Le Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived
Today, 19 November is Beaujolais Nouveau day – Le Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived, as it does every third Thursday of November.
Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France.
It is the most popular vin de primeur, fermented for just a few weeks before being released for sale on the third Thursday of November.
This “Beaujolais Nouveau Day” used to see heavy marketing, with races to get the first bottles to different markets around the globe.
The current release practice is to ship the wine ahead of the third Thursday of November, and release it to the local markets at 12:01 a.m. local time.
Beaujolais Nouveau is probably the most famous of the young wines called ‘primeurs’ in France, where virtually every region has a primeur that comes onto the market on the same day as Beaujolais Nouveau.
Some people are a little snobby about Beaujolais Nouveau, saying that it is a bad wine and much too young to drink.
Most of the ideas regarding Beaujolais Nouveau are around the festivities and celebrations – there are often parties and special meals in restaurants in France and throughout the world.
Beaujolais nouveau is a purple-pink wine reflecting its youth, bottled only 6-8 weeks after harvest.
The method of production means that there is very little tannin, and the wine can be dominated by such fruity ester flavours as banana, grape, strawberry, fig and pear drops.
The wine is recommended to be slightly chilled to 13°C (55°F).
Beaujolais nouveau is intended for immediate drinking.
While some nouveau can be kept for a few years, there’s no real reason to, as it doesn’t improve with age.
For comparison, standard Beaujolais AOC wines are released the following year and can be stored for one or more years before consuming.
The wines show definite variation between vintages, and as such are considered to be an early indicator of the quality of the year’s regional wine harvest.