• The Reynas

Updated: May 29, 2020



For our FIRST OFFICIAL Wine Wednesday post, we are discussing one of our favorite wine regions and wine—Beaujolais.


Beaujolais has been on a roller-coaster for the past four decades. It was trendy in the 70s and 80s thanks to Beaujolais Nouveau, which is discussed below, and then died out in the 90s and early 00s. However, it is coming on strong now and it's still a great bargain--if you know what to look for. But that's why you are here, right? So let's dive in . . .


First, let’s cover the basics: geography; grape varietal; and winemaking.


Beaujolais is a wine region in France. It is south of Burgundy and north of Rhone. Talk about prime real estate.


If you are drinking a Beaujolais wine, then you are drinking a wine from the Gamay grape varietal.* Gamay produces fragrant wines with aromas and flavors of red fruits, especially cherry and raspberry, along with violet, and bananas. Beaujolais wines are usually medium-plus to high in acidity, and they generally range from low to medium for tannin, alcohol, and body. Those characteristics make Beaujolais wine incredibly easy to both drink and pair food with. It's a superb wine to order for a table when everyone is eating various plates.


Beaujolais is also home to two unique styles of winemaking: carbonic maceration and semi-carbonic maceration. For carbonic maceration, whole bunches of grapes are placed in vats that are filled with CO2 to remove the oxygen. This triggers intracellular fermentation, which is the creation of alcohol within the grape without the involvement of yeast. Once alcohol levels reaches 2% ABV, the grape skins split and the grapes release their juice. Carbonic maceration extracts color from the skins but little tannin. Generally, these wines are light-bodied, low in tannin, and have a fresh, red fruit character. Semi-carbonic maceration is similar, but does not include filling the vats with CO2. Rather, the vat is filled with the whole grape bunches and the weight of the grapes on the top crushes the grapes below, which releasing juice. Yeast then ferments the juice and releases CO2, which fills the vat. The remaining intact grapes undergo carbonic maceration as described above.


Now that the basics are covered, let's get into the categories of Beaujolais winesBeaujolais, Beaujolais-Villages, and Beaujolais Cru.

Wines labeled simply as Beaujolais comes from the eastern and southern parts of the region, where the land is much flatter than the rest of the region. These wines are lighter and less concentrated than Beaujolais-Villages or Cru Beaujolais. Knowing producers and importers can help you find gems. (Importers is a topic for another post, I promise.) But you can do better if you stick to Beaujolais-Villages and Cru Beaujolais. So that's our suggestion.

Wines labeled as Beaujolais-Villages are wines that come from any of a particular group of thirty-nine villages. These villages are in the northern part of the region where it is much hillier and the soil is granite. These wines have more character than straight Beaujolais. Plus, they generally cost about the same or only a few bucks more than straight Beaujolais so they are a great deal. Do yourself a favor and DRINK THESE WINES!

This is an incredible wine for the price of $20. We were planning on serving this at our wedding reception. Since the wedding was canceled due to COVID-19, Shen and I are the proud owners of a case of this beauty.


Now that brings us to wines labeled with the name of a Cru, which in Beaujolais refers to one of the ten villages that are considered SO GOOD that they have earned their own appellation. These ten Crus are: St.-Amour; Julienas; Chenas; Moulin-A-Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Regnie; Brouilly; and Cote de Brouilly. These wines are generally fuller bodied and more complex than Beaujolais-Villages. They are also age-worthy. We LOVE Cru Beaujolais, and you can find delicious examples between $20-$40 per bottle. Below are pictures of a few Cru bottles that we have lying around the house.

Starting from the left and moving right, here are five Cru bottles: Moulin a Vent, Morgon, Cote de Brouilly, Fleurie, and Julienas.


Lastly, here are a few quick words about Beaujolais Nouveau. By law, it is released for consumption on the third Thursday of November every year after that year's harvest. That makes most Nouveau only seven to nine weeks old at release. This wine is for early drinking. Nouveau can be produced from grapes grown in the Beaujolais appellation or Beaujolais-Villages appellation. But you won't find Cru grapes in these bottles. Nouveau was fashionable in the 70s and 80s, and then ran its course. In its wake, it left a poor reputation for Beaujolais wine. I've tasted a lot of boring Nouveau. So much that I often purposefully ignore it. However, I've recently tried a couple that were delicious. But I'm not cracking just any bottle of Nouveau, I'm looking for producers or importers who I respect. Like the one in the picture below.

There's no hesitation when it comes to buying a Beaujolais Nouveau that carries Kermit Lynch's name on the bottle. One day soon we will do a post on wine importers. Until then, just remember the name Kermit Lynch when seeking out French and Italian wines.

While this post has gone on for a bit, we hope you learned something about the Beaujolais wine region and Beaujolais wines. We could drink Beaujolais, EVERYDAY!


If you have any questions or want to learn more about Beaujolais or some other wine topic, please email me at john@teakwoodtavern.com or Shen at shen@teakwoodtavern.com.


Please follow us on Instagram @teakwoodtavern


Cheers!


John


*Yes, there is some Chardonnay and Aligote grown in Beaujolais, but if you're reading this post to learn, then you likely aren't running in the circles that are pouring those wines. (But just in case you are, please email us. We should be friends.)


#redwine

#frenchwine

#gamay

#Beaujolais

Updated: May 29, 2020


Finished gift bags for friends of Teakwood Tavern


Shen had a brilliant idea on Friday night--dropping off pre-made cocktail gift packages for some of Teakwood Tavern's best patrons. Here's how, in early April, Teakwood Tavern became known as Boozy Santa Clause. Bringing smiles to thirsty faces across the DFW metroplex.


Let's get to the important part first--SAFETY. We took the preparation, packaging, and delivery of these gift bags seriously. We washed our hands and used hand sanitizer over and over throughout this process. Plus, we wore masks! Then we sanitized all of our countertops. Next, we sanitized all of liquor bottles and the mason jars that were used to carry the pre-made cocktails. We wiped down all of the liquor bottles with Clorox wipes. For the mason jars, we sanitized them by dropping them in boiling water for ten minutes.


John on sanitizing duty.


Since we were building the cocktails in the mason jars directly, the only other pieces of equipment that we used were a metal jigger and a metal bar spoon, both of which were also sanitized in boiling water. Sorry, no picture of that. But here's the equipment laying out drying on a clean towel.


Four sanitized mason jars. Please notice the clorox wipes and hand sanitizer.


With every thing sanitized, we moved into production. We were delivering four gift bags to four of our favorite couples in the metroplex. We decided on two cocktails to send; however, three couples were receiving the same drink and one couple received something different. It's not because we like that one couple better; rather, they have a particular drinking style so we tailored their pre-made cocktail for them. So what were the cocktails?


Corpse Reviver #2

&

Red Hook


The Corpse Reviver #2 is one of our all-time favorite classic cocktails. We showcased this recipe in our cocktail and wine book, Teakwood Tavern's Guide to Empty Glasses and Full Hearts. And the name is perfect for this pandemic! This cocktail is from Harry Craddock's 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book. Craddock jokes, "Four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again." It's a wonderful brunch drink for this reason.


Corpse Reviver #2

0.75 oz gin

0.75 oz Cointreau

0.75 oz Lillet Blanc vermouth or Cocchi Americano vermouth

0.75 oz lemon juice*

1 dash of absinthe (we actually prefer more, but we LOVE absinthe)

Shake with ice, then fine-strain into a chilled coupe

*Since we were pre-making these, we did not include the lemon juice to the liquor. Instead, we provided fresh lemons so they could juice the lemons to order.


The Red Hook might not be from the 1930's, but it has become a modern classic. Plus, its derived from the Brooklyn cocktail, which is from Jack Grohusko's 1908 Jack's Manual. Bartender Vincenzo Errico created the Red Hook at Milk & Honey in NYC in 2003. It's a beautiful cocktail for those who like them boozy. YES, PLEASE! The key, in our opinion, is the use of Punt e Mes vermouth. We've made it before with other vermouths and its still a fine drink. But the in your face nature of Punt e Mes matches gloriously with the rye.


Red Hook

2 oz rye whiskey (we prefer Rittenhouse for that 100 proof bite)

0.50 oz Maraschino liqueur (we prefer Luxardo)

0.50 oz Punt e Mes vermouth

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice.

Stir until the drink is chilled. Strain into a coupe.


The completed cocktails. Corpse Reviver #2 on the left and Red Hook on the right.


We delivered the four cocktails to everyone's doorstep, rang the doorbell, and then ran back 15 feet. Social distancing, people!


For all four couples, we were the first non-Amazon deliver they've had in quite a while. We were even told that one person had not left her house in 22 days. That's the world we live in now. Which is why we wanted to drop off some liquid happiness. The smiles on their faces when they answered the door were priceless. Later that evening, we received pictures from everyone enjoying their drinks. And for a few moments that day, we felt connected to our loved ones. It was wonderful. Kudos, again, to Shen for the idea.


Love,


The Reynas


#CorpseReviver2

#gin

#Cointreau

#LilletBlanc

#vermouth

#CocchiAmericano

#lemon

#RedHook

#rye

#whiskey

#Rittenhouse

#Maraschinoliqueur

#Luxardo

#PunteMes

  • The Reynas

Updated: May 29, 2020

Who knew that planning a wedding involved scheduling around a pandemic? We sure as hell didn't! So having to cancel our wedding and all of the festivities accompanying the wedding was quite a shock.


But this isn't a post to gather sympathy points. We aren't heroes. We made a decision and then moved on with our life. Yes, life, singular.


If anything, our wedding weekend (i.e., March 27-29) presented us with an incredible opportunity to love one another during this COVID-19 mess. To be there for one another. To embrace the things that make us happy. To be us.


We've done a lot of drinking. Shocking, we know. But we've also cooked great meals together. We've played games together. We've laughed, smiled, and embraced. All while being stuck in our house with our three fur-babies.


We've also cried too. None more so than when we watched an amazing, tribute video put together by John's sister--Jessica. She contacted friends and family from both sides of the aisle and asked for personal messages to share with us. The final product was something that we will cherish forever. Forty-seven minutes of love sent to us from Washington, Massachusetts, Ohio, Texas, North Carolina, and many other states across this nation. We received it on Friday night, and it was our entertainment while we enjoyed amazing meal, which is pictured below.

Seared sea scallops with crispy shallots in a thyme and corn beurre blanc.


We paired the scallops with two wines: (1) a beautiful "orange" wine made from the Rkatsiteli grape varietal in Georgia (the country); and (2) a dry riesling from Trisaetum Winery in Willamette Valley, Oregon.


Sea bass with mango salsa and grilled carrots.


We paired the sea bass with two wines: (1) a chardonnay by Ayoub in Willamette Valley; and (2) a pinot noir from the famous Shea Vineyard that was produced by Purple Hands Winery.


Here is the opening to the amazing tribute video that my sister made!


Well, we survived that weekend and the following week. So we are sharing this post, our first post, to say thank to all our loved ones since you will likely be our first guests to this site and its sister Instagram account.


We look forward to sharing weekly posts about wine, cocktails, and food. Some will be our favorites and others will be us trying something new and sharing our learning experience. If there happens to be a topic that you would like for us to explore, let us know!


And once this craziness goes away, we look forward to saving you a seat at Teakwood Tavern!


Love,


The Reynas


#whitewine

#redwine

#orangewine

#pinotnior

#chardonnay

#riesling

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