Wine Wednesday: Uva Non Grata

  • Posted on
  • By Amber Hatfield, CSW
Wine Wednesday: Uva Non Grata

This week, Amber breaks down the return of a staff favorite: Uva Non Grata Gamay.

Last summer, we became absolutely entranced by this lightning-in-a-bottle Gamay that came in at $13. It was bouncy and acidic and fruit driven all without being cloying and without tasting like it was $13. To say we were excited for the return of it is an absolute understatement. 

The 2019 Uva Non Grata Gamay is a bouncy, crunchy fruit-bomb packed with amazing primary fruit flavors and soft red berry tones. It is absolutely gorgeous Gamay. It is perfect for your next cheese board. It will be a star the next time you fire up the grill for some herby, tangy chicken kebabs or grilled sausages. Planning a Front Yard Cook Out*? You're going to be the envy of your neighbors. They'll get one look at that graffiti covered label and the color of the wine in your tumbler and need to know where you got that good juice. You'll proudly look at them from across the street and yell, "I picked up this fresh as hell Gamay from The Wine Seller. I didn't even have to get out of my car."


On a more serious note, we love Gamay because of its fresh acidity and bright, red fruit tones. We also love it because it has been maligned and neglected over the centuries. In 1395, Philippe the Bold was concerned that Gamay would outshine its proud papa Pinot Noir, so he banned the grape from production in Burgundy, France. All of the vineyards that had been planted to Gamay in the Côte d’Or were ripped out. 

Despite his little Lord Fauntleroy-esque temper tantrum, Philippe was not able to completely eradicate the grape he called "disloyal" and "very harmful to human beings." A number of vintners in nearby Lyon discovered the grape loved the granitic and siliceous soils of their area and began planting it widely around Beaujolais. 

Despite what seems like a silly decree, Philippe the Bold actually started a centuries and generations long tradition of touting Pinot Noir as the superior grape for the region of Burgundy. He also cemented Burgundy's reputation in the world as a prized wine producing region because of his meticulous micromanagement. 

*Wondering what a Front Yard Cook Out is? We've taken to having them on our street over the last month just to have some limited, social interaction with other people who don't live in our house. Here's how it works: we cook our own food, which means I pick up takeout while some of our neighbors drag their grills to the end of their driveway; we pull out lawn chairs and plastic tables and set up a dining room either at the end of our driveway or on the edge of our yard; we yell at each other back and forth across the street for an hour and a half while we eat, drink, and heckle our other neighbors walking by. The best part? I've lived across the street from one set of neighbors for almost ten years, and I just 'officially' met them for the first time two weeks ago. Find some positives to this pandemic. Meet your neighbors. Take care of each other. DRINK GAMAY.