If you should happen to visit your local wine shop during the coming week, you will notice a number of signs similar to this one proclaiming the arrival of the 2011 Beaujolais Nouveau. It’s that time of year and in the next couple of weeks some 65 million bottles of this inexpensive wine made from the Gamay grape will be consumed worldwide.
Although it is NOT great wine it is, indeed, a great marketing strategy perfected by the folks at Georges Duboeuf. On the third Thursday in November, the wine, which is only about 6 weeks old, is shipped from Paris to markets all over the globe amidst a great deal of fanfare.
The brightly colored bottles of Georges Duboeuf’s 2011 Beaujolais Nouveau will occupy the prime spots in most wine stores and millions will choose this hyped vino as an accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner.
The gamay grapes are harvested by hand, go thru a speedy fermentation process, are quickly bottled and the wine is soon headed to dinner tables all over the globe.
The Beaujolais appellation in France is located in the southern part of Burgundy not far from the city of Lyon. The gamay grape from which the wine is made is much lighter than cabernet or even pinot noir and you can expect a fruity taste. The wines are made to be drank almost immediately as few of the “new” Beaujolais will retain its flavor much longer than six or eight months .
Wine geeks, such as myself, have a tendency to downplay this varietal but Charlie Beatty, Wine Manager at Canal’s Bottle Stop in Marlton (my absolute favorite wine shop in the entire Delaware Valley) actually recommended a Nouveau Beaujolais that I will be trying with Thanksgiving dinner next Thursday.
I will be back here next week to let you know my thoughts on the 2011 L’Ancien, Beaujolais.