planet l'Atitude51 tomorrow for one of Cork's rare trade and press tastings. Liam Campbell, wine columnist of the Independent, is our host, and in addition to the reds aforementioned, we are promised Beaujolais blanc and rosé too. In the past, inexplicably, this kind of event has had a disappointingly moderate turn-out, especially given the amount of cribbing about how Dublin-centric the wine business is; but I should think the combination of a high-flying venue, celebrated MC and accessible, summery wines should buck the trend. Or, if not, all the more fun for those of us that do attend.

From the BB grapevine

We're going mob-handed: English Market shop manager Cleidi, business development executive Chris and meself, not least because we have a terrific new supplier for BB lined up in the Beaujolais. While we put the finishing touches to our plans for a first order, it'll be very useful to get some extra research under our belts. In the meantime, and till Thursday only, you can pick up a bottle of our current Fleurie, from Martine Thévenet's Maison Fleurie estate, in the English Market shop for a very tasty €17 instead of RRP €21.