Beaujolais Nouveau. Its name literally means 'new Beaujolais.' This wine is named for the village of Beaujeu in France, which is a small region just south of Burgundy.
On the third Thursday of each November, France releases Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the world.
The 'new' part of this wine is due to the fact that the grapes used to make this wine are picked from the vineyards just a couple of months prior to its release! That's compared to most wines that spend a year or more going through the fermentation and aging process before being bottled and shipped to market. But Beaujolais Nouveau gets from the vineyard to you in about two months!
Word has it that this wine was originally produced for the harvest workers in France to immediately thank them for all their hard work just after harvest was complete. But now its production is somewhere between 30-60 million bottles so that the entire world can enjoy.
Although there are more than 100 Beaujolais Nouveau festivals held each year in the Beaujolais region, the 'Les Sarmentelles' multi-day festival is said to be the biggest and most famous for celebrating the release of Beaujolais Nouveau. The festival includes music, dancing, fireworks and, yes, plenty of wine.
This wine is produced entirely from handpicked Gamay grapes and because it is so new, it is very fresh and fruity. Many describe Beaujolais Nouveau as having flavors of candied cherries, strawberries, red plum, bananas and bubble gum.
Beaujolais Nouveau is meant to be enjoyed young, not critiqued. So get a bottle soon and give it a slight chill. Then raise a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau to the French harvest workers. It's Beaujolais Nouveau time! Cheers!