An old French medical man once told me what he claimed was the classic French cure for a bad cold.
It was quite simply to enjoy a whole bottle of good Beaujolais, then take three aspirins and go to bed. This would either kill the cold or kill me, he chortled.
I’ve gained a good deal of unalloyed pleasure from this particular wine over many years, but have never felt impelled to consume a bottle in one go, whether for medicinal reasons or pleasure. Half a bottle is my own modest limit.
Certainly the magnificent 2009 Beaujolais, described as the vintage of a lifetime by wine producers and critics alike, created a huge surge in the region’s popularity.
Lots of people warned it would be a hard act to follow, but there are claims that 2010 is a worthy successor which will keep the interest alive.
And while it may not be quite so splendid, it has produced some lovely wines.
Before having my own first taste of a few 2010 bottles from Beaujolais, I reminded myself of just how fine the 2009 vintage is, with a delectable glass of Moulin a Vent 2009, Domaine Richard Rottiers (13 per cent, £13.60, HG Wines, Bottle Apostle, Decorum Vintners).
The name may just mean windmill – the local area is dominated by one which stopped working in 1850 – but for good reasons the wine is known as the King of Beaujolais.
Produced from vineyards up to 80 years old, and aged in French oak barrels, it is intensely concentrated, with dark red fruit flavours and hints of spices.
It can be laid down for up to ten years, depending on the vintage, but is enjoyable right now.
On to 2010, and my own personal favourite Beaujolais name - Brouilly.
Brouilly Domaine Cret des Garanches 2010 (£11.70, Les Caves de Pyrene, slurp.co.uk) is more full-bodied than most Beaujolais, and both stylish and well-rounded.
Plums and ripe cherries spring to mind in this seriously-rich and tasty wine.
Also very tasty, but light, elegant and silky, is Fleurie Vieilles Vignes Domaine Pardon 2010 (13 per cent, £12.49, Laithwaites).
It has a luscious, violet aroma, and dark ruby colour. Best served lightly chilled, to go with roasts and stews.
Chenas Remi et Paola Benon 2009 (13 per cent, £10.80, Tanners) is another reminder of the hauntingly lovely vintage year, in this case rich and perfumed, but with the quality which runs through all of these wines, bestowed by gamay, the classic Beaujolais grape.
Light and full of raspberry tastes, it is worth keeping an eye open for – not much Chenas is seen in UK stores.
Bear the name in mind – it comes from the great oak (chene) forests which once covered the area, with the odd clump of trees still surviving here and there as a reminder.
Juicy echoes of raspberries and redcurrants emerge in Beaujolais-Villages Hospices de Beaujeu 2010 (12.5 per cent, £8.49, Waitrose).
The villages in the name are in the north of the region, and the hospices, which date back to the Middle Ages, have for many long years held a wine auction to support the local hospital.
This dry, supple wine, which makes not only a pleasant aperitif but a good partner for fish, poultry or good cheeses, should be chilled for just a short while before serving.