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.
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.