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Beaujolais Nouveau

Every winter, wine-lovers all over the world wait impatiently for the brand new French wine to arrive on the shelves after the third Thursday of November. Beaujolais Nouveau wine is made, bottled and distributed in just a few weeks of the grapes being picked. Beaujolais is a small wine region in France and the Gammay grape is responsible for almost all Beaujolais wines worldwide.

The famous floral patterned label is exclusively designed by Georges Duboeuf wine house and if you are lucky enough to live in the U.S., Duboeuf even gives out matching floral-print ties to wine sellers.

But why is the release of Beaujolais Nouveau so highly anticipated every year?

No matter who you are, or who you know, in the wine world, not one single person is allowed a taste before it’s officially released and it’s the moment of surprise that makes this young and fruity wine from Gammay grape so interesting.  There have been a variety of different tastes released in past versions of the wine years and when it’s really good, it can be said to taste like fruity Pinot Noir.

Because the release date of the wine is pre-set, the nouveau is usually made in hurry and can sometimes only have a few days fermenting. The harvest season varies each year so the wine making process is never predictable. Therefore, the time that the winemaker has to work with the wine can also be rushed. Nouveau doesn’t spend any time in oak like some traditional wines so what you grow is what you get.

The tradition of racing to be the first place to get the newest Beaujolais Nouveau onto your diners’ tables started in the Bistros of Paris in the early sixties and soon spread to the UK. The yearly competition of “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est Arrive!” is celebrated with all sorts of fun and games to get the first bottles into UK restaurants and wine shops. You will see unbelievable people queues, who want to be one of the first  to taste this new wine. These include bottles being chauffeured in vintage Rolls Royce’s, flown into the country by small planes, and also a case or two strapped onto the seat of a motorcycle!  Once the huge barrels arrive, they are opened to fanfare and party-goers indulge in the unique wine for the festival’s three day duration. Parisians head to their local bistro or wine bar, and also people celebrate with friends and family in their homes.  There are always plenty of events organised in Paris during the day which help add to the festival atmosphere.

So, if you are planning a trip to Paris this winter, head out for the third Thursday in November and be among the first to taste the new Beaujolais 2011. But fancy wine lovers beware, the Nouveau is not a gourmet, finely aged wine and you won’t find Beaujolais Nouveau on the wine list of fine French restaurants but the excitement of tasting the first wine produced from 2011’s harvest is definitely worth it! Santé!

This is a post by the travel experts at the online car hire Brisbane supplier, eRentals.

Photo credits to 1,2,3

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