The arrival of the first wine of the season – the Beaujolais Nouveau – is a celebration of the country’s most popular, iconic and valuable drink. Bottled less than two months after harvesting, the wine is lighter in colour than other typical reds given its’ extremely young age and is produced to be drunk straight away as opposed to be laid down for drinking at a later date.
Each year the release of the Beaujolais Nouveau conforms to a similar format. The first bottles of are released on the third Thursday in November, which this year means that in wine producing regions the opening will take place at midnight on the 18/19th. Forty years ago the popularity of this special event in the French calendar grew significantly which culminated in races to Paris carrying the fruits of the year’s harvest as well many other festivities. Although the occasion now competes with many other marketing activities of its’ kind internationally – and perhaps is more low key – in local communities the Beaujolais Nouveau remains hugely popular with tastings (of course), a plentiful supply of good food and live music and fanfares to accompany the arrival of this prestigious drink.
Where does the Beaujolais Nouveau actually come from? The wine is made from the Gamay noir à Jus blanc grape: Gamay to you and me. The law requires that all grapes are harvested by hand in the region and furthermore they must originate from the Beaujolais Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC).
In 2013, France exported wine to the value of €7.7 billion, but in the case of the Beaujolais Nouveau the wine is generally produced for domestic consumption, although bottles can be brought in the UK, US and other countries.
The Beaujolais Nouveau is not without its’ critics. For some people, the Beaujolais Nouveau is a marketing gimmick and as a drink should be avoided at all costs due to its’ insipid taste, when compared to other aged wines – but what do you think? Santé!
SOURCE/CREDIT: photo and article reblogged from Rootstock Ads Newsletter
Oddly enough, I happened to be in Paris for the November 15, 2012 release of “Beaujolais Nouveau” & was again in Paris this year on the legally regulated release day/time: the third Thursday of November at midnight. The event is a world-wide celebration of a red wine from Beaujolais, located in the Burgundy region of France. By law, the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau is on the third Thursday of November at 12:01 AM.
Reportedly, in the 1950s the makers of the wine were keen to increase the sales of this young vintage – there wasn’t a huge demand due to ageing process of wines.
Beaujolais Nouveau wine isn’t really nouveau/new, since it’s been around since the 19th century. Targeting Paris to carry the first bottles released in cafés and restaurants, as a marketing tactic, made this event an annual success since then, with the largest importers being Japan, Germany and the U.S.
A relevant post, since I’m ‘skipping’ off to Paris, and will be ‘skipping’ through the city to savor it’s beauty and ambiance with child-like wonder.
I am planning to eat at Le Grand Colbert (they also have delicious, authentic chocolat chaud), to enjoy an apero at Le Meurice (original plan was Plaza Athenée, but it is closed for renovation), and bien sûr, to try this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau, after its official release tonight at one minute past midnight (the fourth jeudi (Thursday) in November).
So, here’s to being young at heart…….especially in the ‘City of Light!’ (city of lightS is commonly used, but is not correct)
Do you know why Paris is named the city of light? Answer/guess in the comment section.
Following the arrival of Le Beaujolais Nouveau wines, came the Fête de la Châtaigne (Chestnut Festival). “Jack Frost” wasn’t exactly nipping at our nose (temperature was in the low 60’s), while enjoying the local artisan market, featuring regional products, traditional cuisine, and wood cutting demonstrations. The streets were closed off to traffic, so that the restaurants could set out tables and chairs for everyone to relax and enjoy the festivities. Bonne fête!
Some thematic background music to play while looking at the below photos:
Midnight (not a stroke before) on the third Thursday of November (today!) marks the (legal) release in France of the wine produced from the first harvest in the Beaujolais area, located in the southern Burgundy region of France. The wines are shipped around the world, coordinated to be just in time for the wines’ grand opening.
This young wine, due to a shorter fermentation time, is made from Gamay grapes and tends to have a light, fruity taste. It is meant to be drunk as a young wine, not one to be stored for a long time, so Santé!
I equally enjoy the release of the new Beaujolais labels, which are usually very colorful and sometimes amusing – Georges Duboeuf being one of the more well-known.
Personal Note: I just tasted this year’s wine, finding it light, fruity, and very flavorable.