The wine world has its own Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday.
The third Thursday of November is the annual uncorking of the Beaujolais Nouveau and it aptly dubbed "Nouveau Day.”
Beaujolais Nouveau is a young red wine made from handpicked Gamay grapes grown in the Beaujolais region of France. While most red wines improve with age, you have to drink the Beaujolais Nouveau quickly.
But only if you follow the rules. Under French law, the wine can only be released to the public at 12:01 a.m. on the third Thursday of November (I swear), just weeks after the wine's grapes have been harvested. And since the fermentation process is so short, the fruit wine with light tannins, should be consumed right away (or within a year of being made) and is best served slightly cooled.
That’s way many producers, including regional giant Georges Duboeuf, race to deliver the first of the vintage to the world. Thankfully Franck Duboeuf, co-owner of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf. Duboeuf and the founder of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, came by and brought the wine for us!
Duboeuf is one of the largest wine merchants in France and produces more than 2.5 million cases of wine annually, but he is almost single-handedly responsible for popularizing the annual Beaujolais Nouveau phenomenon.
Originally, Beaujolais Nouveau was consumed to celebrate the end of harvest and give a first taste of the new vintage. But it has morphed into more than that. Especially here in the United States because the wine goes perfectly with our American Thanksgiving dinner, and at suggested retail price is $10, it is affordable as well.
Each year the presentation of the wine has a theme and this year it’s “Nouveau Magic.” Marco Tempest, a techno-illusionist and virtual magician, presented the wine during his Nouveau Midnight Magic Show in New York City that night.
Because of not-so-favorable weather conditions in Beaujolais, France, the harvest is half the size of last year’s so there’s less Nouveau available. But Duboeuf says the quality is still there.
So grab a bottle for your Thanksgiving dinner.
And let’s face it, sometimes we could use a little magic to help us get through those big family dinners.