For over a hundred years it’s happened on the third Thursday in November. People anxiously await the arrival of the year’s releases of Beaujolais Nouveau. I’m not sure if the rush to be first in line is as big a deal as it used to be but it’s definitely still a highly anticipated event circled on many a wine lovers calendar.
So why the third Thursday in November you ask? Well, this date is defined by French law where the phenomenon began when local winemakers produced a quick maturing wine to celebrate the completion of the harvest with their workers. Called Beaujolais Nouveau or Beaujolais Primeur, it was fresh and fruity and easy to drink. As word of the tradition spread more and more people joined the celebration in something that today has become an international event.
This is not a wine that will ever be considered a classic like a well aged Bordeaux, in fact it’s not meant to be kept but drank immediately. So what’s all the hoopla about? Made from the Gamay grape, served chilled it’s easy drinking (not something you usually associate with a red wine) so think cheap and cheerful neighbourhood get together or just a reason to throw a party at this time of year. But even if you’re just planning to have a glass all by yourself this weekend, a big part of the fun is knowing you’ll be linked to millions of other people around the world all doing the same thing.
This year in Ontario the LCBO has 10 for sale with 2 actually coming from Ontario and I hear tell the one from Chateau des Charmes is quite good. Here’s what they have to offer:
The Fool Reif Estate Gamay Nouveau VQA, 750 mL, $9.95
Chateau des Charmes Generation Seven Nouveau VQA, 750 mL, $11.95
Mommessin Beaujolais Nouveau, 750 mL, $13.95
Catalans Primeur Syrah Merlot, 750 mL, $9.95
Jeanjean Syrah Primeur, 750 mL, $9.95
Duboeuf Gamay Nouveau, 750 mL, $8.95
Negrar Novello Del Veneto, 750 mL, $9.95
Tollo Novello Rosso Terre di Chieti, 750 mL, $8.95
In VINTAGES fine wine and premium spirits sections at select LCBO stores:
Beaujolais Villages Nouveau (Joseph Drouhin), 750 mL, $14.95
Beaujolais Villages Nouveau (G. Duboeuf), 750 mL, $14.95
I picked up my brand new Beau today and took him home for dinner (went for the Chateau des Charmes). But remember don’t wait too long, if you don’t take one home someone else will because these guys are not waiting around.
Let us know if you’ve try any, which ones you like or share why you’re not a fan at all.