Beaujolais Nouveau Day is one of the most famous dates in the wine calendar. This deliciously fresh and energetic red become available one minute after the strike of midnight on the third Thursday of November each year.
What makes Beaujolais so special?
Beaujolais is a well-known wine region in the southern part of Burgundy, France. The wines of Beaujolais are mainly distinguished by two characteristics; they are made with the single grape variety Gamay using a distinctive wine production method known as carbonic maceration. During this process, the grapes are added to the tank, without destemming, so the bunches at the bottom are being crushed under the weight of the above ones. The grapes at the bottom start to ferment naturally, releasing some carbon dioxide as a by-product of fermentation. The carbon dioxide then goes up and blankets the upper bunches. As a result of being in an anaerobic environment, the grapes at the top start to ferment inside the berry (intracellular fermentation). After a few days, the grapes are crushed, pressed and fermented normally.
Le Beaujolais Nouveau
What started as a local celebration to mark the end of harvest, has become an international celebration of the new vintage. Historically, this young wine was drunk by the vineyard workers, and known locally for centuries. Le Beaujolais Nouveau gradually spread across France, followed by international success in the 20th century and soon enough, half of the wines produced in the region were sold as Beaujolais Nouveau. Although the demand dropped at the end of 20th century, it has seen some revival, thanks to better production methods, often including traditional fermentation. By law, the sale can only start one minute past midnight on the third Thursday of November, which is known worldwide as Beaujolais Nouveau Day.
Le Beaujolais Nouveau (meaning new in French) takes no more than two months following the harvest to be ready. Therefore, unlike most other wines, it is released almost immediately after the harvest. This primeur wine is particularly appealing to consumers who prefer light red wines with low tannins and is perfect for early drinking. Refreshing, juicy and cheerful with distinct aromas of candied fruit, banana and bubble gum, it is deliciously fresh and tastes even better when slightly chilled.
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