The good news: "Real" Beaujolais (not "Nouveau") has been making inroads with wine lovers in recent years. The better news: The same red grape in those wines finds beautiful expression elsewhere. The 2013 Charles Neal Bugey Gamay ($15) comes from an area east of Beaujolais, near the Alps. And it is delicious. Cherry on the nose and palate, juicy fruit dancing with firm tannins, a fresh and firm finish: What's not to like? This robust red is a crowd-pleaser (i.e., great party wine) but also is ideal for roasted fowl, hard cheeses, wintry stews and pizza or pasta with most any topping.

Available at Red Lion, France 44, Lake Wine & Spirits, Zipp's, 1010 Washington, South Lyndale, Thomas and the Wine Thief.