Beaujolais Nouveau – a symbol of liberty, equality and fraternity
Following the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015, the arrival of the Beaujolais Nouveau 2015 has never been quite as symbolic. The festivities around the release of the wine represent conviviality the French way. It highlights French culture around the globe as the world eagerly awaited this years release. This moment of sharing will be a strong symbol to show that France stands tall, proud of its values.
Today, Thursday, November 19, the 2015 Beaujolais Nouveau has been released. Like every year, it is released on the third Thursday of November at the stroke of midnight.It will be marked with fireworks, music and festivals throughout France. But what is it, you may ask?
Well, Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France. It is the most popular vin de primeur, fermented for just a few weeks before being bottled and released for sale. So the grapes were picked in late August and hardly 2 months later, the wine is bottled and ready to drink.
By law, all grapes in the region must be harvested by hand. The wine is made using carbonic maceration, whole berry fermentation which emphasizes fruit flavors without extracting bitter tannins from the skins. The grapes are loaded into large steel tanks and the resulting wine is fresh, fruity and very low in tannins. The wine is recommended to be slightly chilled to 13 C / 55 F. It is intended for immediate drinking. It is a wine that does not improve with age, so buy and drink before next years release. The Beaujolais Nouveau winegrowers had a tough year so far. Quantities are way down due to an unprecedented heatwave and drought in mid summer which raised the sugar levels and caused the grapeskins to thicken. All this created a wine that is richer, rounder and darker with a very strong concentration of aromas. This is all excellent for the quality of the wine. Alcohol levels are higher too. If you like your reds that way, I do, then this is very good news.
So, get out there, buy a bottle or glass and support France while having fun.