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nouveau beaujolais? who drinks this stuff?

I meant to ask this last year and forgot but since it is coming around again, Who driinks this stuff and why? Is it just for the tradition, or do people really enjoy the stuff? I tried 3 different bottles with friends last season and gave up. It was like Kool-aid with battery acid thrown in.

Not to insult those who enjoy it but what (if anything) am I missing?

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  1. Oh c'mon. There are rotten versions and palatable versions and it depends on your palate--which is to say, lots of people who shy away from wine are sniffing, tasting and smiling when they get the sweet stuff during Thanksgiving or around Christmas...and who knows, maybe they then think about other kinds of wine or more likely, Beaujolais of a vintage or a cru. I have seen this with friends who are unfamiliar with wine and I am confident a lot of people on this board know of similar outcomes.

    1. Frankly, budnball, I don't think you're missing anything. Don't give it a second thought.

      On the other hand, perhaps a poster here might be able to give you a particular winery that you might try this year (even though your palate or those of your friends might not be as sophisticated as his/hers :-))

      1. There are good and bad versions of Beaujolais Nouveau, just the same as there are good and bad wines from Napa Valley, Chianti, Bordeaux, the Rhein -- from EVERYWHERE . . . not all Beaujolais Nouveau is "Kool-Aid with battery acid thrown in."

        THAT SAID, the key problem with Beaujolais Nouveau (as I see it) it that the stuff they're drinking in Parisian cafés at 6:00 am on Thursday isn't the same as the stuff we're drinking here.


        5 Replies
        1. re: zin1953

          Now I want to get on a plane and go to Paris and have a glass at 6 am!

          1. re: perk

            Been there, done that, not at 6am..on the Champs Elysees...sigh...good times.

          2. re: zin1953

            Well, it IS more of an event. Year in, and year out, there are usually some good producers, and then some bad. In a few years, it seems that most do an enjoyable wine, and then, some years it seems that almost no one does.

            What so often happens, though, is that many will assume that ALL BJ's are about Noveau, when they are NOT! Many miss some interesting, and complex wines, just because of the BJ designation. That is a shame.


            1. re: zin1953

              By complete coincidence on my first trip to Paris I arrived on the third Thursday of November (1997). I didn't even know what was going on but inside every bistro and restaurant I went there were these small barrels on the bar and people INSISTING I have whatever it was; and to forget the Cotes du Rhone I wanted instead. Tasted very simple like juice. I didn't get what was happening until I returned home and told friends about it.

              1. re: Chinon00

                This is one of the evnts in life that one can enjoy in retrospect. The telling of the story increases the enjoyment. I like these life experiences sometimes even more afterwards. Thanks for the telling of it here.

            2. I have not in some years, but then we have enjoyed much of this wine. It's more an "event," than a wine, but can be fun.

              Now, we enjoy much more Cru BJ, than Nouveau, but that is just us, and should never reflect on N BJ, as it is often a good "picnic wine."



              1. Are you kidding???? I love a good gamay! ;)

                I also love a good rose or cranberry wine with a turkey or chicken sandwich. ...also great on a hot afternoon with goat cheese and pesto crostini...........or a PBJ :)

                The trouble is in finding a good one.They are *supposed* to be light and fruity. If you taste a battery acid taste- then that would NOT be a "good one". If you don't like anything that is light and fruity in a wine (period)- then it is doubtful that even a good one would taste good to you. I tend to drink these types of wines on a weekend lunch thing- I also like hard apple ciders, champagne cocktails and Sangria in the same way. All should be very chilled or cold.

                6 Replies
                1. re: sedimental

                  Well at least this gives me some idea of my problem. I was treated to room temp red wine presentation, where this should be cold. Even great champagne tastes like crap at room temp!

                  1. re: budnball

                    I don't know if it "should be" but it was served to me very cold in Paris. I was there for New Years Eve one year and there is no shortage of NB that time of year!

                    I always had Cru Beaujolais "chilled" -but in Paris I was always served the NB quite cold -and I really came to appreciate it that way. It is an "easy drinker" . I would suggest you try another bottle served colder and with some lunch type food- I bet you change your mind about it.

                    1. re: sedimental

                      Shouldn't it be abbreviated BN and not NB?

                      The first of the year is pretty much the end of the season for BN.

                      1. re: Steve

                        Yes. I guess I had a bout of Lis Dexia.

                    2. re: budnball

                      Maybe not "cold," but definitely chilled down a bit.



                  2. It's more an occasion to throw a party than any kind of serious wine event...

                    There's exactly ONE wine seller near me in the Paris region who's having a Beaujolais event with barbecue, of all things...and only a couple IN Paris -- seems the rose has begun to fade on this side of the bottle, anyway.

                    I agree that bad ones are easy to find, drinkable to decent ones take some looking, but not many really stand out as good.

                    (and the first bottles are opened at 12:01 Paris time, not 6 am ...which would be 6PM on the east coast)

                    14 Replies
                    1. re: sunshine842

                      "It's more an occasion to throw a party than any kind of serious wine event..."

                      I could not agree more. Going back many years, I stopped by a Nouveau event, at a local wine shop. This was an outdoor party, and a tasting of various Nouveau offerings. They were each being served in plastic cups, and it was fun. That year, there were several, that were quite good.

                      One of the wines being poured happened to be a domestic (US) version of Nouveau Beaujolais (cannot remember the producer now), and I commented to the gentleman pouring the wines, that it was interesting, and in some ways, might have actually transcended many of the FR wines. At that moment, a lady to my right, tapped me on my shoulder, and commented, "Darling, we are wine experts, and we must say that there is no way that a domestic Nouveau Beaujolais would ever cross our lips. We ONLY drink the excellent French wines." With that, he toasted my ignorance with her plastic up, and blended into the crowd. Who knew that there were experts in Nouveau Beaujolais? I certainly did not, but apparently there are, at least in Metro Phoenix.

                      Yes. It is about a party, or a picnic (depending on where you live), and should not be taken too seriously - just enjoyed.


                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                        "Once upon a time" I was in (maybe?) Austria (perhaps?) Graz. I recall a wine called "Storm" which must've been that country's answer to NB. Everyone in some cobbled-street small town was having a nice time, including us.

                        Do you know the wine of which I speak?

                        1. re: Rella

                          If not LIKE NBJ, the sentiment seems to have been the same.

                          Party on!


                          1. re: Rella

                            It's 'Sturm' in Austria (Federweisser in the Rhine, and a host of other names) -- and while it's typically white wines, yes, it's along the same lines.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              I couldn't seem to get google results not having the spelling. I am not a white wine lover, so to me "Storm" was the spelling more befitting :-))


                              "Sturm (storm, from the cloudy appearance) in Austria"

                          2. re: Bill Hunt

                            Hi Bill,
                            Before Bronco acquired the brand, Charles Shaw (now known as Two Buck Chuck) produced one of the better California gamay-clones for domestic nouveau...It was ok, in my recollection, and maybe that was the one that was served...

                            1. re: penthouse pup

                              Depending on the label name, I might, or might not, have sampled that. What name was the N BJ-styled wine produced under?

                              When it comes to Nouveau BJ (I usually prefer a Gamay, but in the US, that can vary), I just try to enjoy the moment and the wines in my cup, er-r, I mean glass.

                              Going back a few years, I managed to hold onto a few bottles of FR Nouveau BJ, and cellar the. Those were chosen from a previous vintage, but exhibited some good structure. We did a tasting with the, then, current release, and then some of the older ones (about 3 - 4 years after release), and I was surprised that a few had held up, and actually rose to the top. I am NOT talking about Cru BJ's here, but Nouveau BJ's. Some CAN age a bit, and still offer up enjoyment.


                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                A long time ago, I think I had a gamay from Robert Pecota. Don't know how nationally that was distributed.

                                1. re: wally

                                  Yes it was, and it was one of the better ones.

                                2. re: Bill Hunt

                                  Leaving all double entendres aside . . .

                                  It may be worthwhile to point out that there are many types of Beaujolais -- Beaujolais, Beaujolais Supérieur, Beaujolais-Villages, and the Crus de Beaujolais.

                                  AND there are several different categories of Beaujolais Nouveau. There is Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais Supérieur Nouveau, and Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau. But there is NO nouveau possible under the appellation contrôlée regulations for any of the Crus.

                                3. re: penthouse pup

                                  Actually Charles F. Shaw (as the winery and label was then called) was one of the very few producers to use the REAL Gamay noir au jus blanc, rather than what everyone else was using -- Valdigué. No one had the true Gamay grapes in California until he did . . . .

                              2. re: sunshine842

                                The first bottles can be opened just after midnight, local time, wherever that happens to be. So maybe they're already drinking it in Oz & NZ or in Vladivostok, if any bottles were shipped there. It's a sure thing that the Japanese will be enjoying this year's BN in about half an hour, way before anyone in France.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  Yes, it's 12:01 am -- my bad. The 6:00 am reference was a dim memory of film footage from the American morning television shows, showing people tasting "the new vintage" in the light of dawn.

                                2. it's one thing that makes November great!

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: hetook

                                    In 2001, the US bought 3.1 million bottles; by 2010, sales slipped to 2.3 million, most of them from Duboeuf. Still a lot of wine, but it's felt that gradual price increases and growing competition from other informal wines have eaten into the market. There also used to be "nouveau" "novello" and similar wines from other areas, but those seemed to have disappeared.

                                    1. re: bob96

                                      Duboeuf is consistant ... consistantly awful.

                                      I kind of like the idea and I think it pairs well with turkey so I'll try a few different ones each year. Then again I don't have high standards for wine.

                                      1. re: bob96

                                        Speaking for my own area, Gaillac Primeur wines (also released this week) have not disappeared:

                                        But maybe you meant "disappeared from the US market". I don't know if these wines ever made it to the US market in the first place…

                                        1. re: DeppityDawg

                                          I meant the US market--among others, there was for a while a Novello sangiovese from some large Chianti producers. I'd love to try the Gaillac Primeur!

                                    2. Don't know what you get in the US, but even in France, most of the stuff you get is terrible, and the primary use of "nouveau" is indeed the party around it (after it, pretty much everybody switches quickly over to regular Beaujolais, which isn't always the best wine, but is usually far more drinkable)

                                      It's a shame though, because some producers actually make very good Beaujolais Nouveau : if you can get a hold of those from Pierre-Marie Chermette (Domaine du Vissoux) or Jean Foillard, those are genuinely good experiences!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Riefi

                                        Wholeheartedly agree with the Pierre-Marie Chermette recommendation. I had a bottle on the 17th, and it was absolutely delicious. Fruity taste explosion, with blackberry and rose flavors. I bought a magnum of the old-vines variety from Chermette too, to drink on Thanksgiving. Goes great with turkey. I tasted the old-vines variety and while it was less powerful than the regular Chermette BN, it was a very mellow and tasty.

                                      2. I am pleased to be friends with a couple in Danbury CT who plan a few weeks around the annual Nouveau Rouge, and who host reunions with old friends from many places, and lots of reminiscing. Since the blizzard of '78.

                                        I think that is what (if anything) you are missing.

                                        1. It isn't the wine I buy more than three or four bottles of...but I generally pick up a few each year. Our local wine shop sets up tastings on Thursday so you know what you are getting. A fun tradition...nothing more.

                                          1. >>>nouveau beaujolais? who drinks this stuff?<<<

                                            Basically the same people that drink Bogle Petite Sirah.

                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: Fowler

                                              You'd be hard-put to find a single French person with Beaujolais Nouveau in their glass tonight who'd even know what Bogle Petit Sirah is, let along drink it.

                                              LOTS of people drink BN, and there are even one or two who know a heckuva lot about wine.

                                              1. re: Fowler

                                                >>>nouveau beaujolais? who drinks this stuff?<<<

                                                Basically the same people that drink Bogle Petite Sirah.<<<<<<<<

                                                Just to be sure................... is that a sarcastic dig or a compliment?? ;o[]

                                                I've had both and the Bogle is drinkable. This years Deboeuf Nouveau was really not even that.


                                                1. re: Midlife

                                                  Just when WAS Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau drinkable?

                                                  On the other hand, a Beaujolais Nouveau, or Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau from a GOOD producer . . . .

                                                  1. re: zin1953

                                                    I have no idea, Jason. It's not something I taste every year.................. but I do recall a DeBoeuf Village Nouveau, about 3 years ago, that was not bad.

                                                2. re: Fowler

                                                  I drink a few bottles every November and am sure my wine cellar is better stocked than 99.9 % of the general population. The tradition is 100 years old and is a lot of fun.

                                                  1. re: twyst

                                                    And 99.9% of the general population thinks they are funny and have good taste in clothing. :-)

                                                3. For years it was our Thanksgiving dinner wine. It was a large crowd, 30+, who did not very often drink wine and very much looked for light and sweet. BN was a very good choice and it paired well with our variety of traditional Thanksgiving foods. we wouldn't have drunk it alone, necessarily. but we ended this multi-year tradition a few years ago, because we who bought the wine got tired of it, even though the tastes of our crown did not change too much.

                                                  1. when was a young dude,learned to love the taste of red wine because of Beau Nouvo.Still luv it.

                                                    1. The ostensible reason is that as it is the first wine from the last growing season, it is an indicator of the quality of the wine to be expected for that vintage. For most of us, however, it is just an excuse to have a party. Nothing wrong with a pleasurable and harmless tradition, in my opinion.

                                                      I missed it this year, regrettably.

                                                      1. Tried three different bottles during the BN day this year in Paris and while served cold and with a hell of a lot of hay strewn around, it was still not what l was thinking l would get. Barely drinkable but quite fruity, have decided to forgo it next year.

                                                        1. TJ dropped the Beaugelais this year and is just selling something called "Neauvea" for $1.99. The best I can say is that it is cheaper than most of the bad BN.

                                                          1. Just had the Vissoux Chermette today in Paris and found it delightfully drinkable. Most of what comes to the US is not.

                                                            1. It's mostly for the tradition and timed to coincide with the Hospices de Beaune weekend in Burgundy, I believe.

                                                              I happened to go to an event this week that was concluded with the 2012 nouveau and I won a bottle too.

                                                              If you're going to try it, buy the DuBoeuf which is among the best. It was excellent this year. Not even the usual odor of bananas.

                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: collioure1

                                                                There's also a major taste difference between the DuBoeuf Nouveau and the DuBoeuf Nouveau Villages. The Villages costs just a bit more, but is more 'substantial'. I've been told that DuBoeuf releases a third, even higher level, of Nouveau but I've never been able to find it here.

                                                                1. re: Midlife

                                                                  They do release a third bottling but it is a vin bio and less expensive.

                                                                  1. re: collioure1

                                                                    If you would share any details or, better yet, a link on the vin bio I'd certainly appreciate it. The DuBoeuf website lists only the Nouveau and the Nouveau Village and I'm curious. Thanks.

                                                                      1. re: collioure1

                                                                        Thanks, .........but I'd heard of a third DEBOEUF Nouveau, so I'm still looking for it.

                                                                        Jason......... you out there?????

                                                                        1. re: Midlife

                                                                          Back in the late 1980s, or maybe early 1990s, Duboeuf released a Vin Nouveau because their Beaujolais Nouveau was a still in high demand, and b) increasing in price. This came from vineyard in Nîmes, IIRC, and was technically a Vin de Table/Vin Ordinaire. It was labeled simply

                                                                          Georges Duboeuf
                                                                          Vin Nouveau

                                                                          I remember seeing it for one vintage only. It threw a protein haze and sediment, was cloudy, and smelled like it underwent ML in the bottle. (That would be malolactic fermentation, not Maris Lorraine.)

                                                                          1. re: zin1953

                                                                            Thanks Jason. My personal wine guru thought there was a third, higher level, Nouveau each year. Guess he's wrong again. ;o]]

                                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                                  Well, it depends. For me, it is fun, and usually an interesting "picnic wine," and some (depending on the year) CAN be better, than others. The majority seems to be "wine-kool-aid," but often, one, or a very few, do stand out, as interesting, for the style.