Why Gamay is a Sommelier’s Secret Weapon

August 28, 2015

The oft-overlooked Gamay grape is making a comeback.

At Philadelphia’s a.kitchen, wine director Mariel Wega calls lighter-bodied red wine made from the Gamay grape “a sommelier’s secret weapon.” And thanks to its versatility and food-friendly nature, Gamay—a long-maligned grape varietal grown predominantly in the Beaujolais region of France—is finally getting the respect it deserves.

Gamay’s substandard reputation dates back to the late 14th century, when the Duke of Burgundy decreed the grape’s exile from that region in France (he didn’t like the grape’s flavor), declaring it “despicable and disloyal,” thus paving the way for Pinot Noir’s reign. But in…