Why an old French classic is the perfect new lunch time wine

Looking for the perfect wine for a work lunch? Find out why an old French classic has re-emerged as the ideal modern choice.

You may not have considered this before, but wine is a seriously useful tool for a work lunch. Yes, it’s a great social lubricant, but it’s also a good conversation starter that isn’t work-related.

And just like golf, football, line dancing or music, open up that wine conversation and you may just find a wine fan liking you all the more for the opportunity to talk about it.

As well as another chance to bond, your wine choice is also a chance to look good. Even one or two facts about the wine you’re drinking can’t fail to give a cultured impression, and it looks like you care about showing your guest a nice time.

Just don’t bore them to death for hours about malolactic fermentation or drink too much! Everything in moderation…

The perfect lunch time wine

So which is the right wine to choose? A good lunchtime wine should be fairly light-bodied, not overly alcoholic or tannic and have something interesting to say for itself.

One red to try now is GAMAY.


Why and what is Gamay?

Gamay is a red wine grape, famous for making the wines of Beaujolais. Don’t gasp and look at your mum though; Beaujolais is back, big time and so much BETTER than it was in the 70s and 80s. Everyone will be drinking it again soon. Mark my words.

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Gamay makes fruity red wines that are pretty light in body and alcohol with a characteristic wild strawberry flavour. They’re close in style to Pinot Noir but are much more approachable when they’re young which helps them to be good value for money.

There are four levels of quality, from the fruit bomb, bubblegum styles of Beaujolais Nouveau to the classic, light wines of Beaujolais, getting a little heavier and more complex in Beaujolais-Villages and even more so up at the top among the ten, posher Beaujolais Crus that you’ve probably heard of, such as Fleurie, Morgon and Moulin a Vent.

The quality has rocketed up in the last thirty years and the most recent vintage – 2015 – was brilliant.


You can also get white and rosé Beaujolais, but it’s less common. Whites are made with Chardonnay and sometimes a bit of Aligoté. Pinks will always be Gamay.

The vinalogy of Gamay

Gamay is the Lily Cole of wine grapes: a fun, flirty and light-bodied redhead on the surface but get to know her and you’ll see that double first from Cambridge. Here’s the video.

Some Gamay picks to try

Get your Gamay on by practicing with these. Get the 2015s if you can, but try some older vintages in the meantime:

Winebird is a freelance writer, presenter and author of VINALOGY: wine basics with a twist! You can follow her on Twitter, and find her on YouTube.