Beaujolais Nouveau is very young wine made from the Gamay grape in the Beaujolais region (part of Burgundy) of France. In the Beaujolais region as well as many other cities and towns in France, there are parties and festivals to celebrate the release. The wine itself is the youngest and freshest vintage to get released, the harvest starts in mid-September and the fermenting lasts 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. This wine is meant to drink young and will not age very well. It should be drunk within 5-6 months of the release.
Beaujolais Nouveau can be a fun wine; low in tannins, grapey and easy to drink. It is a versatile wine and will go well with the many different flavors usually found on a Thanksgiving table. It is always fun to pick up a couple of bottles and see how it is each year. So enjoy Beaujolais Day 2010, just keep an open mind and don’t have too high of expectations for these wines, they are meant to be fun and that is OK by me!