If you want a light, fruity, and refreshing red wine, Beaujolais Nouveau may be what you want. This unique wine is produced and bottled right after harvest, making it very easy to drink. Note that it is only released once a year in November, so if you want to try, get ready for its annual launch.
Qualities of Beaujolais Nouveau
The wine has a distinctive purple-pink color and a fruity aroma. Unlike other wines, Beaujolais Nouveau is produced using whole berry fermentation. This process keeps the fresh and fruity qualities of the wine and gets rid of bitter tannins found in the grape's skin. The wine is meant to be consumed immediately and not aged like many other varieties of wine. It is bottled six to eight weeks after it is first harvested.
This wine is quite inexpensive and appeals to those who don't usually drink wine. The downside is that is does not age well and should be consumed within the first year of production. This means that is should not be saved in your wine collection or kept to give as a gift later in the year. The wine has a slight vinegar odor produced from the fermentation process, which is sometimes more pronounced in some Beaujolais Nouveau than others.
Tasting the Wine
Beaujolais Nouveau tastes slightly different each year it is produced. The light, fresh, fruity and sweet flavor is always present, but can have different notes such as:
This wine can be compared to a white rather than a red and is easy to drink with a variety of foods. It should be served chilled to bring out the fresh flavors. Even those who do not drink wine will appreciate the mild, sweet qualities of this wine. It can be compared to a wine cooler.
Since there are virtually no tannins in this wine, you will want to serve it with simple foods. Cheeses, fruits, grilled chicken, roasted turkey, and seafood all pair well with Beaujolais Nouveau and will complement the wine's light and refreshing flavor.
In late November, look for this wine in the racks of your local wine stores and supermarkets. It is typically priced around $10 a bottle, making it an affordable option to try. Top producers of the wine include:
- Georges Duboeuf
- Henry Fessy
- Joseph Drouhin
- Louis Jadot
Some sites online that carry a selection of Beaujolais Nouveau include:
- Mora's Wines: Expect to find this wine from producers such as Georges Duboeuf for under $6.
- Wine Chateau: Find wines such as Henry Fessy's wine at less than $9 a bottle.
- Wine.com: Search wines from names such as Georges Duboeuf, Joseph Drouhin, and Louis Jadot all at discounted prices.
Once a Year Tradition
Made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France, this red wine is released for sale on the third Thursday of November each year. French law prevents the wine from being released any earlier and requires that all grapes in the Beaujolais region be picked by hand.
Consumers around the world wait for its release each year and make it a tradition. There are festivals around France in honor of the wine's release as well as parties worldwide. Many restaurants feature this wine on their menus as a special fall offering to their customers as well.
Light and Tasty Wine Experience
If you want to experience a unique taste in wine, wait until late November and discover the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau. This light wine will go great with your Thanksgiving dinner and will be a delightful treat for all your guests.