16 November 2021

Boozy rouge

Two-day countdown to celebrating this year's Beaujolais Nouveau.

Thursday November 18th


Yesterday I was asked by a tourist at a local café, "What region of France does Beaujolais come from?" Of course the answer is Beaujolais, but it struck me, slightly, like that old trick question, "Who is buried in Grant's tomb?"

Mais c'est vrai... It's not obvious.

 American wines harken to grape varieties - Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris... Whereas French wines are all about the region: Burgundy,
Alsace, Armagnac and Cognac, Beaujolais and Lyonnais, Bordeaux, Champagne (and only Champagne please), Jura, Provence.... The wide variety of climates in France translates into a wide variety of wines, each region's wines endowed with overall attributes such as light, sweet, acidic.... 

The huge U.S. wine market has been and still is driven by the concept of "single varietal" wines as blending was seen as a way of improving poor quality wine, whereas in France the historic approach has been to bring the best of everything to make the end-product greater than the sum of the parts with blends... be that as Chablis, Claret, Burgundy or Beaujolais....  More single varietal wines - not necessarily AOPs - are being shipped to the U.S. and "regional" labels now include varietals, primarily because of exporting to the U.S.

 This year's Beaujolais Nouveau, a primeur or young wine, is expected to be round and fruity and, as every year, and in my opinion, best sampled with a planche of charcuteries. - BPJ

Where to find it

Also in supermarkets and wine shops everywhere

5-10 euros a bottle

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