Beaujolais Nouveau celebrates the latest harvest and first wine of the year. The Gamay grapes that are harvested in Beaujolais in September go through a quick fermentation, they are then bottles and make their debut the third Thursday in November. This year’s debut of Beaujolais Nouveau is November 18th.
Beaujolais Nouveau is more of a marketing ploy to highlight the wines of Beaujolais and also increase cash flow while most of the wine ages in winery cellars. Beaujolais is located in the southern end of Burgundy. Burgundy, famous for it’s superb Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from Grand Cru vineyards bears little resemblance to it neighbor to the south. Beaujolais Nouveau is known for fruitier style wines made with the light Gamay grape and Beaujolais Nouveau doesn’t help its image. Beaujolais Nouveau is a light fruity wine best served chilled Cru Beaujolais is the serious wine from this region.
Beaujolais Nouveau used to be a much bigger event. They used to have races from Beaujolais to Paris to see who would get to offer the first wine of the harvest. When the release of Beaujolais Nouveau gained international status, cases were jetted over on the Concorde to New York City at supersonic speed to serve the wine soon after midnight on the third Thursday of November. Now wineries send out there colorful bottles days ahead around the world, but it is still released on the third Thursday in November.