Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive!
The third Thursday of November is the official release of this fruity red wine.
Beaujolais Nouveau is made from Gamay grapes grown around Lyon, France. The grapes are harvested, fermented a short time (typically six weeks or so), and then shipped around the world.
Technically, the wine is not sold until 12:01am on the official date, creating quite a buzz of excitement for those who consider this a traditional start to the holiday season. I managed to score two bottles on Tuesday and quickly smuggled the contraband into the house before the wine police arrived.
I am no oenophile (wine connoisseur), and this wine is not at all sophisticated. It is too young and immature to develop any complexity. Instead, it is fresh, fruity, and light. It pairs well with appetizers or a Thanksgiving turkey. It is a wine for jeans and-t-shirts; not fancy dinner dresses. And that suits me just fine.
This particular wine is bottled early and intended for immediate consumption. There is no need to let the wine “breathe” – just open, pour, and serve. Because the wine is meant to be enjoyed early, it does not improve with age. Typically, the fall vintage is depleted by Easter.
Here in the midwest, we have two choices of nouveau wine: Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages. To be honest, I do not know the official difference, but I always conduct a taste test.
Typically the Village is a bit more rich; it has a little more depth. And I often find it is worth the extra dollar in price. But others may prefer the lighter version. I would highly recommend buying one of each and conducting your own blind tasting.
The Beaujolais region also offers more traditional styles of red wine made from the Gamay grape. If you enjoy this refreshing holiday beverage, you might want to try one of the other ten varietals. (For a detailed, comprehensive list, please visit Wine Facts Online).
Now that we have selected our preference, we need to head out and buy a case of the Villages to enjoy throughout the Christmas season.