About to blow out its 70 candles, this year the Beaujolais Nouveau festival will not be celebrated like always, but will still respect its original goal: to give colour and taste to autumn! Of course, there will be no parties and frantic parades, but the pleasure of tasting a young, fresh and fascinating wine will certainly not be lacking.
Beaujolais Nouveau: a success story
The official story begins in 1951, when the French administration decided that “some wines with controlled appellation” could be sold before the legal date stated in the specification (at the time, 15th December). Thus was born the Beaujolais Nouveau. The date of its celebration, the third Thursday of November, was only set in 1985.
Synonymous with festivity and “French-style conviviality“, Beaujolais Nouveau is now celebrated all over the world: in France, of course, where it is served in all bistros and wine cellars in the country, but also in the United States, Germany and Japan, where even giant baths in the Beaujolais are organised. Almost half of the bottles produced, in fact, are destined for export.
Why is Beaujolais Nouveau so special?
Beaujolais Nouveau is a first choice wine: it is put on sale immediately after vinification (only one or two months after the end of the harvest), while most wines take several months, or even years, to age.
It is produced in the vineyards of Beaujolais, within the Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Villages appellation and, unlike many wines, it is produced from a single grape variety, the Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc (black Gamay with white juice).
Another curiosity concerns the unique vinification process. First of all, the harvest must be carried out exclusively by hand, after which the grapes are put into vats in whole bunches, which gives the wine its fruity character. Maceration lasts only four days.
If you are wondering where the banana or caramel flavours that sometimes characterise these wines come from, the answer is from a specific natural yeast added to the must during alcoholic fermentation.
How to consume Beaujolais Nouveau?
Beaujolais Nouveau is a de plaisir wine, crisp and easy to drink. It is not a wine suitable for ageing, so it is preferable to drink it within 6 months.
It goes very well with gastronomic dishes, regional cheeses (a Saint-Marcellin or a Saint-Félicien, for example) but also with grilled meats.
Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé !