Why the Third Thursday in November Is a Big Wine Deal in New York
What is the big deal that people are making over this one wine? The wine is called Beaujolais Nouveau (Bo-zha-lay new-voh) and don't refer to it as Boo jolais. Think of it this way, it is wine it doesn't scare you, so you don't need to call it Boo-jo-lais.
Anyway, this wine is not allowed to be sold before the third Thursday in November, seriously. No, I am not sure if the wine police will hunt you down and take your wine from you, but the reason for this is based on some French law, that dates back to 1951.
So what is this November wine all about? Is it a red wine or a white wine?
It is a light red wine that is made from the Gamay grape. The wine itself is made by using a process called carbonic maceration. Ok, did your eyes just cross? What that means is the grapes, which have been picked by hand in whole clusters, are put into cement vats, and the weight of these grapes on top of one another, allows the juice inside to escape. The grapes, with the juice, don't have a lot of time to spend together, so the wine itself is fresh and fruit forward.
How do you serve this red wine? Will it go with Thanksgiving Dinner?
It is usually served slightly chilled and in the US, a lot of people use this as their Thanksgiving wine, because it is low in tannin, ripe in red fruit character and pairs well with foods. If you are familiar with Pinot Noir, think of this as a lighter, similar wine to that, but fresher.
Which Beaujolais Nouveau is the best one? Does it matter?
Ask your local wine shop to see which Beaujolais Nouveau they have selected. Then ask them why? Do they have a favorite? Do they suggest you serving them chilled? Room temperature? What do they think you should pair with this wine? Turkey, ham, maybe cheese or even hot dogs? Ask them, they know.
Wait, how much will this 'swanky' wine cost me per bottle?
Are these wines expensive? Well, they will probably cost you anywhere between $11 and $17, depending on the brand. I saw one particular selection at one store for $10.99 and the same wine at a second store for $17.95. So expect the price of the wine to vary, depending on the size of the store you are in. If it looks good try it. If you don't like it, take notes to not try that one again.
If you are adventurous, grab one or two different ones to try out. Don't be surprised if you return to the store and they have sold out of your favorite. Keep in mind there are only a certain amount of cases made each year. If you run out though, you will find yourself waiting until the third Thursday of November 2023 for more. Cheers!
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