Beaujolais Nouveau Day!
"Le Beaujolais est Arrivé!”
Do you know what today is?! It’s the third Thursday of November i.e., the day this year’s vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau is released! In places of the world where people care about such things, lines started forming in the wee hours of the morn. Where we are at the moment though (Las Vegas, NV) we were able to drop in to the nearest Total Wine & More and grab a few bottles from the untouched display by the front door. God bless 'er. God bless 'er all day long.
What the Jacques is Beaujolais Nouveau?
Beaujolais Nouveau hails from the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) Beaujolais wine region in France. Technically a part of Burgundy, this region is known for producing light, fruity, approachable red wines, generally made from 100% gamay grapes. This is achieved partly through a process called carbonic maceration, the details of which are beyond the scope of this post but suffice it to say that grapes are placed into a closed container until fermentation begins inside the actually berry, significantly limiting contact with oxygen and thereby preserving the full fruit character of the grape. The result is a wine with low tannins, unparalleled freshness, and bright estery fruit character.
Beaujolais Nouveau takes all these qualities even further. Released only once per year—originally as a way to celebrate the harvest—Beaujolais Nouveau will go from grape to table in as little as six weeks! It is superlatively quaffable, in a way that few other reds could ever hope to be. It’s superb both as a pleasant, uncomplicated sipper and also as a delightful pairing to delightfully simple food. It’s extremely low in tannins and therefore suitable for a variety of dishes that are usually the reserve of white wines (like, for instance, roast turkey!).
Its lightness and lack of tannins however mean that it has a fleetingly short shelf life. This is not one to age. We usually grab a few bottles to drink right away e.g., on the ride home (just kidding, mom) and a few for Thanksgiving dinner. Come December we’ll be counting down the days to next year’s release.
So go grab a bottle now while it’s at it's peak! If it’s your first time, let us know what you think!
-Branden and Lauren
P.S. Today is the first day that Beaujolais Nouveau will be available but not the only day. If you’re busy today then, ya know, go some other day. The point is that it’s a living thing that is dying a little everyday. We can all drink to that, huh?
P.P.S This is a red that can be served slightly chilled. 50-55°F is a good range. Think: about 2 hours in the fridge or about 10 minutes in an ice-water bath.