Red grape clusters dangling from cafes, wine shops, and awnings across France, a sure sign that it's Beaujolais Nouveau time again. The ubiquitous Georges Deboeuf label and Cafe de la Comedie at the Louvre/Place Colette.
Thursday, November 19, the third Thursday of November, is the official release date of this festive, fruity red wine that celebrates the end of the harvest and gives a preview of this year’s vintage.
According to French law, Beaujolais Nouveau, made from 100 percent Gamay grapes, is released at one minute past midnight on every third Thursday of November. This decades-old tradition is celebrated worldwide with creative “Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrivé!” events, heralding the wine’s arrival.
This year is truly a reason to celebrate. Georges Duboeuf, who single-handedly created this phenomenon, has proclaimed this year’s harvest as “the best of the last 50 years.”
Caveat: This is a re-re-regift from the past few years with the date below updated....
Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé! The New Beaujolais has arrived! In a rare display of marketing acumen, a practice normally scorned and reviled throughout French vineyards, the Beaujolais producers created not only an event but a tradition that has now permeated even the smallest wine shops around the world. What began as a local celebration of the yearly release is now a global phenomenon, with French decree that the release of Beaujolais Nouveau is to be no earlier than midnight on the third Thursday of November.
So tomorrow at 12:01 a.m. November 19, 2009, over a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau will begin their journey to all corners of the world via Fedex, La Poste, Vespas, wheelbarrows, rickshaws, camels, and any other mode of transportation imaginable. With over 120 million bottles produced, over half will be consumed almost immediately. And with the increasingly elaborate methods of wine production, it’s remarkable that barely a month earlier the wine was still encased in grapes. A quick harvest, swift fermentation and even faster bottling, badda-bing-badda-boom!, it is ready to ship on the third Thursday of every November! The Gamay grapes are pressed within a few days of picking, thus eliminating the astringent tannins normally attributed to red wines, so Beaujolais is much lighter, fruity and tres easy to drink. To me it tastes like Kool-Aid but then again my wine knowledge would fit in a thimble...so enjoy! Cheers!