What is Beaujolais Wine?

Beaujolais is a region in France. It’s part of Burgundy and sits just south of Mâcon. The red grape variety of Beaujolais is Gamay. Click here to learn more about the characteristics of the Gamay Noir grape variety. With very few exceptions, you won’t see the grape variety listed on a bottle of Beaujolais. French wines are more often recognized — and labelled — by the region, not by the grape.

What is Beaujolais Nouveau?

In short, it’s an early release wine. Very early! Beaujolais Nouveau wine is released on the same day every year: the third Thursday in November. Within two months of the beginning of harvest, millions of bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau are bottled, package and shipped around the world from France to be consumed immediately. A fresh, lively wine, Beaujolais Nouveau is meant to be consumed young.

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Image Source: Imbibe

The Origin of Beaujolais Nouveau Wines

Originally, Beaujolais Nouveau was meant to reward vineyard workers with a taste of the wine that all their hard work was creating. Grape farmers drank Beaujolais Nouveau wine in the field with a baguette and some brie for their lunch break. This developed into a need for earnings while the wines were ageing and eventually evolved into a well-advertised spectator event. People would race from the southernmost region of Burgundy to Paris and London, their trunks filled with cases of the newest vintage to deliver to thirsty consumers. Now, over 30 million bottles of this super fruity Gamay wine are sold with the release of Beaujolais Nouveau, in over a hundred countries, on a calculated date: the third Thursday of November. In some parts of the world, people are lined up outside wine stores before opening, waiting impatiently for their crack at this young wine.

What’s All the Fuss About Beaujolais Nouveau?

It doesn’t suit everyone’s taste, but even those who believe they have an evolved palate can’t help but pick up a bottle to remind themselves what all the fuss is about. Bottled just weeks after picking, the colour is bright purple with a pink hue. High acidity, low tannins, fresh fruit and a candied quality that can only come from carbonic maceration is the key to this easy-drinking red. You’ll get candied strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, and its signature banana chips and bubble gum. Chill and enjoy right away. This is not a wine meant to be cellared. In fact, if it lasts through the holidays, you’ll want it gone before the end of Spring.

Celebrate the Harvest with Beaujolais Nouveau Wine

Marketing scam or not, there is a place on our tables for Beaujolais Nouveau. It’s delicious with turkey dinner and outstanding with baked ham. Not only does it pair well with holiday meals, it’s a way to celebrate the harvest by enjoying the most current vintage. After all, isn’t the enjoyment of wine the reason we drink it?