Friday, November 20, 2009

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est Arrivé


Sometime in the postwar years, some commercial genius sitting behind a desk in Lyon came up with a brilliant plan. Take the gamay grapes harvested at the end of the summer, and rather than letting the wine mature according to the traditional methods, bottle it up and sell it quick. No, better than that, call it Beaujolais Nouveau and make the rush to get the first bottles to market on the third Thursday in November a badge of honor.

Give that man a gold star. Beaujolais Nouveau doesn't win a lot of prizes from the serious wine afficianados but it generates quite a media buzz plus a lot of export business. Of the 40 million bottles sold in 2008, 15.5 million were shipped abroad. The Japanese go gaga for it, accounting for about 40 percent of foreign consumption, and in the U.S., it's promoted as the perfect accompaniment to your Thanksgiving turkey.

The marketers have pronounced this year's vintage exceptional, crediting nearly optimal weather conditions in areas where the gamay grapes are cultivated. I enjoyed a glass with a plate of Lyonnais sausages for lunch yesterday and can only comment that it went down just fine.

6 comments:

Starman said...

I like Beaujolais Nouveau. Of course, I'm not even close to a connoisseur.

gadinga said...

Nice article. I like the topic of your blog - sort of reminds me of my own.

Happy Thanksgiving
gadinga
http://www.gadinga.com/notepad

Paris Lover said...

Nice little article that brought up some noce memories of Paris:)

expat said...

It's fashionable to deplore Beaujolais Nouveau as nothing more than a marketing success -- and it has very little appeal for under 25s, making me think it will eventually lose its popularity altogether. But if you actually go to the Beaujolais region you'll find it's taken quite seriously as an early indication of what the real Beaujolais will be like when it's ready. The process by which it's made -- macération carbonique -- takes as much skill to perfect as traditional fermentation.

Gator said...

The mere thought of Beaujolais Nouveau makes me want to vomit...

The thought that so many foreigners consume it thinking they're drinking good French wine, is even worse and very sad...

T.R. Clark said...

One of the best marketing schemes ever! However, I adore a Beaujolais Nouveau and all that it represents -- the approaching holidays and the better wines to be reaped from the harvest! I, by NO stretch of the imagination, think that I'm drinking a "good" French wine, but it makes a delightful little accompaniment to my Thanksgiving dinner! And, c'mon people -- sometimes isn't fun to to just loosen up and go with the flow? It's just life afterall -- we, none of us, will get out alive! Enjoy!

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