Friday, November 19, 2010

The Beaujolais Nouveau

The wine we were all waiting for...
Finally the 18th of November arrived, the day when corks pop around the world as lovers of Beaujolais nouveau mark the start of a new French vintage by enjoying large amounts of the popular drink.

At one past midnight on the third Thursday of every November over a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau start their journey from little villages through a sleeping France to Paris for immediate shipping to all over the world.  For a few short days, banners everywhere proclaim “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive”

Once a local tradition, has now become an international race to bring the Beaujolais Nouveau to markets all over the world.  When you read this more than 65 million bottles representing nearly half the region’s total production, will have been distributed and drunk around the world.


What is so special about the Beaujolais Nouveau?
When the tradition started, the wine producers of the area created a “wine of the year” to celebrate the end of the harvest.  The wine was only fermented for a few weeks, as was meant for immediate consumption.  But then just before the Second World War it was established an AOC for the Beaujolais Nouveau and the release date for the Beaujolais Nouveau became fixed each year. 

With time, wine producers began to see the marketing potential of the Beaujolais Nouveau and by the 1970s its release and the race to get the first bottles to Paris became a national event.  The race to deliver the first bottles soon spread all over the country and to other European countries.  In the 1990s the race extended to Asia and North America.  The race to deliver the first bottles is so tight that one year even a Concorde was used to deliver the Beaujolais Nouveau. 

Is a Beaujolais Nouveau “that” especial? 
Not really...  Many people agree that the Beaujolais Nouveau comes from the region’s worst vineyards; a wine barely removed from the fermentation vat; a wine that is just pleasantly tart. 

However, I still run to my nearest wine provider yesterday to be able to get a few bottles of the Beaujolais Nouveau 2010.  I was a week late last year and I couldn’t find a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau left in my local wine provider’s cave.  I didn’t make that mistake this year, I was there right on the spot the 18th of November, I had a try at several bottles and came out triumphantly with my load of Beaujolais Nouveau ready for this weekend degustation party.

I find that it is not much about the taste but more about the game.  I am sure plenty of us will still enjoy getting caught up in the ritual.   It is always fun to meet at the local restaurants and bars to try a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau with friends.  Cheers! 

Wine: its therapeutical uses:

Wine has been used to relieve conditions such as anaemia, hypertension, hypotension, rheumatism, gout, obesity, dyspepsia among many other things. Unlike modern medical advice, the French used to drink wine even during pregnancy due to the richness in minerals of certain wines such us the rouges from Bordeaux.

You can learn more about wine's therapeutical uses here.

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