Beaujolais Nouveau Day, 17 November 2022
Every year, Beaujolais Nouveau Day celebrates the release of France’s most popular vin de primeur (early wine). A light and fruity red made from Gamay grapes which have been grown and harvested by around 400 small farmers in the Beaujolais region, it’s bottled and sold within just 6-8 weeks of the grapes being picked.
The 'must' (freshly picked grape juice) is pressed after only three days, so the astringent tannins usually found in red wine are hardly noticeable. As a result, Beaujolais Nouveau is almost like a white wine, despite its purple-pink colour. Expect the bright, fresh, red-fruit flavours of strawberry, raspberry and cherry, plus notes of banana, grape and pear drop which bring to mind the childhood flavours of bubble-gum.
How to serve
Slightly chilled at about 13°c - and generously. It doesn’t improve with age, so enjoy the moment.
Since the 1800s, Beaujolais growers have made and drunk early wines to celebrate the end of the harvest. Now Beaujolais Nouveau is drunk all over the world, especially in the US, UK, and Japan where they're mad about it. The 1960s saw the start of the obsession with getting the new vintage before anyone else, and what began as a sprint to get the wine to Paris spread to become a race to get bottles to scores of locations across the world. It’s now a quirky international event.
Serious or frivolous?
This is definitely in the fun category: the wine is inexpensive and easy-drinking, with the joy coming from taking part in an international wine moment each year. Even the labels are lively and part of the experience is finding out how the new bottles will be dressed.
Strictly for drinking?
No, you can cook with it too - traditionally in coq au vin or to poach pears.
Reserve your Beaujolais Nouveau 2022 now - but be quick, when it's gone, it's gone!