Beaujolais Nouveau Day – A French Party Wine

Beaujolais Nouveau is a French wine noted for being young, fruity, and pairable. Following Old World technique handpicked Gamay grapes support the production of 65 million bottles from the namesake French region. The Beaujolais region is north of Lyon with encroachments into the Burgundy and Rhone regions. The region has been producing Beaujolais since the Roman occupation in the 7th century and peaked after the Black Death in the 14th century. It wasn’t until the 1950s when Beaujolais made a comeback.

The Gamay grape undergoes carbonic maceration – a winemaking technique that promotes softer tannins on soft-skinned varietals. Essentially the grapes are introduced into a vessel where oxygen is limited and carbon dioxide is aplenty. Grapes are not machine pressed but, are crushed under their own weight. Resulting in a slower release of sugars which keep the yeast colonies fat and happy for a longer fermentation period. The grapes are racked into barrels to age for up to two months. Making Beaujolias some of the youngest palatable wine.

Undated French Poster promoting Beaujolais Nouveau Day!

The allure of a Beaujolais happens to be more than taste but, the amount of extravagant partying that ignites behind its production. Leave it to the French to dedicate a seemingly random day to eat, drink, and be merry. Beginning in the 1950’s winemakers started competing to see who could release the young wine first. According to French law, a new wine vintage can be released on the third Thursday in November. Many wineries would take advantage of Thanksgiving’s proximity to Beaujolais Day to market heavily to Americans. I even read in an article by the Smithsonian that vintners would ride elephants into Paris to create a spectacle. Today, the third Thursday in November includes fireworks, food, live music, and hundreds of bottles of Beaujolais!

Guess what? Dodici offers a stunning example from Chenas. Domaine Saint Cyr is a fourth-generation winemaker. The current winemaker Raphael Saint-Cyr made steps to convert his vineyard to all organic after his grandfather and uncle became sick from viticultural chemicals. Our offering has an ABV of 12% and strong notes of red fruit like raspberries or strawberries. Beaujolais is quite earthy, I almost taste a minerally potting soil with black pepper on the nose.

As for pairing: right away I would pick the meat & cheese board to start or a sweet strawberry burrata! For pizza, I would pair with the Dottore or Fresca Due (don’t forget to add figs). For a very savory pair, I would order the Sweet Sting or the cheesy Maestro. For dessert: Brandon’s Tiramisu cheesecake or the Cannolis.

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