November 18th is a big day for lovers of French wine. With two new wines – Beaujolais and Gaillac – hitting the shelves today, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Santé!
At one minute past midnight on the third Thursday of November, over a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau are cracked open and emptied over the next 6 weeks. In 1985, the government decided to link the release of the Beaujolais Nouveau to a weekend, and made it illegal to sell the wine before midnight on the third Thursday of November, a tradition dating back to 1938 when the government stepped in to restrict sales of a wine that was quick to produce and even quicker to be consumed by an eager population!
The Beaujolais Nouveau is made for drinking young. The grapes from the Rhône-Alpes are handpicked and once vinified, quickly release flagrant aromas and fruity flavours.
In the Midi-Pyrénées, they are celebrating the release of the 33rd Gaillac Primeur, just 6% of which is white, and which uses the same Gamay grapes as Beaujolais Nouveau.
All in all, November 18th 2010 is a huge cause for celebration. The new wines are celebrated throughout France, where friends come together to enjoy a glass with some charcuterie. People flock to cafés, bistrots and restaurants to sample the new yield, while experts debate the merits of this year’s harvest.
More information can be found by visiting these websites: