Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A New Vintage

People just love new stuff. That new car smell, a new car, new clothes...and of course new wine! So people just line up, place orders, and can't wait to get their hands on the 2010 Beaujolais Nouveau that is released the 3rd Thursday of November, which happens to be this Thursday November 18th.

Beaujolais Nouveau is sometimes considered young and immature to many a 'seasoned' wine drinker, but it's fruity, jammy flavors make it approachable to many and also a possible gateway into some of the wines of France. It's also the perfect wine for Thanksgiving which is next week.

According to Wikipedia, Beaujolais Nouveau, made from the Gamay grape, always had a huge event to celebrate its end of harvest but not until the end of WWII were the wines available to the public. Negociant Georges Dubouef saw the marketing potential of this wine and worked with the UIVB to promoting this 'new Beaujolais'. Not only was it a way to clear lots of wine for a great profit, but selling wine within weeks of the harvest was great for cash flow. Hence the idea was born of a race to Paris carrying the first bottles of the new vintage. This attracted a lot of media coverage, and by the 1970s had become a national event. The races spread to neighbouring countries in Europe in the 1980s, followed by North America, and in the 1990s to Asia. In 1985, the date was changed to the third Thursday in November to take best advantage of marketing in the following weekend.

This "Beaujolais Day" is accompanied by publicity events and heavy advertising. The traditional slogan, even in English-speaking countries, was “Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivĂ©!” (literally, "The new Beaujolais has arrived!"), but in 2005 this was changed to "It's Beaujolais Nouveau Time!".
So this Thursday, visit the French Embassy, or your local wine shop for fun, friends, and free wine because 'It's Beaujolais Nouveau Time!'

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