November 19 marks the release of Beaujolais Nouveau worldwide. Beaujolais Nouveau is a celebration of new, vibrant wine that is meant to be enjoyed as young as possible. It is the opposite of serious wines and an occasion to celebrate living in the moment.
Beaujolais is a region in Northern France where the Gamay grape is grown. The Gamay grape produces fruity wines that drink very well young and in general, don’t have a lot of aging potential. So the producers in this region had a dilemma…how could they market their wines in a world where consumers were looking for deep, dark and sophisticated wines?
The region decided to capitalize on their strengths and not play to their weaknesses. Because their wines showed best young, the wine producers in this region created a celebration every November where they would race to have their grapes pressed, fermented and bottled all in a span of one to two months! Not many grapes varieties can be fermented so quickly. What is produced is a fun red wine with light tannins and very unique aromas and tastes which are not normally found in red wines, like bananas, strawberries and light fruits. These wine producers created vibrant and unique labels for each vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau and each year, contests are held where artists compete to have their art featured on the label of the wine. The label adds to the festive nature of these wines. It is a fun wine that is meant to be consumed within three months of bottling. Because the fermentation process is quick and simple, the cost of the wine is also very affordable and they are only available for a few weeks in November.
The Beaujolais region also creates wine using traditional wine making methods. These are fruity and are still delicious, but they don’t have the vibrancy of Beaujolais Nouveau wines. Beaujolais Nouveau wines come out once a year and are meant to celebrate the essence of wine -- a great way to quench your thirst and enjoy good health and life.
This year, I believe the Beaujolais Nouveau release takes on more significance than ever.
A day in November is always picked as the release date. This year, Beaujolais Nouveau arrives in B.C. liquor stores on Nov. 19. Visit the liquor store that day and buy it to drink right away. It is meant to be fun and lively, so have some fun!
Since this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau will not be released until this Thursday, I can’t review them now but if you join me on Instagram at 7 p.m. on Nov. 19, 2020, I will be tasting the George Dubeauf 2020 Beaujolais Nouveau ($18.99) and the Mommessin 2020 Beaujolais Nouveau ($19.99).
Last year, I had the George Dubeouf and Mommessin Beaujolais Nouveau. The liquor stores also offer a rose, but I would stick with the red wines. My tasting notes for the George Dubeouf wine indicated good acidity with floral aromas and cherry, plum and licorice flavors. I liked the Mommesin wine more and my notes indicated banana and tropical aromas with red cherry, currant and licorice flavours.
Until next time, happy drinking!
Tony Kwan is the Richmond News' new columnist. Lawyer by day, food and wine lover by night, Kwan is an epicurean who writes about wine, food and enjoying all that life has to offer.