It’s Beaujolais Nouveau time

BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU: Grapes must be hand-picked. BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU: Grapes must be hand-picked.

THIS year’s Beaujolais Nouveau will by now have been heralded in various parts of the world after being held in bonded warehouses for release at one minute past midnight (CET) today, the third Thursday of November.

A red wine from Gamay grapes grown in the Beaujolais region of France, nearly 4,000 vineyards produce the 12 officially designated types of Beaujolais Nouveau.

Initially meant to celebrate the end of the harvest and intended only for local consumption, around 70 years ago producers saw the potential for marketing Beaujolais Nouveau and the idea of a race to Paris carrying the first bottles of the new vintage was consequently born.

This attracted wide media coverage, and by the 1990s it had become an international event. The wine - from grapes which by law must be picked by hand - has a short fermentation period and is bottled only six to eight weeks after harvest.

Purplepink, fresh and very low in tannins, Beaujolais Nouveau’s fruity flavours include banana, figs and grapes. Definite variations between vintages are an early indicator of the quality of the year’s regional harvest and it is recommended to serve Beaujolais Nouveau slightly chilled to 13ºc (55ºf), ideally with light meals, and within six months from harvest.

While connoisseurs do not regard it as a great wine, I feel it is worth trying.

Sante’ and Happy tasting!

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