Friday, November 18, 2011


Beaujolais Nouveau is here! The first wine bottled from the 2011 vintage was officially released to the public yesterday (the third Thursday of November) amidst hype and celebrations. It’s a young, fun wine. Here are 10 facts so you're up to speed on this French phenomenon.
  1. Beaujolais is located in the region of Burgundy, France, where winemaking traces back to the Roman times. There are 2,500 Beaujolais growers in the region.
  2. By law, Beaujolais grapes must be harvested by hand and grown on individual, free standing vines. In 2011 the harvest started on August 24th across the 3,000 vineyards.
  3. Beaujolais Nouveau is made from 100% Gamay grapes, which have thinner skins than most grapes, causing a lower tannin level. The wine is meant to be served slightly cool, at about 55°F which makes it even more refreshing and fruit forward than if you serve it at room temperature.
  4. Beaujolais Nouveau owes its easy drinkability to a winemaking process called carbonic maceration, or whole-berry fermentation. This technique preserves the fresh, fruity quality of the wine, without extracting bitter tannins from the grape skins.
  5. Beaujolais Nouveau pairs beautifully with a range of foods, from casual dishes to holiday dishes such as turkey and ham. Because of the timing of its release, Beaujolais Nouveau is widely known as the ideal wine to serve at Thanksgiving.
  6. Originally, Beaujolais Nouveau was the wine of the vineyard workers, consumed to celebrate the end of harvest and giving them a first taste of the new vintage.
  7. In 1985, France passed a law requiring that Beaujolais Nouveau must always be released on the third Thursday in November all over the world.
  8. As a way to herald the wine’s official release, Beaujolais Nouveau countdown parties became popular throughout France and abroad. Now, Beaujolais Nouveau Day is a global celebration, much like New Year’s Eve or Fat Tuesday.
  9. More than 35 million bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau are expected to be consumed in the months following the wine’s release.
  10. Since arriving for the first time in the U.S. in 1982, the Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau label has featured a vibrant, one- of- a- kind design.
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