We all want to be the discoverer; the one in the know. There’s always that one person who knows about something really cool before everyone else. Jerks. But that jerk could be you!! Beaujolais is making a comeback, but it’s still in its beginning stages of come-back-ness. This means you could still possibly be the first to bring this wine to a party and be the discoverer!
Interestingly enough, I am seeing a couple shifts in red wine taste at the moment. You do still have the wine snobs, they are set in their ways. Just smile, nod and back away slowly. This shift however, is happening and it’s moving towards old world grapes. There has been a shift in red wines to spicy and/or fruity. A few years ago it was Malbec. Everyone and their mother wanted Malbec. Now, believe it or not, tastes are moving to sweeter reds (more fruit forward). I’ve gotten the question pretty often over the last year or so, “Do you know of any sweeter reds?” I do and Beaujolais Nouveau is one of them (Disclaimer: this mightn’t be you at all, don’t freak out). Let’s learn a little bit about Beaujolais and Beaujolais Nouveau; what they are, where do they come from and why this time of year is important for Beaujolais Nouveau.
The Beaujolais wine region is located north of Lyon, France. The wine is traditionally made from the Gamay grape. Beaujolais is characteristically lower in tannin, higher in acidity and therefore light bodied. This comes almost directly from the Gamay grape having a thin skin (Skin being the place where many wines receive their tannin or dryness). Beaujolais was extremely popular in the 19th century and from this popularity Beaujolais Nouveau was created.
The Beaujolais Nouveau craze really began in the 1980s, where lighter, fruitier wines were preferred over heavy reds for easy drinking. Georges Duboeuf, a lucrative marketer caught on to these high sales and tried to capitalize Beaujolais Nouveau’s success. This craze didn’t last too long and soon Beaujolais and its sister wine Beaujolais Nouveau fell off the map.
Duboeuf wasn’t finished with Beaujolais Nouveau and continued on to create “Beaujolais Nouveau Day,” the third Thursday in November (that was last week!!). It has become the most popular early release wine day, where the wine is fermented only a few weeks before going on sale. Didn’t get your Beaujolais Nouveau last week? You’re still in luck! You can still find bottles of this slightly sweet, very fruity, highly acidic red delight.
Hey, you can’t say you don’t like it until you’ve tried it. Now you know the story and can tell everyone why you’re bringing Beaujolais Nouveau to the party. Now, how do those commercials go? Oh yea! Discover Beaujolais.