What is Beaujolais Nouveau?
Beaujolais Nouveau is “new” Beaujolais, a red wine made with Gamay grapes, the most well known in wine region, Beaujolais.
What makes it “new”, is that it has only been a few short weeks since it was picked, crushed, fermented, then bottled.
It can only be released for sale from the third Thursday in November.
The tradition is actually quite old, going as far back as the 1800s, when winemakers would come together to toast the end of another harvest with some of the "early” wine from that vintage.
It was very much a local affair, in and around in Lyon.
Then, the celebrations started to spread with a bit of competition to see who would be first to get the wine to Paris. Then London. Then New York.
As a young, fresh wine, it’s meant to be consumed almost immediately.
It goes really well with Christmas dinner too.
But it’s no gimmick, at least not any more.
Robert Parker described the better vintages as "delicious, zesty, exuberant, fresh, vibrantly fruity".
With the Beaujolais Villages Nouveau, the Gamay grapes come from the top “cru” vineyards. And in the hands of great winemakers, these are seriously good wines. Still, fun, mind you. Just as it should be.