Posted by R.K. Gella
Wading in fantastic burgundy tinted spas under colossal bottles of Beaujolais, the celebration was in style of which only Japanese wine buffs could pull off, as they inaugurated the coming of Beaujolais Nouveau.
A young and vibrant wine, it’s France’s early gift to the world and the first wine released from this year’s harvest.
While the rest of the world plays catch up with Japan – who had the advantage of beginning the new day – it wouldn’t be curious to find wine drinkers purple toothed by lunchtime.
In their defense, the wine meant is to be drunk immediately, as most of this vintage will begin to decline after Christmas.
Produced from Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc, known otherwise as Gamay, in the region of Beaujolais, the wine is zesty and youthful, with spiked fruitiness benefiting from carbonic maceration.
Released every third Thursday of November, the wine has gained a following around the world, particularly in France where festivities will occupy the streets. In the US the wine is purchased at bargain prices ($9-$12) and has become somewhat of a Thanksgiving tradition.
Although the wine has its detractors and flaws, over the next couple of months an estimated 65 million bottles will be consumed. A good percentage of that will occur today. (I’ve begun my share.)
However, with a steady loss in profits since 2004, and the culmination of a bad harvest – the worst since 1975 – and a hard hit economy, many winemakers are validated in their apprehensions.
“Despite low yields due to bad weather this year, we didn’t change the Beaujolais Nouveau’s price much because we know it’s hard for our customers in times of crisis,” said Nicolas Pasqua, manager of Ma Bourgogne, a Paris restaurant specializing in Beaujolais and Bourgogne wine, near the Champs-Elysees.
But for today at least, most of the worry will be left for tomorrow as the world raises their glasses and celebrates because “Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé!”