Beaujolais Nouveau

A Young Red Wine

Ah, a little bit of excitement in the wine world is fun to see. What is this Beaujolais Nouveau race, and where did it begin? First, the region. Back in July 1395, the "Gamay" grape was forbidden to be used in Burgundy. Beaujolais, the southern neighbor, decided it should use Gamay and make its wines from this grape. And thus started a differentiation that continues to this day. Today, 98% of this region is planted with Gamay; the rest is Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Beaujolais Nouveau is the first output from each harvest - ready exactly on the Third Thursday of November each year. It's a celebration across the world, as people gather to taste the first Beaujolais of the new season.

It's also a race of sorts - who can be the first to try the Beaujolais Nouveau from this season? Over 65 million bottles are sped, flown, and boated across the world to wine lovers everywhere. And to think that the wine had barely been harvested a few scant weeks ago.

Beaujolais Nouveau started as a local event, to celebrate the end of the harvest and congratulate the workers and wine growers. The French government moved to control this flow, and in 1938 put in strict restrictions. In 1951 they were revoked by the Union Interprofessional des Vins de Beaujolais (UIVB), and a specific release date was set. Soon other countries heard of this situation and wanted to become part of the celebration. In 1985 the date was moved to the Third Thursday of November, to make the date coincide with a weekend.

Beaujolais Wine Glass How does it taste? It's a very white-wine style, since it has not been with the skins for long and has hardly aged at all. It should be drunk chilled, and is a light, fruity wine.

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All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.