Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mark Your Calendars: Beaujolais Nouveau Day

Well, wine lovers, get your palates ready because Beaujolais Nouveau Day is right around the corner. This Thursday in fact! If you can read between the lines, maybe you sense my sincere lack of excitement. This day has become such an overblown marketing phenomenon that any anticipation or air of celebration that it may have had back in the day in France has dissipated. In the early days, the local village revelers poured pitchers of the stuff right from the grower's barrels to celebrate the new harvest. Now that sounds like fun.

These days it means signs in every wine store and restaurant window exclaiming Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé! It is a day of berets and bicycles and Georges Duboeuf. The date has been changed three times since the celebration's inception and this latest date (the third Thursday in November) was agreed upon by the French government as well as retailers and distributors around the world as a way to move the celebration closer to the weekend and squeeze as much out of the young grape juice as possible.

I hate to sound like a curmudgeon - I know as well as anybody that wine is meant to be fun - but I think I will take a pass this year. If you are going to join in the festivities, just remember, drink that wine on Thursday or within the year for sure, serve it slightly chilled — and, by all means, don't forget the beret. A votre sante!


  1. If you live in the Philadelphia/Wilmington area, Frank's Union Wine Mart is holding the "Frank's 2006 Beaujolais Nouveau Purple Tongue Party!" on Saturday, Nov. 18. I've never attended the event, but their website says that it is their 20th annual celebration of Beaujolais Nouveau. I'm hoping to get there this year and will hopefully post about it on the blog at WineLog.net. You can learn more about the event on the store's website.

  2. Hello Winemonkey,

    I will throw darts at it later, but since I'm a mere newbie to this fruit filled juice I think I will have to grab a bottle and get purple tongued whilst dancing to a little Milli Vanilli. An overblown wine, deserves a once over blown 80's group!

    Happy Sipping!


  3. It may be true that the world of Beaujolais has taken a turn...but tasting the new wine is part of the fun of living in a land that cherishes its wine.

    Expatriates in France--and around the world--are writing up their various experiences with the day. They don't focus just on the technical aspects of the wine but the cultural and social context in which it is shared.

    True, there is always the complaint that a honest event has been turned commercial. (I suppose that Beaujolais Day in the USA is "just hype" in the same way that Halloween is seen by skeptics as "all marketing" here in France.)

    So, if you want another perspective and would like to read what people who hale from foreign lands write about Le Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrivé!, stop by to find the list of writers.


    Meilleurs vœux!

  4. Thanks for the perspective and enjoy!