For those who like their reds on the lighter side, gamay is a grape to get into. Previously (well, in the Eighties) it was synonymous with the now rather clichéd Beaujolais Nouveau, which, more often than not, was a thin, acidic and disappointing red. These days, gamay takes on a variety of guises, with recent vintages such as 2003 and 2005 being especially noteworthy for their deep and rewarding flavours.
Fleurie is one of the Beaujolais appellations that does especially wonderful things with the grape, and this bottle, from a small family-run producer, is a classic example of luscious strawberry and red fruit flavours displayed to good effect (and without so much as a hint of Ribena). It would be a great match with a substantial salad, but would be equally enjoyable for pre-dinner quaffing. £13, www.oddbins.com