Technically I missed it. Seems the Beaujolais Nouveau wine was released today but since the day is almost over…at least for me it is, I have to say that I missed it. I should have remembered that it is usually released on the third Thursday of November each year. There was a time some years ago when this was a very big deal. People used to have Beaujolais Nouveau parties when it was released. We used to attend those parties. Now it seems you hardly hear about it. Anyway, we usually try to pick up a couple of bottles and like to drink it on Thanksgiving. Sometimes its very good and other times it’s rough going. How about you? Do you have fond memories of drinking Beaujolais?
10 Fun Facts About Beaujolais Nouveau
1. Beaujolais [BOE-zjoh-lay] Nouveau is always released the third Thursday of November, regardless of the start of the harvest.
2. The region of Beaujolais is 34 miles long from north to south and 7 to 9 miles wide. There are nearly 4,000 grape growers who make their living in this picturesque region just north of France's third largest city.
3. All the grapes in the Beaujolais region must be picked by hand. These are the only vineyards, along with Champagne, where hand harvesting is mandatory.
4. Gamay (Gamay noir à Jus Blanc) is the only grape permitted for Beaujolais. While certain California wineries may label their wine "Gamay Beaujolais" this is not the same grape variety as what is grown in France, and is quite different in taste and growing habits.
5. Beaujolais Nouveau cannot be made from grapes grown in the 10 crus (great growths) of Beaujolais-only from grapes coming from the appellations of Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Villages.(Excuse me? I think that one went right over my pea-sized head!)
6. Beaujolais Nouveau owes its easy drinkability to a winemaking process called carbonic maceration—also called whole berry fermentation. This technique preserves the fresh, fruity quality of the wine, without extracting bitter tannins from the grape skins.
7. Beaujolais Nouveau is meant to be drunk young-in average vintages it should be consumed by the following May after its release. However, in excellent vintages (such as 2000) the wine can live much longer and can be enjoyed until the next harvest rolls around.
8. Serve Beaujolais Nouveau slightly cool, at about 55 degrees Fahrenheit-the wine is more refreshing and its forward fruit more apparent than if you serve it at room temperature.
9. Approximately 1/3 of the entire crop of the Beaujolais region is sold as Beaujolais Nouveau.
10. The region of Beaujolais is known for its fabulous food. This quintessential food wine goes well with either haute cuisine or Tuesday night's meat loaf.