November 15: Beaujolais Nouveau Day!
Beaujolais Nouveau Day is marked annually in France on the third Thursday in November with fireworks, music and an irresistible joie-de-vivre. Under French law, the wine is stored under lock and key until its release at 12:01am., just weeks after the wine’s grapes have been harvested.
As the wine is produced quickly – over 6 to 8 weeks – the Beaujolais Nouveau is intended to be drunk as a young wine and most vintages should be consumed within the weeks following its release. In excellent vintages however (such as 2000), the wine will improve with age.
What are the characteristics of this wine?
This cherry-coloured drop is best served chilled and savoured slowly, and despite its humble roots as a wine for guzzling, to quoff such a bottle would cause heartache to sommeliers the world over! A quick fermentation process avoids the bitter tannins of the grapes’ skin and creates a clean and fruity profile that pleases the palates of the world’s most fervent connoisseurs.
The storied Gamay grapes that go into Beaujolais Nouveau are handpicked solely in the Beaujolais province of France, just north of Lyon. This primeur originated around a century ago as a cheap and cheerful drink produced by locals to celebrate the end of the harvest season. Selling this young red wine was viewed by some winemakers as a means to clear large quantities of wine at decent profits, which created much-needed cash flow shortly after harvest.
It seems the French have been somewhat less enthusiastic about the Beaujolais Nouveau over the last 12 years, with “Inter-Beaujolais” finding that sales in France have fallen by 62% over the period. Interestingly, the Japanese and South Koreans have developed a fondness for the blend, with reports that more extravagant devotees have a penchant for bathing themselves in tubs brimming with the hot wine!
Source : L’Internaute
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