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Dec 1, 2013 12:22 PM

Le Beaujolais Nouveau 2013 is undrinkable and I just did the unthinkable....

Le Beaujolais Nouveau 2013 is undrinkable and I just did the unthinkable....
Let me explain.
Yesterday, at a really neat, moderately new and un-New York Times-annointed place, En Vrac, a sort of wine bar plus-bistro a vins-cave a manger, located in a most un-New York Times area (Metro: Marx Dormoy in the 18th), I had a very fine meal with my pal Tahoe Tech, during which he declared that his friends had reported that the Beaujolais Nouveau 2013 was undrinkable.
Never one to fink out of a challenge, I then bought two bottles, the first of which I opened tonight. And had one sip of. Yuck!
As my son in law has taught me to say - "You're right, I'm wrong, I'll never do it again," But, having poured the first bottle down the drain, what do I do with the second?
Leaving it on the street for our local bum seems unethical, throwing it away - uneconomical and returning it unpossible.
Randy Cohen, where are you now that we need you?
OK, nobody need write "what was I thinking about sipping such sh*t"

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  1. Was it a good natural one or one of the mass market commercial ones? I find that Nouveau is just the same as any wine i.e. they are not all equal. So saying "all" Nouveau is undrinkable is like saying all of this years Chablis is undrinkable. That said I have yet to try this years, my local natural wine, wine bar had imported some so I may try it later this week.

    1. The BN I tried at Café Claude in San Francisco was certainly drinkable. I don't remember the label but it wasn't the GdeB.

      1. I'd set up a stand on the place du Tertre and sell it at 15€ a 2-cl glass... advertise it as Mimi's favourite wine... and like most of the other vendors/ "artists", pretend you are French.

        1. vin chaud -- sugar and spices cover a host of shortcomings.

          Maybe the US is finally learning -- I've yet to see even a single flyer or banner, nor even a single bottle of this year's Nouveau.

          Doesn't bode well for the rest of the harvest if the Nouveau is completely undrinkable, though...and with a late, wet spring, a stormy summer with hail, and an early autumn, I guess hoping for excellence is high hopes indeed.

          eta: we're keeping all of our winemaker friends across l'Hexagone in our thoughts -- I know it's been a tough year.

          5 Replies
          1. re: sunshine842

            "Maybe the US is finally learning -- I've yet to see even a single flyer or banner, nor even a single bottle of this year's Nouveau."
            I don't know about the US, but I haven't seen a banner or such in Paris either. I was just shopping at Franprix and said "Oh what the hell."

            1. re: sunshine842

              I'm in the US and saw the signs in the window last week at our local liquor store. I was in a hurry and didn't have time to stop. Now, I see that was fortuitous. Shame, though. I look forward to BN season each year.

              1. re: MrsPatmore

                Don't hold your breath; I've always felt BN was a shuck but a shuck for the Japanese and Yankees, not me, but I cannot resist buying a bottle to see if it's strawberry, banana, plum or stink-bugs this year.

                1. re: John Talbott

                  Not this Yankee..not even before I had the luck to live at the source.

              2. re: sunshine842

                I would also recommend vin chaud. Star anis, cloves, canelle, sugar, orange, and a shot of rhum or amaretto ... our neighbors to the east know how to make poor quality, light reds perfectly drinkable.

              3. I had a glass of Foillard that wasn't truly disgusting. On the other hand a glass of a domestic (US) nouveau was pretty awful.

                7 Replies
                1. re: wally

                  Foillard is often one of the better ones, as I said up-thread not all Nouveau is equal, the bio and natural wine producers often take it seriously which is a distinct contrast to the mass-market producers. It must be a counter cultural thing, subverting a marking spin for cheap wine by producing something with more substance....although it's still meant to be fun and definitely not a wine with a long life.

                  Sounds like our usually erudite posters are drinking mass market wines and concluding it's tastes bad. Is this news?

                  1. re: PhilD

                    Indeed not all Beaujolais are equal. I would even argue that the Beaujolais from the northern sub-appellations like Morgon (which includes Foillard)) and Juliénas are almost a different species than the light, highly manipulated wines from the southern domaines where the vast majority (if not all) of BN comes from. The gamay grapes and the poor soil of the Bas Beaujolais create a product that can only qualify as drinkable after the grapes have been suffocated with carbon dioxide during winemaking. Here, I doubt if natural or bio wines are even possible. In the north, conditions are much better and can support natural winemaking. But the production from the north, although geographically categorized as Beaujolais, has very little in common with the Beaujolais Nouveau aka vin de merde from the Beaujolais' southern domaines.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        Thanks to a series of scandals a decade or so ago and a very famous court case, vin de merde is now a very popular name for BN.

                        BTW, I think I read somewhere that sales of BN in France has halved in the last 12 years... but consumption of vin de merde abroad continues to rise.

                        1. re: Parnassien

                          that's why I was pretty surprised to see ZERO notice of it here in Florida.

                          Used to be a big hairy deal - the wine shops all had a party, there were specials in the stores...

                          This year? Zip.

                          Don't get me wrong - I've been known to drink it with friends - woo, look at us, drinking the Nouveau! -- but it's never been on the list of "good wine"

                        2. re: Parnassien

                          Totally agree, and that's the point I was trying to make. Nouveau is similar to Beujolais in its quality. Get a mature wine from one of the 10 crus-de-Beujolais regions and it will be a far superior and a better bet than a Beujolais Villages or a simple Beujolais. Get a Nouveau from the Beujolais Villages and it will be better than the basic Beujolais, even better if you can get it from a Cru producer.

                          I love Côte du Py as it is a very quaffable wine, I also used to love propping up a barrel outside Le Rubis and slowly working my way through his selection - it was just around the corner from our apartment in rue st Honore and was a great first stop before a Friday night on the town.