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Nov 12, 2007 08:20 AM

Le Boujolais Nouveau is coming...


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  1. Ah, yes. The annual mediocre wine experience equivalent to the traditional running of the fools in Pamplona.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      Veggo, I couldn't agree more...as fools go though, the Pamplona thing wins hands down, or butt down...I did not mean to be highbrow, I find these wines on the same caliber more or less with the homemade stuff papa would make every year and serve well ahead of its time. However, I do feel it goes well with certain dishes. Could you recommend some good restaurants though? Thanks...

      1. re: Veggo

        Is it good wine? No. Is it an amazing tradition that has endured generations in regards to the heritage of a country that has meant so much to Gastronomy? Yes. Maybe if you lived in France and experienced the celebration of the harvest first hand you wouldn't be so quick to make such a smug comment. Viva Le Boujolais!!!! I'll be having mine Thursday.

        1. re: ChefJeffe

          I'm with you, ChefJeffe, have enjoyed it for years...remember well great meals with the great chef Maxime Ribera at the original Auberge Argenteuil in Hartsdale and Maxime's in Granite Springs, with a 'lowly' bottle of Boujolais Nouveau...No knock intended.

          1. re: ChefJeffe

            It's a decent, everyday table wine for about 8 bucks and is consistent. My jaundiced comment stems from the predictable critique that "THIS year is the nouveau rouge of the century" , as if it should therefore command a premium price. No affront to the French intended, just the American marketing hustle.
            P.S. My favorite all-time foreign films are "Jean de Florette", and "Manon of the Spring", which are themed around french wine.

            1. re: Veggo

              I think George Dubeuf deserves the 'A' in marketing...

              1. re: gutreactions

                I'm with you gut. It's the marketing that's great. The wine, not at all.

                1. re: laylag

                  And they are not going to be $8 this year, more in the $12 range because of the strength of the Euro

                  1. re: bubbles4me

                    Ouch! I'll take domestic 2-Buck-Chuck over 12-Buck-Charlemagne.

            2. re: ChefJeffe

              I had mine with dinner tonight. Equal to expectations, 9 bucks. How about you, CJ?

              1. re: ChefJeffe

                "has endured generations"

                ... yeah, about one. Read further down.

                1. re: ChefJeffe

                  Huh. Well, a friend of mine likes to say that "good wine and food should be endured". I never know quite what he means by that, but perhaps it's Le Boujolais Nouveau is a good example....

              2. Didn't Nouveau start as samples that wine merchants brought around to cafe owners. They would taste them, and based upon their experience, decide whether or not to order some for delivery in the next year, when the wines were expected to be drinkable.

                1. nouveau was fun at $60 a case.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: byrd

                    I don't think this is a tradition that goes back generations. I remember it taking flight in the 1980s. Of course, that's when I reached drinking age, so maybe that's why I date it from there. But does anyone remember it being such an event before then?

                    1. re: brendastarlet

                      I have no doubt that the celebration of the first harvest that ChefJeffe cites, is centuries old. Vines can be 80 years old and cuttings from them have fast-forwarded the development of far-flung wine growing regions; 20-odd US states, most latin countries.
                      I think your benchmark of the 80's is when the American importers of foreign wines and distillates really dug in and promoted them all here.
                      I was a product manager for Perrier in New England in the late 70's, and twice a year fancy guys in expensive suits would come thank us for our tremendous successes, but the simple truth was they could not provide half of what we could sell with simple efforts. But that was the earliest stage of the fancy water business, and they had those sexy green botles, in 3 sizes, and zero competition.

                      1. re: brendastarlet

                        It started long before the 1980s, and yes -- it was a "big deal" in the 1960s. The difference is that the 1980s saw a huge "boom" in ALL wine drinking, and that saw a huge increase in Nouveau sales -- along with everything else.

                        It is true, however, that the 1980s WAS the peak of the Nouveau craze.

                        * * * * * * * * * *

                        As an aside, there ARE some very tasty Nouveaux out there -- from year-to-year. Duboeuf is generally not one of them. Look for single estates that don't f*** up the wine.

                        1. re: zin1953

                          Additional precisions from Jason's beloved wikipedia:

                          " few members of the UIVB, notably the négociant Georges Duboeuf, saw the potential for marketing Beaujolais Nouveau. Not only was it a way to clear lots of vin ordinaire at a good profit, but selling wine within weeks of the harvest was great for cash flow. Hence the idea was born of a race to Paris carrying the first bottles of the new vintage. This attracted a lot of media coverage, and by the 1970's had become a national event. "


                          1. re: RicRios

                            Agreed . . . it was always a "big deal" in the Parisian cafés, but quietly. It wasn't until the media frenzy of the 1970s that it became a worldwide phenomenon -- and it peaked in the 1980s with wines like Dubouef's Vin de Table Nouveau and a completely laughable Vouvray "Nouveau."

                            (Laughable because you don't use carbonic maceration to produce a white wine, just as you cannot do it inside a barrel -- something they never discovered on Falcon Crest, when they used to walk past a single row of barrels and talk about how the carbonic maceration was taking place inside the barrels.)

                    2. Any wine that is that damned approachable and that also has a French name is bound to have a very strong following here. The wine should be taken for what it's worth.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Chinon00

                        I enjoy drinking it, just toss it in a glass, invite some friends over and have a good time with some inexpensive drink. It's never been touted as excellent wine. Vin ordinaire? Part of the fun is the marketing of it. Cinco de Mayo, anyone?

                        I can think of worse ways to spend a chilly November weekend.

                        1. re: Its Still Mooing

                          I agree-- B.N. is good for what it is. There's no reason to think too hard about it-- just a simple, quaffable red wine to enjoy once a year with some friends. Great? Not at all. Fun to drink? Definitely.


                      2. I served it at a thanksgiving dinner and it was light - just great for turkey. I don't pretend to know all about wines, let alone French wines, but this was good for thanksgiving and for people who are a little skittish about red wines in general.