Beaujolais Nouveau is made from Gamay grapes, which have thinner skins than other red wine grapes, making for less tannins. This amount of less tannins also make it necessary to drink the wine while it is young (within 6-12 months) because the tannins are what allows the wines to age gracefully. This years harvest started in mid September and the fermenting lasted for about 6-8 weeks. The grapes are harvested by hand and go through the “carbonic maceration” or whole berry fermentation. Whole clusters of grapes are loaded into vats and the fermentation actually takes place within the grape. This process produces very fruit forward and light wines without any tannins.
It is usually not very expensive and will also go great with all of the different foods involved with Thanksgiving dinners. It is not a coincidence that it is always release the week before Thanksgiving! It is best served slightly chilled, somewhere between 55-65 degrees. Don’t expect the a lot from this wine, it is not going to be very complex. It is just fun to taste the first release of the recent harvest and is usually a sign of what the 2009 French vintages might be like once they are released in a couple of years. If the nouveau is good, then usually the other French releases will be good as well. From what I understand, the French are very excited about this Nouveau and the future 2009 releases! Some are calling it a vintage of a lifetime, but only time will tell for sure.
Anyway, I hope everyone has a great Beaujolais Day! Pick up a couple bottles to enjoy tonight, this weekend and maybe for Thanksgiving. I know I will!