So, I came in this morning with a great wine tasting experience. Last night up in the treehouse, I tasted yet another great 2009 Beaujolais, I had a half-bottle of 2009 Beaujolais Lantignie from Chateau du Basty. This morning, even with a coffee buzz, I couldn’t figure out how to put pen to paper and let y’all in on it. So I stopped thinking about it. Until now. Something I’ve noticed about Beaujolais is that some people are allergic to the name alone. Nevermind whatincredible, delicate and complex wines come from Beaujolais. Some people are prejudiced against them. Edward R. Murrow once said,“Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices — just recognize them.” That’s pretty mature thinking. I’m wondering if I’m capable of that kind of thought. I’m going to give it a shot.



One of the reasons that I just couldn’t get pen to paper about this wine is football. Okay, soccer. I support Chelsea. We’re currently the English Premiership title holders. Things haven’t gone so well this year, I won’t bore you with the ugly details, but yeah, not so well. When you’re a champion, you unfortunately become prisoner to that experience. You hold on to that delusion until faced with fact. Mathematical elimination. Today, “The Big One”, as in Manchester United won their local derby inspectacular fashion. After seeing this, in spite of not being mathematically eliminated; in spite of the fact that we play them twice still, I recognize them as The Champions of 2010/2011. That’s not easy to do, not easy to think. Imagine what it takes to put into writing.



Anyhoo, back to the Beaujolais. A great many people have tried wines with the name “Beaujolais” on the label that tastes nothing like real Beaujolais. Prisoners of their own experiences.Recognize the prejudice and let go, people. Just like United is a great team, Beaujolais is great wine. 2009 seems to have been a cracking vintage in most French appellations; in Beaujolais, it was one of the best in memory. You may have heard about some 2009 Beaujolais already, and now we have another, the 2009 Chateau du Basty Beaujolais Lantignie. Lantignie is a Beaujolais Village just next to the Cru of Regnie. It is a village wine of distinction. It truly speaks of a place. I whipped up some meatballs and pasta last night, set the ipod to “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”, and popped the cork on the Basty. Hehe. Sometimes it’s just not fair. I know for a fact that last night there were people unsatisfied with their wine pairings who invested far more than I did. The Beaujolais Lantignie was heavenly. There were aromas of cedar and forest floor (something I always associate with Gamay), bright red cherry fruit wafting up from the glass like divine evaporation. On the palate, it showed amazing weight, and for a Gamay, surprisingly sturdy tannins. Something I’ve noticed about all 2009 Beaujolais I’ve tasted this year is the perfect harmony of bright, zippy fruit and the rich structure of acid/tannins. All of that paired so well with my spicy meatballs, pasta and sauteed spinach, that I finished all of it. When I arose from the table, I felt heavy. I ate too much. Why? It was too good, that’s why. Food, Beaujolais and all.



So, not exactly mature thought, but in spite of my prejudice (I’m a prisoner),I acknowledge the fact that we’ll be looking at red trophy ribbons this May. Accepting this is actually healthy.Funny, a customer I helped earlier today came to the counter with a bottle each of Cremant d’Alsace, Red Burgundy and Gewurztraminer. I engaged her in conversation regarding the randomness of her selections. She went on to say that she normally drinks California wines, and that she wasbroadening her horizons. Speaking for the entire staff of TWH, we all should embrace this customer’s methodology. Especially when it comes to Beaujolais. Do not miss out on 2009 Beaujolais, period.Look, if I can accept that Man U are Champions in early February, and that ain’t easy; you can enjoy a glass of the finest Gamay on the planet. And that IS easy!Peter Zavialoff


Please feel free to email me with great quotes from Edward R. Murrow, or with any questions or comments about Beaujolais, prejudice, Man U or Chelsea:

PS: Happy Valentine’s Day! In honor of the holiday, Emily has agreed to undertake a project related to Valentine’s Day, and post it to our blog. If it’s anything like her Valentine’s Day post last year, we expect a million blog hits!