It's time once again to wallow in or disregard the hype around Beaujolais Nouveau, a young red wine made from the Gamay grape and bottled just 6-8 weeks after the grapes are hand-picked. Sellers of the fruity juvey wine always make a big deal out of this as part of a shrewd marketing campaign capitalizing on a French law that prohibits selling the wine before the third Thursday in November. Today is that third Thursday, so here we are. Who's got an opener?
The biggest producer of the stuff, Georges Duboeuf, sent a T-shirt and bottle to Gothamist HQ which we are maturely waiting to open until the sun is over the yardarm. Last night Duboeuf shoveled a lot of money into flashy wine party at the Highline Ballroom to uncork the first bottles at midnight—preceded by a "virtual magician" named Marco Tempest and a hammered dulcimer player. Yeah, shit got wild.
Anyway, we can report that this year's Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau is quite vibrant and flavorful, and makes a great (and inexpensive!) bottle to bring to a Thanksgiving dinner. The harvest in the Beaujolais region this year was as low as its been in a decade, but the quality is high because the berries have been small and concentrated, making for a more complex vintage. It's best enjoyed slightly chilled, and with this guy playing in the background:
Some facts to enthrall your date as you're plying her (or him!) with wine: The first Nouveau vintage was released in 1951, making this the 60th anniversary edition. Beaujolais Nouveau was originally the wine of the vineyard workers, consumed to celebrate the end of harvest and giving them a first taste of the new vintage. By law, Beaujolais grapes must be harvested by hand and grown on individual, free standing vines in the region of Burgundy. And Bob Dylan recorded his acclaimed album Another Side Of Bob Dylan in one night in 1964 over a bottle of Beaujolais.