It's Beaujolais Nouveau time!
Beaujolais Nouveau, known for its youthful fresh and fruity character, became a global phenomenon in the 60s and 70s. For wine enthusiasts across the globe, the third Thursday in November (this year November 16th) was and is a day to celebrate the end of harvest with a drink of young wine - so young that it went from vine to bottle in eight weeks. Despite it's lack of complexity, it symbolizes joy and the culmination of a year's hard work in the vineyards. While the excitement of Beaujolais Nouveau Day is no longer as raucous as it once was, the raison d’etre remains. Beaujolais Nouveau, if you can find a bottle, is not meant for aging. It is best served chilled at 13 degrees Celsius. It is perfect for a casual sip or pairing with soft mild cheeses. Raise your glass wine lovers and join the online conversation with the Beaujolais Nouveau Day. Use hashtag #BeaujolaisNouveauDay and post your style on Facebook & Instagram.
For those interested in more, here are details about Beaujolais including more about the wine region, the grape - Gamay Noir and select producers to look for at your favorite wine shop.
Beaujolais lies directly south of prestigious Burgundy, in the central eastern region of France. Beaujolais has a rich geological history, a unique winemaking style and dedicated, famous producers. The region, Beaujolais, is a microcosm of complex soil from gravel, schist, clay and limestone. The vines grow predominantly on south facing slopes cooled by the Mediterranean winds baking in the abundant sunshine. Elevation is influenced by a range of mountains some as high as 1000 m. With more than 2,000 estates, 9 wine cooperatives, and 200 trading houses, the seriousness of Beaujolais can’t be understated. From four classifications of wine: Nouveau, Beaujolais, Beaujolais Village, and Cru (of which there are 10). along with its unique style of winemaking this is an altogether unique wine region. For more information on Beaujolais, check out this link.
In Beaujolais grape growers and winemakers cultivate and celebrate the grape - Gamay Noir. It's an old purple skinned variety that offers abundant crops and ripens early. The grape to which Beaujolais owes its reputation produces a wine that is typically medium bodied with fruity, red berry flavours. Cooler vineyard sites lean more towards red currant and warmer sites more towards blackberry with subtle floral notes like violets, spice like pepper and earthy undertones. For many wine lovers however. it is the low tannin profile that makes this wine a winner for everyday sipping. It’s quaffable - if that’s a word.
The Loire Valley’s region of Touraine is also noted for Gamay, often blended with Cot (Malbec) and Anjou which produces Gamay rosé. Diversity may be the key to understanding the wines of Beaujolais. In Canada, Gamay Noir is grown in both Ontario and British Columbia with great success.
Beaujolais & Gamay Noir Recommendations
Finding bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau may prove difficult. In fact, Nova Scotia Liquor Board announced that it will no longer bring in Beaujolais Nouveau. While none of the shops I called in Vancouver had "nouveau" coming in, the BC Liquor stores offers three styles. Here are two from the iconic producer George DuBoeuf.
George DuBoeuf Paper Label 2023, $25.99
George DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé 2023 $24.99
I hope you celebrate. Use hashtag #beaujolaisnouveauday and post your pictures on Facebook and Instagram. Tag @goodwinegal too! Thanks for reading and don't forget to leave a comment below and share with your community. This celebration only comes around once a year! On y va!
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