2022 Karim Vionnet “Du Beur dans les Pinards” Beaujolais-Villages, Beaujolais, France (Alcohol 14%, Residual Sugar 1.75 g/l) SAQ $29.50 (750ml bottle)

I love strolling around Quebec’s SAQ stores and seeing so many wines I am unfamiliar with. I get the feeling that the SAQ buyers’ palates align much more with mine than the palates of their LCBO compatriots.

I picked up this bottle as I enjoyed the labelling and was intrigued by the name of the wine. At first, I thought it was slang for something a little naughty, but then some research confused me even further as one source revealed that to have butter in one’s spinach meant to have a side hustle, whereas another site informed me that the expression meant “live a little.” Whatever the actual meaning, I was more than amused by both of these supposed definitions.

I’ve seen this wine being sold for over $40 in some UK stores, so I felt I’d take a chance on a couple of bottles, as I am rather partial to the odd Beaujolais. I’m extremely glad that I did, as it turns out that Msr. Karim Vionett used to work with both Guy Breton and Marcel Lapierre, and is now a négociant in his own right, overseeing the farming and vinification of five hectares of organic vines, between 40 to 60 years old.

It’s undeniably a very “natural” Beaujolais, with some lovely funky, almost earthy/meaty aromatics on the nose alongside beetroot, black/red cherries, blackberries and a seductive musky florality. The palate has all that gorgeously fresh crunchy red fruit (cranberries/raspberries) so typical of better Gamays. The fruit is very generous and ripe but the bright acids make for a very quaffable (and then some) glass of wine. Tannins are soft, silky, and oh-so-supple, bringing a dainty structure to this wonderful vinous package.

I’d serve this nicely chilled and alongside some charcuterie. Delicious stuff, and I’ll be buying more then next time I’m in Quebec, unless, that is, it’s available through some channel in Ontario? Someone please tell me it is!?

(Four out of a possible five apples)