November with Beaujolais nouveau

The clock struck twelve and welcome to zero-hour. 15 November 2012, the third Thursday of November. So what? No, this is not the prelude to Black Friday. Today is for Beaujolais nouveau. New Beaujolais, the freshest youngest wine you can possibly get from France is legally allowed to be available on market today (by French law).

Made using Gamay grapes from Beaujolais, this southern cousin of Burgundy has no lack of fruit flavours. Unlike typical red wines that undergo long process of extraction for tannins, colours and phenolic compounds to supports ageing, Beaujolais nouveau is like instant food. Harvested between one to two months ago, winemakers rushed to ferment, bottle and ship out to market at remarkable speed.

Take note of the semantics, Beaujolais have multiple wine categories. Beaujolais nouveau is not Beaujolais Villages, which in turn does not equates to Cru Beaujolais. Beaujolais nouveau, at the basic level, had been criticised as being immature and poor in quality. However from a customary perspective, today is similar to the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival, and the Beaujolais nouveau is comparable to Chinese moon cakes. Symbolises completion of harvest, availability of wines and most importantly, a new vintage has arrived.

Beaujolais nouveau by Georges Duboeuf 2008
Beaujolais nouveau by Georges Duboeuf 2008

Clear light purple in the glass, notes of fresh berries and bananas. This is a simple wine for quick consumption, a crowd pleaser and a must try in November. Not widely publicise in the past and not the kind of style we are used to, consumers here are not into it, yet. As I am drafting, Wine Connection Tapas Bar & Bistro at Robertson Walk had just counted down with the first 100 guest receiving a free glass of Beaujolais nouveau (oh come on, only one glass free?) Additionally, one lucky winner would have won a return flight ticket to Paris with two days visit to Beaujolais (only two days, seriously?)

This weekend I am going to get a bottle by Georges Duboeuf from one of the Wine Connection outlets. Love it or hate it, drink it before you decide.
P/s: Beaujolais is read as bo-jo-lei. Or in Singlish, boh jio lei, aka not invited.

All images copyrighted under Creative Commons.

About the author

Chan Wai Xin

Chan Wai Xin

Singapore based. University lecturer, wine educator, wine writer. Systematic, analytic, and at times pedantic. Mostly irreverent.

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