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November 15, not a wine snob

Not a wine snob nor do I care for wines from the Gamay grape so perhaps that is why I can enjoy Beaujolais Nouveau.

Does anyone else get down with the parties which are available nationwide?

It's light, it's fruity, yes, it is somewhat 'candied' in profile but it is gulpable.

There are "Nouveau est ici" in about every city. I don't have some every year, it's in fact been a few years, but I do think about trying some every year.

A French restaurant in Philly is offering a three course meal and a bottle of nouveau for $45, which really doesn't seem unreasonable to me. Maybe a dozen other venues in town are also hosting events.

Anybody going to stain their shirtfronts purple? (or magenta?)

Ready to pay the air freight cost to have it today? ('Tho in recent years, I have noticed many places never reduce their price for the slower arriving wines).

Are you ready to laugh too loud and give a friend a wet kiss? Offer Chez moi ou chez vous? (Thanks Kronenbourg beer) Or is it, as I just read in a comment about the scathing review of Guy Fieri's restaurant 'just for tourists withiout initiative'.?

(A repeat on the Gamay: I have had wine professionals I know state that they have mistaken Beaujolais for Burgundian Pinot Noir, but for me I have never confused the two grapes. maybe it is a hard-wiring thing just as cilantro tastes exceedingly soapy to me and about 1% of the rest of the population, but to me the unmistakeable gamay is a Gamay is a Gamay)

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  1. I find some of the heavier Moulin a Vent can be a bit like Bourgogne myself.

    1 Reply
    1. re: AlexCV

      I just want to note that although I do not care for the gamay hope springs eternal and I have tried a very wide range of Beaujolais styles and continue to try a bottle or two every year.

      Next up will be the 2010 Domaine Robert Fleurie Cuvee Tradition, but the question presented by this post is how do you feel about nouveau? Had it? Once, twice, never? Will drink it again, won't be in the same room as it? Tolerated it, liked it, spat it out?

      This is November 15 and a part of the 2012 northern hemisphere grape harvest is in the bottle, on the shelves and pouring into and out of goblets. It's the wine of the moment.

    2. Oh and that 3 course is a four-course: Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée (French onion soup), Blanquette de Veau (veal stew), Assiette de Fromage (cheese course) and Tarte au Noix (walnut tart).

      1. It's a fun tradition. I don't take part in the festivities, and it's usually not great wine, but I do buy one every year.

        1 Reply
        1. re: redips

          "...it's usually not a great wine" [but] "It's a fun tradition" Seems like you have hit the nail on the head.

          The idea behind the all the hype and folderol is not just to sell wine (the consumers aren't selling) but to drink some wine and have fun.. Can you see sellers or owners of Screaming Eagle or other 'subscription' wines saying, "Hey, let's crack open a couple of cases and have a party!"?

          Thing is, I have and still do drink a lot of wine that cannot be classified as "great wine". For many, indeed I think most wine drinkers, "great wines" come occasionally, surrounded by (hopefully) mostly good wines with the not infrequent decent wines filling in spaces.

        2. I must be dense.... is there a question here?

          Beaujolais Nouveau is a fun wine to party with (especially in France this time of year). I am not being snarkey...I really don't understand this post. Are you looking for rec's?

          4 Replies
          1. re: sedimental

            The question is essentially if anyone was going to "party" with Nouveau this year.

            "Beaujolais Nouveau is a fun wine to party with (especially in France this time of year)"

            This is why I asked the question. And not just in France. As I note, there are release parties, where people meet other people have a lot of fun and drink some cheap wine (that regardless of what some have posted does decidely not taste of vinegar) and laugh and sing and dance and shout. those buffoons....oops, I mean us buffoons.

            Most responses miss the point.

            If one feels one has to discuss the technical faults with these sub-$10 wines or describe the problems with the fermentation methods, well hell, nobody wants you at the parties anyway.

            it's like going to a birthday party and criticising the cake because it's mostly sugar and there's artificial coloring in the icing instead of taking a bite and wishing many happy returns to the celebrated.

            1. re: FrankJBN

              I was confused about your question. I thought that might be what you were asking, but then maybe it should have been posted on your local board or general topics board as I never see "party" questions on the wine board that are not looking for rec's or some type of discussion about the "technical's" of the wine. Not that there is anything wrong with that, just not typically done on this board.

              See my Micky Mouse post below, I agree that it is a bit silly to pontificate about a BN. That is why I didn't answer -but asked you a question instead. Thanks for clarifying.

              There was only one party this year that looked interesting in my area and it was an hour away (Seattle). Celebrating BN is not popular where I live. I also don't see it advertised big as a Thanksgiving wine either. Really, it is a non issue here.

              The last BN party I attended was in Paris 6 years ago. It was really crazy, really crowded and full of college kids...lots of dancing. Really fun. Nothing like that anywhere around me now.

              1. re: FrankJBN

                "Most responses miss the point...If one feels one has to discuss the technical faults with these sub-$10 wines or describe the problems with the fermentation methods, well hell, nobody wants you at the parties anyway."

                My sense is that you thought your OP was clearer than it was. Chowhounds posted whether or not they were interested in BN or not, and **why.** All the responses were germane.

                If the wine tastes sour or hints of vinegar to the drinker, as BN often does (not always, to be sure), that's a reason someone won't be partying with BN.

                As to why it tastes like vinegar (when it's supposed to a light, fun "fruit punch" type of wine), that's germane to understanding why one may like some BNs and not like others. Which, in turn, affects one's BN partying decision and if they've got a good shot at drinking a BN made correctly.

                Also germane, one's location -- the source of the BN and its nearness. In France -- even though there is less hoopla these days than when I lived there 25-30 years ago -- it's easier to find a party and be part of the "national" occasion. Also, one has a better shot at a fresher, less expensive BN to toss back. All factors.

                1. re: FrankJBN

                  What, exactly did you want for an answer?

                  It seems that you had an answer in mind, and it was not met, but maybe I am missing something.

                  Good luck,


              2. I've quaffed a few glasses of Beaujolais Nouveau in my time and, frankly, if it wasn't an excuse for a party I wouldn't bother. We are talking about overpriced wine that really does not taste all that good.

                1. Beaujolais Nouveau has about as much in common with REAL Beaujolais as Kool-Aid has to 100% fruit juice . . .

                  The only times I have "partied" with Beaujolais Nouveau have been when I was in my late-teens, and the ONE time I was in Paris on November 15th. (Now THAT was a party!) I've lost count of how many Beaujolais Nouveau and Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau I have had to taste over the years -- and let's not forget all of the California Nouveau "wannabes" from wineries like Sebastiani, Beringer, etc. -- but it's well over 100 . . . while I can certainly say that some were better -- even significantly better -- than others, none were all that special or memorable.

                  It hasn't been a wine I've consumed for decades. Tasted? Yes -- as part of my job. Consumed? No, it gets spat out in the sink or a crachoir . . .

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: zin1953

                    it's not even much of a party in Paris, anymore.

                    A few places still throw a special fete, but it's quickly becoming a yawner.

                    I was all over the city today and other than a few posters in shop windows, saw absolutely nothing to indicate that it was anything other than a cold Saturday in Paris -- no streamers in stores, no special menus, no nothing.

                    It's sold at the same price as wines of infinitely better quality (as much as 6-7 euros per glass, which is steep by Paris prices -- wine is usually cheaper than Coca Cola) -- and life is too short to drink crappy wine.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      I thought that the third Thursday was the big day not Saturday.

                      1. re: Chinon00

                        It was, but Parisians aren't very good at taking down streamers and posters until about, oh, six months after the event...and while the Thursday is The Day, one would think that just two days later, they'd be making some sort of effort to dump the inventory they bought.

                      2. re: sunshine842

                        Still, the chance of drinking a fresh, fruity BN is increased greatly if one is in France. After it's shipped by air, both the lack of freshness and cost can be party dampers. Not to mention that the overall level of hoopla has declined overall in France. Still, it's a party, a harvest drinking party.

                        1. re: maria lorraine

                          Isn't part of the novelty too that your drinking wine in November produced from grapes that were on the vine in September? I've been told as well that BN can provide a tiny tiny glimpse into what the harvest will be like overall in France.

                          1. re: Chinon00

                            Sure, it's a "of the moment" kind of thing. I've not heard that BN can telegraph the nature of the vintage overall -- is that possible since France's grape varieties and winemaking styles vary greatly?

                            1. re: maria lorraine

                              >>> I've not heard that BN can telegraph the nature of the vintage overall <<<

                              That's simply because you're so young, ML . . . since (at least) the late-1960s, importers (and thus wholesale reps, and as the $#!+ flows down hill, retail salespeople) had touted Beaujolais Nouveau as a "glimpse into the quality of the vintage." It's bull$#!+, of course, but since when to wholesale reps miss a chance to hype?

                                1. re: Chinon00

                                  I love the smell of Brett in the morning. It smells like . . . bull$#!+ ;^)

                            2. re: Chinon00

                              As I said previously,

                              >>> Even at its peak, historically, Beaujolais Nouveau sold from its release through December 31st. As soon as January 1st came around, sales DIED! It was no longer hip, cool, chic -- there was nothing special about drinking (e.g.) a 1982 vintage wine in 1983 . . . but if you could drink a 1982 wine IN 1982, well THAT was special! (Somehow.) <<<


                            3. re: maria lorraine

                              But ML, some distributors have dropped it, via parachute...

                              I agree. If one is at a party celebrating it, then perfectly fine. It IS about the party, whether in Paris, or Phoenix.


                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                            Agreed ( somehow, winos and tribal instinct don't seem to go together ).

                            1. re: RicRios

                              Many years ago, I did attend a NB "event." The retailer was pouring maybe 6 NB's that year. I commented to the distributor rep. that I rather liked one of the domestic (US) versions better, than all of the FR NB's. One attendee came to my side and whispered, "We NEVER drink any domestic wines, and ONLY consume true Beaujolais Nouveau - the good stuff." I just smiled, and moved away - far, far away. I did not want to enter into a discussion on maybe a Morgon.


                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                Those are the ones to whom you just smile, nod, and let them continue to live in oblivious bliss.

                                Then there's more good stuff left for the rest of us.

                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                  "I just smiled, and moved away - far, far away. I did not want to enter into a discussion on maybe a Morgon."

                                  Why not?

                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                    I felt that deep pontificating on BN was not a subject, that I wished to enter into, as it was not worthy of my time.


                                      1. re: Chinon00

                                        Sorry. My bad. There, I agree with you completely, and that goes for most Cru BJ's. They ARE interesting wines, and usually very food friendly, however, they do not get the love they deserve, and too many do not consider them serious wines. Not sure if BN plays a role in that, or not? Same for Rosés, I sort of think that White Zins just kill them, for many people. However, that means more for me.

                                        Sorry for my misunderstanding,


                            2. 2012 Georges Dubœuf Beaujolais Nouveau - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Beaujolais Nouveau (11/17/2012)
                              Not to my palate but since it was a free sample why not try it. Candied fruit and simple. No acidity to speak of and not balanced. The kind of wine you just gulp and not smell or swish in your mouth. $8.99 a bit expensive but I am sure shipping and the glass bottle is the bulk of the cost. (71 points)
                              Posted from CellarTracker

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: wineglas1

                                That pretty much sums up NB, in general. Over the decades, I have encountered maybe 3, that deserved any consideration, let alone "serious" consideration. It is, what it is, and so long as the "magic" sells a few thousand cases, who cares?


                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                  Exactly it's just to celebrate the harvest. Nothing serious.
                                  I was in Paris on the third Thursday in November in 1997 completely unaware of the BN thing. I was a young man on his first trip abroad alone w/ one simple mission: to drink lots of wine. I'd done some research and hit as many reputable wine bars I could find as well as a few average cafes. But many places I visited on that Thursday had BN (a small barrel adorning the bar). But I don't think it was taken seriously as a wine.

                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                    That is where the celebration of BN should be conducted. You are fortunate.

                                    Much beyond that, the party, there is not much, that needs to be said.

                                    I liken it to Mardi Gras. One needs to be in New Orleans, when it happens. Others do not want to know the history of the celebration, and never the roots. It is a party, and going beyond is a waste of time.


                              2. The most apt description I have read about Beaujolais Nouveau is that drinking it is as much fun as watching fireworks in the rain.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Tripeler

                                  in the rain with lightening bolts coming down

                                2. Am I imagining it or does everyone get an almost sour aftertaste (even slightly vinegary) when they drink Nouveau? Certainly there is no depth or subtlety to it.

                                  21 Replies
                                  1. re: kagemusha49

                                    it *is* almost borderling vinegary -- because it's been off the vine for all of about 8 weeks...it's barely had time to be more than grape juice that's gone off.

                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                      I recognize that you are being facetious, but the real reason has to do with introducing carbonic maceration to grapes that have yet to fully develop as they are being picked too early. Not a wine designed to age, but the classification in general doesn't equate to fail if done properly.

                                      1. re: redips

                                        Good point about the carbonic maceration. It's a fast way to make a fruity/juicy low-tannin wine with little work. Volatile acidity (VA = acetic acid = vinegar = sourness) occurs often with this process when there is inexact control of the the carbon dioxide-rich environment. If even a small amount of oxygen enters the tank and dilutes the CO2, the wine quickly develops volatile acidity. Grape ripeness seems less likely a factor -- there are minimum ripeness levels before the grapes can be picked.

                                        1. re: maria lorraine

                                          But a tiny bit of volatility is considered a plus by many wine-makers as it intensifies the aromatics. I love a dab of VA in everything from Jean Foillard's Morgons to Paolo Bea's Sagrantinos.

                                          1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                                            You want volatile esters. You want to smell those amyl esters from carbonic maceration that characterize Beaujolais Nouveau -- strawberry, cherry, banana, pear, bubble gum, almond flavors, etc.

                                            And -- agreed -- a minute amount of volatile acidity can give BN an acid springiness. But getting a little and not a lot (vinegary-y and nail polish flavors) is tricky, because controlling VA during carbonic maceration requires precise winemaking --- the exact opposite of the way the BN is usually made (throw grape bunches into a tank, pump in CO2). That's why VA is exceptionally common in BN, and one of the reasons (among many) people don't party mid-November.

                                            1. re: maria lorraine

                                              That's why I pay a couple dollars more for the practiced hand of Lapierre or Brun or Chermettes or (for a few dollars more than that) Foillard!

                                              Still, I've had a couple Lapierres and a Brun where volatility is out-of-control. My first Bea SanValentino was like that, too, and I was fortunate enough to run into that same wine again (same vintage even), and was blown away.

                                              Btw, I rarely get banana or pear drop in the Cru-Bs I drink (though it's exactly what turns me off to Duboeuf). Do you think these flavors are derived from the grape? Or, as I've heard surmised, from certain (older?) commercial yeast strains that the Duboeufs of the region where using? I just don't find these flavors in the wild yeast naturalists that dominate the Crus, though I still read them in tasting notes (and wonder if it's more about expectations, like every Bdx must taste of cassis, and every Southern Rhone of bacon fat?).

                                              1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                                                Thank the INAO that carbonic maceration is banned when it comes to producing the Crus de Beaujolais!

                                                1. re: zin1953

                                                  Well I was the one who brought out the vinegary taste issue. But today I said what the heck and bought a bottle of the 2012. And this one does NOT taste vinegary (that's a first for me). Tastes quite pleasant but still not really worth $10. Of course this may all have something to do with th fact that I just came down with a cold.

                                                  1. re: zin1953

                                                    Really? (INAO forbids carbonic maceration for cru-Beaujolaos?)

                                                    To be very specific, SEMI-carbonic maceration is practiced by many of the greatest vignerons of Beaujolais, specifically all who are influenced by Jules Chauvet and the original Gang of Four (or five?) including Lapierre, Foillard, and Thevenet.

                                                    Another key principle is the use of ONLY wild yeasts for fermentation, along with very light or no sulfur (Lapierre produces two bottlings, one lightly fixed with sulfur, the other without).

                                                    This is fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants winemaking, and produces glorious wines. Nothing at all like the Duboeuf swill.

                                                    1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                                                      More specifically (the following refers to Morgon, but it seems other Beaujolais Crus follow similar paths) :

                                                      "Pour les morgons, surtout pour ceux destinés à être gardé quelques années de plus en bouteille, la vinification est semi-carbonique, a mi-chemin de la macération carbonique et de la vinification bourguignonne. Le raisin est récolté manuellement, encuvé entier sans éraflage. La fermentation débute comme pour une macération carbonique, mais au moment où le marc destiné au primeur est décuvé et pressé, les cuves destinées au vin de garde sont pigées et la macération se poursuit jusqu'à épuisement presque complet des sucres. Le vin est ensuite écoulé, le marc pressé et la fermentation malolactique peut s'enclencher tant que la température n'est pas trop descendue. Ces procédés favorisent la production de vins peu tanniques, une coloration pas trop soutenue et des arômes fruités."


                                                      [my poor translation follows:
                                                      For morgons, especially for those intended to be held for a few more years in bottle, the vinification is semi-carbonic, halfway between carbonic maceration and vinification in Burgundian style. The grapes are harvested manually, placed whole in the vats without destemming. Fermentation begins like a carbonic maceration, but when the marc for the BN is devatted and pressed, the tanks destined for the better wine are drawn and maceration continues until almost complete depletion of sugars. The wine is then passed, the marc pressed and malolactic fermentation can engage as the temperature is not too low. These processes favor the production of wines with low tannin, coloring not too strong and fruity flavors.]

                                                      1. re: RicRios

                                                        Ric, this isn't a function of "I know more than you do." But the AOC regulations prohibit wines from the Crus Beaujolais to be made with EXCLUSIVELY macération carbonique and FORBIDS the Crus from making Nouveau.

                                                        "Cru Beaujolais: The highest category of classification in Beaujolais, account for the production within ten villages/areas in the northern part of the region. In Beaujolais the term "cru" refers to entire wine producing area rather than an individual vineyard. Seven of the Crus relate to actual villages while Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly refer to the vineyards areas around Mont Brouilly. >>> The cru villages are not allowed to produce Nouveau. <<< The maximum yields for Cru Beaujolais wine is 48 hl/ha. Their wines can be more full-bodied, darker in colour, a nd significantly longer-lived. From north to south the Beaujolais crus are- Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié, Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly." http://www.winetour-france.com/beaujo...

                                                        In addition, every wine book I own says that a) carbonic is forbidden in the production of Crus Beaujolais, and that the production of Nouveau is forbidden. Now perhaps one can use a mix of whole cluster and traditionally crushed grapes. I've never heard of whole cluster referred to as "semi-carbonic," so maybe it's a language thing . . . I don't really care. All I know is you can't make a Nouveau from a Cru, and I'm very thankful for that.

                                                        1. re: zin1953

                                                          The Crus are made and fermented traditionally, without carbonic maceration.

                                                          However, the INAO/AOC regulation for Cru Beaujolais allows semi-carbonic fermentation -- a carbonic ferm first till it exhausts itself at about 4% ABV, followed by a traditional ferm to a minimum of 10.5% ABV.

                                                          Even though carbonic is allowed, it's not used when making Cru Beaujolais, which is nearly always fermented traditionally. The reasons include greater ageability (Nouveau flavors from carbonic maceration fade in less than 1 year), the creation of fruit flavors that have more depth than the ones associated with Nouveau, more structure in the wine, etc.

                                                          Ricardo, that is why you don't taste banana or peardrop flavors in Crus -- traditional fermentation doesn't produce those flavors. If you're uncertain about whether or not carbonic was used (or partially used), the fruit flavors in the wine will tell you.

                                                          Here are the rules for Crus Beaujolais from the INAO:

                                                          "MODE D'ELABORATION:La vinification beaujolaise classique est une macération semi-carbonique par macération de vendange entière, puis pressurage et fin de fermentation à température maîtrisée. La vendange doit être manuelle."

                                                2. re: maria lorraine

                                                  ML, I thought the banana came from a specific yeast strain -- B21, IIRC -- that Dubouef was using.

                                                  1. re: zin1953

                                                    And here I thought that it was "lunch residue" from the simians making the BN... OK, maybe not.


                                                    1. re: zin1953

                                                      Bill's right. The banana smell/taste has to do with the monkeys.

                                                      The banana comes from two sources: carbonic maceration, and the 71B yeast (which has fallen a bit out of favor).

                                                      Banana aromas are in the amyl family, and a direct result of carbonic maceration, independent of any yeast added. However, carbonic maceration doesn't fully ferment the wine, and the juice/wine must be inoculated. A yeast often used to make Beaujolais and BN in the past, 71B, was known for the overwhelming banana aroma it created. My understanding is that yeast is not used so much now because the banana flavor overtook other flavors. (I personally dislike it greatly.)

                                                      The first source cited below is the most complete about this -- go to the link to read more.

                                                      Fatal Banana

                                                      Banana/Not-Banana: A tale of two Nouveaus

                                                      Carbonic maceration flavors

                                                      BANANA -- carbonic maceration

                                                      Mysteries of Beaujolais -- NYT

                                                      1. re: maria lorraine

                                                        Seventy-one . . . twenty-one . . . I was close! ;^) Not bad for someone who left the wine trade a decade ago. LOL

                                                        1. re: zin1953

                                                          You know, you are so very, very good. I'm in awe of what you know.

                                                          1. re: maria lorraine


                                                            I'm just a fountain of useless trivia . . . ;^)

                                                            Happy Thanksgiving, ML

                                          2. re: kagemusha49

                                            There seems to be a high incidence of volatile acidity with Beaujolais Nouveau. Perhaps because the ferm is rushed and does not receive the same amount of care or tending as with regular release wines.

                                            1. re: maria lorraine

                                              which is what I was trying to say a few posts back.

                                            2. re: kagemusha49

                                              Oh, I find it a fine "party-wine" for the moment, and also find that good versions, DO go with the US Thanksgiving dinner - though I usually go elsewhere.

                                              It's fun, while it lasts, which is not that long.

                                              Some decades back, I saved several "good" examples, for a few years. At an informal event, I dredged those bottles out (maybe 3 - 5 years, after release), and we tasted them. Only one was worth drinking... then we moved on.


                                            3. I think of the Nov.15 buzz about NB as a harmless reason to whup it up a bit on an otherwise unremarkable day, and more civilized than the La Tomatina tomato fight every year in Bunol, Spain. The French do have some class, and the marketing savvy to dump some of their most inferior product on Americans at lofty prices.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                "harmless reason to whup it up a bit"


                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                  Yes. It is kinda like asking..."raise your hand if you like Mickey Mouse". There will always be a few that "vehemently" don't raise their hands- and keep them firmly in their laps, but most people will raise them. It's hard completely dislike Mickey, no matter who you are...but it really isn't a very serious question to most.

                                                  But what the hell do I know? I drink Lafite one night and a Sangria the next. There is a time and place for everything.

                                                  1. re: sedimental

                                                    And for BN, there is perhaps a week, depending on where you are. After that, life goes on, and fine wines are waiting to be consumed. At release, drink what is available, and then, move on.


                                                2. Cru Beaujolais remains so inexpensive and delicious that there's little reason to bother with nouveau. I drink (and cellar!) many Morgons, Moulin-a-Vents, Fleuries, Brouillys, etc. The 2011 vintage is shaping up to be quite nice, though I've only tasted Lapierre's so far.

                                                  I mean, why bother with a $10 bottle of the merely quaffable Nouveau, when Crus like Burgaud's Cote du Py VV is less than $15, and Lapierre's Morgon and Coudert's Fleurie are less than $20? Just doesn't fit my idea of good QPR.

                                                  9 Replies
                                                  1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                                                    I'm so looking forward to the 2010 Lapierre Morgon that I procured for Thanksgiving.

                                                    1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                                                      Beaujolais was NEVER about QPR. The costs of air freight negated that option.

                                                      1. re: zin1953

                                                        Heh. The cost of loading it onto a truck and shipping it 200 miles to Paris negated that option.

                                                        Judging by the reduced prices (and Jason, you know they don't cut prices here very often, particularly on wine) and the sheer number of bottles sitting on the shelf at the supermarket last night, not many in my area were/are buying.

                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                          Sales of Beaujolais Nouveau in the US peaked in the 1980s . . . Georges Dubouef couldn't keep up and, one year, introduced a "Vin Nouveau" vin de table (I think it was from Nîmes), that not only wasn't very good, but it turned in the bottle, was cloudy, and threw a protein haze . . . sales have been dropping ever since!

                                                          Oh, heck, there was even a Vouvray Nouveau! I hadn't laughed so hard since the American TV show "Falcon Crest" -- a nighttime soap opera a la "Dallas" but set in California's "Tuscany Valley" (read "Napa") -- had the winemaker walking past 225 liter barriques and spoke of the "carbonic maceration" going on inside the barrels!

                                                          Even at its peak, historically, Beaujolais Nouveau sold from its release through December 31st. As soon as January 1st came around, sales DIED! It was no longer hip, cool, chic -- there was nothing special about drinking (e.g.) a 1982 vintage wine in 1983 . . . but if you could drink a 1982 wine IN 1982, well THAT was special! (Somehow.)

                                                          1. re: zin1953

                                                            Just out of curiousity -- how do you rate the German federweissers?

                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                              Well, considering I've never seen one sold commercially in the US, the short answer is "I don't." That hasn't stopped me from tasting, and often enjoying, the must as it was fermenting in the various wineries in which I was employed. My favorites were Zinfandel and Gewürztraminer . . .

                                                              1. re: zin1953

                                                                I know it's not exported commercialy - - was just curious that since it's roughly a similar idea (very young wines from this year's vintage serving as an excuse for a party) -- how you felt that the wines themselves stacked up.

                                                      2. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                                                        Couldn't agree more and love Lapierre's wines. Looking forward to the 2010 Jean Paul Thevenet Morgon with Thanksgiving. Recently tried his son's 2009 Regnié wine: wonderful and a steal at $23. Be on the lookout.

                                                        1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

                                                          I agree completely.

                                                          Unfortunately, BN is what too many know. 1er Cru BJ is another wine, all together, and bears little relationship, beyond the Region, and the Gamay grape. Unfortunately, many equate all BJ wines with BN, and seldom look beyond - missing some really good wines.


                                                        2. Something missing in this thread: a mention to Vino Novello.
                                                          I really enjoy it whenever I'm in Italy in November.
                                                          No exports, as far as I know.
                                                          And no hype.
                                                          Just nice, decent wine served all over (well, all over I'm usually at: Tuscany, Lombardia,

                                                          For the technologically oriented winos, here's the relevant comment from Wikipedia:


                                                          The birth of 'young wine' comes from the Beaujolais wine region, a southern area of Burgundy. A novel wine making technique was developed by a Frenchman, M. Flanzy, in the 1930s. The main difference in making Vino novello wines is that the grapes are not crushed but are fermented using whole grapes, allowing for only a minimum percentage of sugar to be converted into alcohol, ensuring the wine has a smooth, fruity flavor. Italy first started making Vino novello in the 1970s. The first producers were Angelo Gaja (Vinot) and Marchesi Antinori (S. Giocondo).[5] Vino novello was officially recognized in Italy in 1987.

                                                          [edit] Beaujolais nouveau vs. Vino novello

                                                          Beaujolais Nouveau made from Gamay
                                                          The two wines are very similar, but there are significant differences.
                                                          Beaujolais nouveau is released on the third Thursday of November
                                                          Vino novello is marketed on November 6
                                                          Beaujolais nouveau is produced from a single grape variety: Gamay
                                                          Italy uses over 60 varieties, of which seven are international. Merlot is the most used (17%), 42 are single-variety.
                                                          The harvest in Beaujolais is strictly manual; grapes must be picked by hand only.
                                                          Italy authorizes mechanical means to pick grapes.
                                                          For Beaujolais nouveau, 100% carbonic maceration must be used
                                                          A minimum of 30% carbonic maceration is common for Vino novello. Not all producers restrict the carbonic maceration to 30%, but it should be clearly explained in the label.
                                                          France produces about 65 million bottles of Beaujolais (2004)
                                                          Italy produces about 17 million bottles of Vino novello of various types (2004)


                                                          2 Replies
                                                            1. re: RicRios

                                                              Thank you, Ric -- I don't recall ever having a vino novello before, but it makes sense that the Italians would do it, too.

                                                              >>> France produces about 65 million bottles of Beaujolais (2004) <<<

                                                              BTW, am I the only one who thinks that's about 65 million bottles too many? ;^)


                                                              Actually, I *do* remember having a Beaujolais Nouveau that I actually liked in the late-1990s from the Sambardier family outside of Denicé.

                                                            2. I won a bottle of duBoeuf nouveau the other night. It was delicious. Not always this good and I usually skip it as I am a wine snob (I just do not drink bad wine). For my hiking pals next Thursday.