What is Beaujolais?
Beaujolais is a region in France, just south of Burgundy
What is Beaujolais Nouveau?
Beaujolais Nouveau is a wine made from Gamay grapes grown in the Beaujolais region. This wine is produced and released in the same year of its harvest.
When does Beaujolais Nouveau arrive?
Bottles of the current year’s Beaujolais Nouveau are officially released on the third Thursday of November.
What is the history of Beaujolais Nouveau?
In the 1950s, distributors began competing each year in a race to deliver the first bottles to Paris.
In the 1970s, winemaker and businessman Georges Duboeuf, a major producer of Beaujolais Nouveau, pushed and publicized the wine and the associated festivities.
Banners proclaiming “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!” were placed everywhere, and the race from Beaujolais to Paris attracted increasing media coverage each year.
Some spotlight-seeking wine merchants even make deliveries by elephant, rickshaw and/or motorcycle!!!!!!
Today, Beaujolais Nouveau is famous and the day of its release one of the biggest parties of the year.
How is Beaujolais Nouveau made?
Few other wines are produced, bottled, and released within a few weeks of the harvest.
The most strategic way to do this is to employ a winemaking method called carbonic maceration. Carbonic maceration is essentially the fermentation of grapes occurring inside the skins.
Traditionally, the winemaking process begins with the crushing of grapes; the juice of the grapes is pushed out of the skins and gradually ferments. For red wines, this juice is often left to sit with the skin so that tannins are extracted, giving the wine a fuller, more concentrated structure, and often adding some bitter flavors.
With carbonic maceration used in Beaujolais production, the grapes are not crushed. Rather, the grapes are piled on top of each other in a sealed container that is filled with carbon dioxide. More CO2 is emitted by the grapes on the bottom of the container, as it is gently crushed by the weight of the top grapes. All this carbon dioxide causes fermentation to take place inside the grape skins.
The resulting wine is fresh, fruity, and very low in tannins.
What Does Beaujolais Nouveau Taste Like?
It’s hard to say, because it tastes different every year. Every vintage is unique.
Typically, it’s a lot like grape juice. Beaujolais Nouveau will have very bright, fresh, red fruit flavors, such as cherry, strawberry, and raspberry.
Because of the lack of tannins, it should be very soft in the mouth, and easy to drink.
Beaujolais Nouveau is not a wine to sniff, swirl, and contemplate; it’s a wine to pour and party with!!!!
This year Beaujolais Nouveau will be released tomorrow on November 21st!!!
Ashley and I have made T-Shirts to wear tomorrow that say:
“Yay Beaujolais! #NouveauDay”
Check out this 2 min video on Beaujolais Nouveau: