a day and wine not to be missed!
each year on the third thursday of november, a wine called beaujolais nouveau hits the shelves worldwide. this marks beaujolais nouveau day, celebrating the wine, region and it's release. winemakers and retailers are not allowed to sell the wine before this date.
in france, there are over 100 official celebrations, and worldwide over 65 million bottles of beaujolais nouveau will be consumed.
beaujolais is a wine region tucked away in the burgundy region of the alps. for centuries, the wine was a local affair, not drunk or respected elsewhere in the world.
in 1951 some marketing wizards wanted to make this wine widely known and more profitable. so, they cut back on restrictions of when they could release the newest vintages to the middle of november, and called it beaujolais nouveau day! in addition to this, they conjured up an annual race to see who could get their products to the paris markets first!
this new wine, and the race, was a smash hit, the media loved it, and by the 1970's beaujolais nouveau day was a national hit!
a few facts:
the wine is produced by hand-picked gamay grapes only
only 2 appellations in burgundy can produce this wine; beaujolais and beaujolais villages, covering 11,000 hectares of vineyards
it is best drunk slightly chilled (about 13degs) and within 6 months of its release
its taste is due to a technique called carbonic maceration, where juice is extracted from the grape without tannins from the skin
so, sit back, open a bottle and enjoy with a plate of charcuterie and soft cheeses!