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Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé!

 french sign advertising the beaujolais nouveau.

Today(Thursday) at one minute past midnight it was the official start of "Beaujolais Day", when the red wine made from the Gamay grapes in the Beaujolais region of France is released throughout France and across the world. This "Beaujolais Day" sees races to get the first bottles to markets around the world, with many publicity events and heavy advertising.

french sign announcing the arrival of the beaujolais nouveau.

Here’s a few facts about the Beaujolais nouveau:

  • Beaujolais Nouveau is always released on the third Thursday of November.
  • The region of Beaujolais is situated north of France's third largest city, Lyon.
  • Beaujolais Nouveau is made with a process called carbonic maceration—also called whole berry fermentation. This technique preserves the fresh, fruity quality of the wine, without extracting bitter tannins from the grape skins. It is bottled only 6-8 weeks after harvest. The wine is recommended to be slightly chilled to 13°C (55°F).
  • Beaujolais Nouveau is a fruity, light-bodied and easy-to-drink red wine. It is
    meant for immediate drinking and not for keeping, unlike most other wines which improve and mature with age. (Sounds ideal for me!)
  • All the grapes in the Beaujolais region must be picked by hand and only the Gamay (Gamay noir à Jus Blanc) grape is permitted for Beaujolais.
  • In the 1970’s, the release of the Beaujolais Nouveau became a national event after members of the Union Interprofessionnelle des Vins du Beaujolais (UIVB) and in particular Georges Duboeuf, saw the potential in selling wine within weeks of the harvest. Hence the idea was born of a race to Paris carrying the first bottles of the new vintage.
  • Duboeuf remains the biggest producer of Beaujolais Nouveau; unlike the labels of his other wines, his Nouveau features a colourful abstract design that changes every year.
colourful Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau wine labels.
 french market stall of beaujolais nouveau.

I am far from being a wine connoisseur, but I do know that I like red wine, white wine, rosé wine, sweet desert wine and bubbly wine. So I’m off out now to get myself a bottle of this Beaujolais Nouveau, which I will quaff, sorry savour this evening in front of the log-burner. I’ll let you know what I think…

À votre santé!

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