The Beaujolais Nouveau is Here! The Beaujolais Nouveau is Here! For some, it’s a load of marketing nonsense and a lot of fuss over a cheap (inexpensive?) bottle of wine. But for some, it’s an unmissable tradition. I fall into the latter category but am well aware of the first. It’s a time of giddy excitement and anticipation that marks the nearness of Thanksgiving, the unveiling of a new label design and for this Francophile, it’s a time that allows me to feel a little bit closer to my home away from home (even though in France, it’s not as big a deal.)
Never mind that the wine is very young, overly sweet and fruity, light in color, easy to drink, lacks all complexity and has an extremely short shelf life (don’t buy a case unless you plan to finish it by January!). That’s not what you are really buying it for. For me, it’s the whole cliche that makes it a bit of fun.
It’s also the allure that draws you in. A certain mystique. And a certain hangover.
On the stroke of midnight on the third Thursday of the month of November, a new vintage is unveiled and only then can you indulge. But a moment before you could not because it’s a forbidden by law. A bit of prohibition if you will-which is always exciting!
Once the wait is over and the bell has rung, you can choose your bottles and walk confidently out of the store knowing that you helped perpetuate the tradition of celebrating the year’s harvest.
Usually, I buy a few bottles from different producers but always must have at least one created by Georges Duboeuf, the man responsible for the Beaujolais Nouveau marketing genius. This year I also have a Christophe Pacalet and a Laurence et Remi Dufaitre.
I am excited for the last one. It’s considered to be a ‘Good’ bottle. Rémi and Laurence are a young couple, who created a winery in Saint-Etienne-des-Oullières on the right bank of the Saone River in 2001 and have become well known in Paris as they produce many natural wines. Their vineyards are mainly in the village of Brouilly. Typically, their wines (and this Nouveau) are lighter, taste of fresh red fruits and are a lighter jewel toned color.
I am looking at a few more bottles with a Maison PUR Beaujolais-Nouveau being a top recommendation along with a Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Villages Nouveau (whose whites I am a fan of).
So now through December it is a good time to add a few bottles to your own holiday table or give a few away as gifts. And if you find one you like, let me know.