This coming Thursday is the day when Beaujolais Nouveau is officially released to the world. Roughly 30 million bottles of this young, plucky, French red wine leaves southern Burgundy and begins the long slog onward into the cups of wine lovers around the world. In a wine world where what’s older is most often better, this wine is younger than Joan Rivers' last face lift. Literally weeks before it arrives in the States, this wine was still Gamay grape clusters sitting in a collection bin awaiting their fate. Seemingly, all of the Beaujolais wine world hurries the harvest into the barn, and ferments and bottles the swill so that it can meet its release deadlines around the world. Selling it early is a no-no and in some countries will cost you a hefty fine. Originally the wine was simply consumed in Beaujolais as a way to commemorate the crush, until the fruity wine’s fame spread to the big cities of France, and by the mid-eighties, the wine had been made over into a marketing behemoth.
+ The BN quality for this year will not be an accurate way to measure the entire European vintage, despite what anyone tells you.
+ The reason most wine people around the region of Beaujolais are so fond of the Gamay grape is not because the BN is any good, it’s because the BN phenomenon is a huge cash cow. To knock it is to look a gift horse in the mouth. Think about it: the wine is sold immediately, no waiting around gathering dust in a cask for this juice.
+ Everyone loves the lack of pretense associated with the BN, but face it, BN is the country music of the wine world.
+ If you get a bottle, give it a chill, and drink it soon. The longer you wait, the faster the ‘fruit’ goes away, because BN is made using something off-puttingly called carbonic maceration. Rather than crushing grapes, fermenting them, etc., the whole grape bunch is fermented, making a wine with few tannins and long on fruit, but it doesn’t age well at all.
+ And most importantly, if this wine didn’t get you buzzed, no one would drink it. Thoughts on that hand grenade, anyone?