The Gamays Under $20 We’re Loving
If you prefer juicy, supple reds over bold tannic ones, chances are Gamay (mostly from the Beaujolais region) is one of your favorite wine grapes. It’s become an increasingly popular grape over the past few years, and I happen to think it’s one of the best red wines to drink during the summer months. Many Gamay work well with a mild cooling feature, which certainly makes them more accessible when you’re dealing with scorching hot weather and you’re looking for something more refreshing than a Merlot.
You will find no shortage of expensive Beaujolais on store shelves and you can also find expensive Gamay from other areas. But don’t be afraid. There’s relatively affordable Gamay out there if you know where to look. Check out some of the top picks that will ensure you get the most bang for your buck.
This easy-to-drink fruity red wine is one of those bottles you can serve on any occasion and your guests are sure to love it. Strawberry, raspberry and cherry flavors all shine through, cho Domaine de Colette 2020 Old Vines Régnié an almost candy-like quality that is more enjoyable than fussy. You may also notice some light minerals, making things interesting on the palate. It is quite tart, which is why I think this is such a great summer wine. And for the relatively low price, there’s nothing stopping you from trying this bottle.
If you are looking for a traditional Beaujolais, Domaine du Clos du Fief 2020 Juliénas . Tradition is a great choice. This Cru spans just two square miles, and winemaker Michel Tête’s creations are among the most famous in the region. This wine has a slight bubble on the nose along with expected red fruits like cherries and raspberries. When you take a sip, you can be pleased to discover strawberry, leather and a subtle minerality. I find it surprisingly complex for a wine at its price point, so it’s definitely the right choice if you’re looking for great value.
Simple and super affordable, Barton & Guestier Beaujolais Les Violettes is a great bottle to pick up if you are new to Gamay. This 100% Gamay figure can be found for less than $10, making it a steal if you’re looking for a solid bottle. I have aromas of black cherries and a hint of mushrooms on my nose, but I was even more pleased to discover notes of banana, cherry and hard candy on the palate. It’s mild and quite sour, so pairing with new summer fare can be exciting. To me, this sounds like an interesting but equally appealing barbecue wine (although I’m not picky about holding a well-dressed sausage).
You don’t always find such intricate Gamay for such a low price, but Duboeuf Cote de Brouilly Domaine du Riaz 2018 delivery. With notes of black cherry and orange zest, this is definitely a bottle worthy of age, so if you find a 2018 classic now, you’re on the right page. It has some earthy taste and a distinct tobacco note to it, which helps keep it from being too fruity, while its pronounced acidity means it still feels right for summer. This is more tannic than many on this list, so if you’re generally a red wine lover and are trying to switch to lighter-bodied varieties, this bottle should be on our must-try list. friend.
Lovely, lightly fragrant, hard not to love Domaine de la Madone Le Perréon Beaujolais Village 2020. At first, you might notice some floral notes along with strawberry and raspberry. It’s refreshingly acidic, though it also has a slight earthy smell – think black pepper and leather. It is a great wine despite the relatively short finish. And when you consider the low price tag of this wine, it’s clear why it should be a top choice for Gamay lovers on a budget.
Samantha Maxwell is a food writer and editor based in Boston. Follow her on Twitter at @samseating.