Cru Beaujolais at the Grill #Winophiles

French Winophiles Celebrate Cru Beaujolais
This month, our French Winophiles group is diving into the ten Crus of Beaujolais. Many people only know Beaujolais Nouveau, the brand new baby wine rushed to market as a celebration of the just concluded vintage. It’s fun, but it isn’t intended to be a reflection of what’s possible from the region. Like many French regions, there are several tiers of classification, with the top tier wines having more intense flavors and greater ability to age. In Beaujolais, the top tier is populated by the ten Crus, named after their namesake villages. They each have their personality, though I would suggest one needs to drink a lot of Beaujolais to keep their personalities separate. I can say they’re all good!

You can get some great Beaujolais information from our Winophiles bloggers farther down in this post.

The Ten Crus

beaujolais map courtesy of

Beaujolais wine region, courtesy of

Beaujolais carries on the confusing
tradition of many French wine regions,
the Cru wines only have “Beaujolais”
in small print on the label, the large
print will be the village name, perhaps
with the winery and vineyard name as
well. Here they are ordered from
north to south:

  • St-Amour
  • Juliénas
  • Chénas
  • Moulin-a-Vent
  • Fleurie
  • Chiroubles
  • Morgon
  • Régnié
  • Brouilly and
  • Côte de Brouilly





Morgon and Domaine de la Bonne Tonne
Domaine de la Bonne Tonne is a small, family run estate in the village of Morgon. We learned their fascinating story when we visited back in 2017, you can read about that visit here.  I have enjoyed continuing to follow them via their website and on Facebook. They are certified organic and have been pursuing biodynamic certification for several years, apparently this is not always an easy feat for a small winery. Recent news, they have acquired another horse, Vigano,  to replace their beloved prior workhorse, Câline. Working a vineyard by horse is not just sentimental, horses offer many benefits including less soil compaction compared to tractor farming.

As you can see, “Beaujolais” doesn’t appear on the label. You need to know to look for Morgon, and Domaine de la Bonne Tonne!

Domaine de la Bonne Tonne Morgon AOC “Les Charmes” 2015 (purchased at the winery, available online here) 12.5% abv
Eye: Clear pale ruby
Nose: Clean, medium intensity aromas of ripe strawberries, red cherries, blueberries and black cherries. Herbal aromas of fresh thyme and rosemary behind the fruit. Also in the background, aromas of coffee, tobacco, leather and clean earth.
Mouth: Dry with medium intensity, high acidity, medium- fine grained tannins, medium alcohol, medium body with a creamy texture and a medium finish. The flavors mirrored the aromas with ripe red and blue fruits, herbs and nice clean earth in the background.

Cru Beaujolais at the Grill
Cru Beaujolais is a great choice for summer meals, offering lively acidity (food friendly) and low tannins (can handle a bit of spice). It even takes a bit of a chill nicely, perfect for the deck on a summer evening.

The key to success is to avoid super big flavors and sweet sauces. This is pretty easy when you are cooking fast and hot, such as burgers, hot dogs, steak, chicken.  It’s more difficult when you are cooking low and slow such as brisket or pork shoulder. One key is to take a close look at the rub – the spice mixture which goes on the meat before the grill or smoker. Most rubs have sugar, which can make them more difficult for savory old-world style wines. Look for rubs sans sugar. One example comes from a new cookbook by our friends Mary and Sean at Vindulge: Fire and Wine.  In a companion post to this one, I go through all the details of our meal from the grill point of view. Check it out here.

French Winophiles Spill The Beans on Cru Beaujolais
Take a look below at all the great ideas to help your Cru Beaujolais exploration, then come and join our chat on Saturday May 15 from 10-11am on Twitter at #Winophiles. We hope you’ll join us!

29 Responses to “Cru Beaujolais at the Grill #Winophiles”
  1. Robin Renken says:

    I love that the Domaine uses horses to plow! The video is great! I really need to get an instant read thermometer. Your seasoning tips for pairing are wonderful!

  2. Lynn says:

    Just made the link between this book, read your previous post, and Vindulge, ah-ha! Bonne chance to la Bonne Tonne.

  3. culinarycam says:

    You are the grill master! And, of course, you’re a French wine expert. What a post, Jeff. Thanks, as always.

  4. Andrea Lemieux says:

    Chilling Beaujolais is a great tip, thank you!

  5. That’s such a tasting looking meal Jeff! Want! Thanks for the tips regarding grilling and Old World wines. Noted and much appreciated!

  6. crynning says:

    I loved my visit at Domaine de la Bonne Tonne, too, when I was in the region. The walk through the vineyards and the vista from the top of the mountain were incredible! I love the pairing, too-I have the cookbook and will look for that recipe. Cheers!

  7. Pinny Tam says:

    Love your collection of Cru Beaujolais! Great illustrative video to grill pork chops!

  8. Your tasting notes have me thirsting for another glass of Morgon! It’s amazing how the top-tier wines are so richly textured, bringing forth such a wide array of aromas and flavors.

  9. Nicole Ruiz Hudson says:

    The meal looks fantastic and the wine sounds delicious. You have me feeling quite jealous of your grill at the moment. It’s also so fun when you can follow a winery’s evolution in this way.

  10. Kat says:

    Completely agree that these are great summer wines since they are amenable to a slight chill. We definitely need these in Texas!

  11. Payal Vora says:

    Love the personal touch of your visit to the Domaine de la Bonne Tonne!

  12. You are the grill master! I would love to see you and Bobby Flay in a grilling throw down (with wine pairings of course!!).

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Most American Barbecue recipes involve sweet/spicy sauces which are difficult to pair with old world oriented wines. Sean and Mary have provided a number of rubs, sauces and recipes guaranteed to make your day if this is an interest of yours as it is mine. The video below shows a recent pairing with Cru Beaujolais I enjoyed with our French Winophiles blogging group. If you’d like to see that post, just click on Cru Beaujolais at the Grill. […]

  2. […] Jeff at Food Wine Click! enjoys Cru Beaujolais at the Grill. […]

  3. […] Jeff at Food Wine Click! enjoys Cru Beaujolais at the Grill. […]

  4. […] Jeff at Food, Wine, Click enjoys “Cru Beaujolais at the Grill” […]

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