The Holiday Season Arrived with “L’Ancien” Beaujolais Nouveau

2016 Domaine des Terres Dorées “L’Ancien” Vieilles Vignes Beaujolais Nouveau – At $16, this light-bodied red wine from France is a food-friendly wine that will please almost every wine drinker.  So, as you’re starting to think about holiday parties and dinners, this is one to keep in mind. Rating 4 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2016 Domaine des Terres Dorées “L’Ancien” Vieilles Vignes Beaujolais Nouveau

The third Thursday of November is one of the best faux holidays of the year—Beaujolais Nouveau Day! And, for me, it’s the real start of the holiday season.

Long time readers know how much I enjoy the day, but for the uninitiated, Beaujolais Nouveau is a light-bodied, French red wine. The wine is harvested, fermented, bottled, shipped, and opened by wine drinkers all within a 6-8 week period. Beaujolais Nouveau is not to be aged, but rather enjoyed within the couple of months of when it’s released, while the wine is fruity and immature. Think of it as a preview of what to expect when the aged Beaujolais wines are released. And, that’s exactly what had me excited about the one I opened on Beaujolais Nouveau Day!

Admittedly, the Thursday before Thanksgiving was a very quiet workday. I had a fundraising call with my boss, lunch with a Congressional staffer I’ve been playing tag with for months, and a coalition conference call. Congress was still focused on figuring out plans for the lame duck, so everything else was mostly quick conversations or emails to remind staffers about my organization’s priorities for this period. Everything was very low-key, which was the perfect end to my four-day workweek. On my walk home, I went to a new-to-me wine store and bought a new-to-me Beaujolais Nouveau.

The 2016 Domaine des Terres Dorées “L’Ancien” Vieilles Vignes Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine from Beaujolais, France and was made with 100% Gamay grapes.  On the nose, there were strawberries and cream mixed with hints of late bloom rose petals. In the mouth, there were tart strawberries and raspberries, as well as hints of cranberries and roses. The wine is light-bodied with light tannins and a good acidity.

2016 Domaine des Terres Dorées “L’Ancien” Vieilles Vignes Beaujolais Nouveau & the corn husk charms from the "Tom Turkey" Simply Charmed magnetic wine charm set

2016 Domaine des Terres Dorées “L’Ancien” Vieilles Vignes Beaujolais Nouveau & the corn husk charm from my “Tom Turkey” Simply Charmed magnetic wine charm set

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. At $16, this wine is incredibly food friendly and has surprising structure to a wine that is so young. I’m a fan! What is particularly notable about this wine is that unlike many other Beaujolais Nouveau producers, they don’t use carbonic maceration, which can give the wines a bubble gum characteristic. So, as you’re starting to think about holiday parties and dinners, this is a budget-friendly wine that will please almost every wine drinker.

(Also pictured is one of the Simply Charmed “Tom Turkey” magnetic wine charms I received as a sample. Click here for details on the giveaway I’m doing where you can win a “His & Hers” set, which has 12 charms and is a $28 value. There are several ways to enter, but you have do to it fast, as entries are only accepted from November 26 until 11pm on December 4th)

Question of the Day: Have you ever participated in Beaujolais Nouveau Day events?  What are your thoughts on the faux holiday?  What about your thoughts on the wine?

Price: $16
Purchased at Chat’s Liquors on Capitol Hill
Overall: 4 Corks

14 Wines for Thanksgiving Dinner

14 Wines for Thanksgiving Dinner – Here are mix of sparkling, rosé, white, and red wine options that would be a wonderful addition to any Thanksgiving Day feast. Plus, 10 of these Thanksgiving wine pairing options are $20 or less, so there is no need to worry about spending a fortune for good wine. Cheers…and Happy Thanksgiving! | AGlassAfterWork.com

14 Wines for Thanksgiving Dinner – Here are mix of sparkling, rosé, white, and red wine options that would be a wonderful addition to any Thanksgiving Day feast. Plus, 10 of these Thanksgiving wine pairing options are $20 or less, so there is no need to worry about spending a fortune for good wine. Cheers…and Happy Thanksgiving! | AGlassAfterWork.com

It’s hard to believe that it’s Thanksgiving time.  Hubby and I are running the SOME Turkey Trot for Hunger 5k before we head to his mother’s, as we usually do.  While there is a lot to be thankful, our holiday festivities will be a lot smaller than previous years.  My sister-in-law moved to the West Coast, so she and her boyfriend won’t be joining.  Hubby’s cousin recently had a baby and decided to host, which means we’ll be missing both his cousin, her husband, and their baby girl, as well as her parents.  And, his grandmother passed away at the end of the summer, so there will be an obvious absence at the table.  Except for his grandmother’s passing, the smaller holiday is actually because of happy reasons, and I’m excited to see our families expand and be successful.  At the same time, though, I will miss the hustle and bustle of the larger dinners that I’ve gotten used to over the years.

That said, smaller numbers means more wine for me!  I’m still debating between a Zinfandel and a Petit Sirah as my big red wine of choice.  If you’re still trying to figure out what to bring, maybe this list of suggestions will inspire you:

Gruet Blanc de Noirs – This $13 bottle of sparkling wine from New Mexico is dry with beautiful, persistent bubbles. The bubbly tastes of berries, baked pears with hints of toast, cream, and vanilla. It’s delicious on its own or mixed with your favorite fruit juice for a champagne cocktail. Rating 4 out 5. Cheers! | AGlassAfterWork.com

Gruet Blanc de Noirs

The Gruet Blanc de Noirs is full of berry and baked pear flavors mixed with a hint of toast, cream, and vanilla.  It’s a sparkling wine that I’m constantly recommending because it’s available throughout much of the country, is a big crowd pleaser, and is very affordable. In this case, though, it’s a particularly nice choice because it pairs will with Thanksgiving dinner. It compliments the turkey, while the bubbles and acidity cut through some of the heavier dishes like the mashed potatoes or green bean casserole. Plus, how often do you get to drink a wine from New Mexico?!? I gave this wine 4 corks and purchased it for $13.

Biutiful Brut Rosé Cava – At $14 a bottle, this sparkling rose wine from Spain is perfect for any season. Whether it’s opened during a summer picnic with friends over a basket of prosciutto and cheese or during a Thanksgiving feast with family, this food-friendly bubbly is easily drinkable and is full of festivity and fun. Ratings 3.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

Biutiful Brut Rosé Cava

The Biutiful Cava Brut Rosé (snooth) is a Spanish sparkling wine from Spain with tart raspberries and strawberries characteristics that mix with hints of peaches and cream. The wine had a light-to-medium body, has good acidity, and goes down very smoothly. It would go nicely with appetizers like a crab or spinach dip, as well prosciutto and cheese plates, while being able to transition nicely into a dinner time sparkler to pair with the turkey dinner, particularly if you’re having fried turkey. All in all,  this rose Cava is easily drinkable, food-friendly, and very affordable. I gave this wine 3.5 corks and purchased it for $14.

Storybook Mountain Zin Gris- At $25, this dry rosé wine from California is everything a pink wine should be. It’s a nice mixture of cranberries, limes, and thyme; it’s food-friendly; and it’s easy to drink. It would be the perfect wine for any picnic or cookout. Rating: 4.5 Corks out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

Storybook Mountain Zin Gris

The Storybook Mountain Vineyards Zin Gris (winery) is Zinfandel rosé that is not a “White Zinfandel.” It’s a dry wine that’s full of cranberry, lime, and thyme flavors, which will mix nicely with the traditional Thanksgiving dinner side dishes like stuffing and cranberry sauce. Plus, the bright acidity of the wine will help cut through some of the more butter-laden goodness like macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes without overpowering them. I gave this wine 4.5 corks and purchased it online through the vineyard for $19.

2015 Klinker Brick Winery Rosé – At $15, this California rosé wine is a perfect summer porch sipper with a nice quality/price ratio. Rating: 4 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2015 Klinker Brick Winery Rosé

The 2015 Klinker Brick Winery Rosé (winerysnooth) is a light bodied wine that is beautifully fresh tasting, with lots of grapefruit characteristics mixed with hints of tart raspberry and flowers. This wine is an easy sipper that would compliment both appetizers and the main feast, particularly for the wine drinker that prefers lighter, crisp styles. I gave this wine 4 corks and tasted it the winery during the 2016 Wine Bloggers’ Conference. It has a great quality/price ratio with an SRP of $15.

2015 Vasco Urbano Wine Company – At $24, this California rose from the Livermore Valley is light bodied and nicely balanced. It’s perfect for a cheese board or some porch sipping, and it will carry over nicely into the fall. You might even want to consider it for your Thanksgiving table. Rating 4.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2015 Vasco Urbano Wine Company Grenache Rose

The Vasco Urbano Wine Company’s 2015 Ghielmetti Vineyards Grenache Rosé (winery) has quickly become one of my favorites. It’s light body, bright acidity, and beautiful balance makes it a wine that is enjoyable both on its own and with food. It’s a particularly nice option for Thanksgiving because it will compliment the turkey, while keeping your mouth fresh and ready for the next bite. I gave it 4.5 corks and tasted it the winery during the 2016 Wine Bloggers’ Conference. It has an SRP of $24.

2014 Chateau St. Michelle Cold Creek Riesling – At $20, this white wine from Washington state would be the perfect wine for a summer salad, cold chicken, or just to sip on with good friends and conversation. Rating: 4 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2014 Chateau St. Michelle Cold Creek Riesling

The 2014 Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Riesling (winery)has the slightest touch of sweetness, but when combined with a nice acidity, the wine is refreshing and incredibly drinkable. The wine has aromas and flavors of ripe peaches and apricots mixed with honey and a hint of ginger., which will bring warmth to the turkey dinner and all it’s dishes. The wine would be particularly nice with a fried turkey. I gave this wine 4 Corks and purchased it for $20.

2014 Clarksburg Chenin Blanc – This $18 white wine from California would be good any time of year and is absolutely wonderful on its own, but makes a particularly delicious addition to a Thanksgiving feast. It’s the epitome of what every Thanksgiving Dinner pairing should be! The magnetic wine charm is by Simply Charmed and part of the “Tom Turkey” set. Rating 4.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2014 Clarksburg Wine Company Chenin Blanc and Simply Charmed magnetic wine charms

The 2014 Clarksburg Chenin Blanc (winery) is everything I want in a Thanksgiving Day wine. I’m actually sorry that I opened my final bottle last week because it means I won’t have another to open when Hubby and I do our own Thanksgiving. That said, I did enjoy my bottle with turkey-stuffed acorn squash, and the pairing was out-of-this-world. The juicy stone fruit combined with hints of melon and wax enhanced the sweetness of the squash, while nice acidity of the wine helped keep the turkey and rice mixture inside the squash from being too heavy and dense tasting. It was the type of pairing where I was literally alternating between a bit of dinner and a sip of wine. So grab this wine today! I gave this wine 4.5 corks and purchased it for $18.

(And as a side note, while I’ll be doing a separate blog post that will include a giveaway to one lucky reader, if you’re looking for fun, magnetic wine charms to help with glass identification when you’re entertaining or if you’re just feeling festive and want to fancy-up your wine glass, I highly recommend Simply Charmed. My glass of Chenin Blanc is rocking one from the “Tom Turkey” charm set that I received as a sample.)

2014 Concannon Vineyard Chardonnay – At $18, this California white wine is very smooth and is a perfect food wine. Rating: 3.5 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2014 Concannon Vineyard Chardonnay

The 2014 Concannon Vineyard Chardonnay (winerysnooth) is a smooth, food-friendly wine that embodies the nice balance a Chardonnay should have. It’s full of apple and pear flavors, but only has a touch of oakiness that is reminiscent of chewed on Popsicle stick (but in a good way). People often love or hate Chardonnay, but I would say that regardless of which category you fall into, this is one that is worth trying this Thanksgiving, especially as it will be a nice pairing with buttery mashed potatoes and gravy. I gave it 3.5 corks and tasted it the winery during the 2016 Wine Bloggers’ Conference. It has an SRP of $18.

2014 The Whip– At $24, this white wine blend from California will blow you away. It’s nicely balanced, easy to drink, and is a perfect pairing option for appetizers, dinner, or just talking with friends and family. Rating: 4 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2014 The Whip

Murrieta’s Well 2014 The Whip (winery) is a gorgeous blend of grapes. This is a wine that will blow away your Thanksgiving Day guests as it’s a nicely balanced, easy-to-drink wine that has a tart citrus flavor mixed with a hint of creamy sweetness that is unique, but homey all at the same time. The wine is full of flower blossoms, limes, stone and tropical fruits, and honey dew melon and would be a great way to start off the festivities. I gave it 4 corks and tasted it the winery during the 2016 Wine Bloggers’ Conference. It has an SRP of $24.

Albinea Canali Lambrusco “FB” Metodo Ancestrale -- This $20 bottle of sparkling wine from Italy is a dry wine, although the strawberry flavors are juicy and sweet. It would make a perfect pairing with Easter ham or Thanksgiving turkey. Rating 4 out of 5. Cheers! | AGlassAfterWork.com

Albinea Canali Lambrusco “FB” Metodo Ancestrale

The Albinea Canali Lambrusco “FB” Metodo Ancestrale is a semi-sparkling, dry Lambrusco with a medium pink color rather than the sweeter, inky purple wine people often associate with Lambrusco. The “FB” has juicy strawberry flavors mixed with hints of bread crust and touch of tartness that will make a nice pairing with turkey. I gave it 4 corks, and while I received it as a sample, the suggested retail price is $20.

2016 Domaine des Terres Dorées “L’Ancien” Vieilles Vignes Beaujolais Nouveau – At $16, this light-bodied red wine from France is a food-friendly wine that will please almost every wine drinker. So, as you’re starting to think about holiday parties and dinners, this is one to keep in mind. Rating 4 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2016 Domaine des Terres Dorées “L’Ancien” Vieilles Vignes Beaujolais Nouveau

No Thanksgiving celebration is complete without at least one bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau. I haven’t had a chance to open my bottle of Georges Duboeuf yet, but I did taste the 2016 Domaine des Terres Dorées “L’Ancien” Vieilles Vignes Beaujolais Nouveau and was a fan. A nose full of strawberries and cream mixed with hints of late bloom rose petals. In the mouth, there are tart strawberries and raspberries, as well as hints of cranberries and roses. The wine is light bodied with light tannins and a good acidity that makes it food friendly and gives surprising structure to a wine that is so young. It also makes we want to try the winery’s regular Beaujolais, which I’m sure would also make for a nice addition to the Thanksgiving table. I gave this wine 4 corks and purchased it for $16.

2015 Altovinum Evodia Garnacha - This red wine from Spain can be found for under $10, but your guests will never guess because it is a luscious, versatile wine. Whether opening it over appetizers, a dinner of white or red meat, or just open a bottle in front of a cozy fire with friends, it’s hard to beat this quality price ratio. Rating: 4 out of 5. | AGlassAfterWork.com

2015 Altovinum Evodia Garnacha

The 2015 Altovinum Evodia Garnacha is one of the more versatile wines I’ve had, as I think it would pair nicely with white or red meat. In the case of Thanksgiving, the cherry, raspberry, and cranberry characteristics blend nicely with cinnamon, rose petals and hints of tobacco to make a wine that is exactly what you want to pair with turkey and cranberry sauce. It’s also a wine that has a wonderful quality/price ratio. I gave it 4 corks, and while I received it as a sample, the suggested retail price is $11, but a little research makes it look like you can find it for under $10.

2013 Valle Dell'Acate "Il Moro" Nero d'Avola - This $17 red wine from Italy is a little sharp to drink on its own, but it pairs beautifully with some homemade Italian cooking or a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Rating: 3.5 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2013 Valle Dell’Acate “Il Moro” Nero d’Avola

The 2013 Valle Dell’Acate Il Moro Nero d’Avola (winery) is a wine that was definitely meant to pair with food. While I was not as much of a fan of drinking it on its own, it was absolutely outstanding with the turkey-stuffed acorn squash that Hubby made for dinner last week. The nice tart blackberries and licorice mix with hints of blueberries and cedar in a way that would be a perfect pairing for sweet potato casserole. I gave this wine 3.5 corks, and while I received it as a sample, the suggested retail price is $17.

2012 Valletta Barbera d'Alba - This $25 bottle of red wine from Italy is delicate and intense, making it perfect for Easter or Thanksgiving dinner, particularly if you’re serving lamb or turkey. Rating 4.5 out of 5. | AGlassAfterWork.com

2012 Valletta Barbera d’Alba

The 2012 Valletta Barbera d’Alba (winery) is a red wine I open in my house regularly, as it’s seductive and food-friendly without being overly expensive. It’s a deep ruby color with flecks of garnet that I love looking at in my glass. And, the cherry and plum notes mix with an earthiness and something toasty to make a medium-to-full bodied wine with velvety tannins that just scream to be paired with a Thanksgiving dinner. I gave it 4.5 corks and purchased it for $25.

2014 Portalupi Dolinsek Ranch Old Vine Zinfandel – This $48 red wine from California lingers in the mouth, get more and more flavorful as time passes. It’s a wine meant for enjoying over a leisurely feast with family and friends. Rating: 4.5 out of 5. | AGlassAfterWork.com

2014 Portalupi Dolinsek Ranch Old Vine Zinfandel

Drinking Zinfandel with a Thanksgiving dinner is like eating peanut butter with jelly…the two are practically made to go together. And, the 2014 Portalupi Dolinsek Ranch Old Vine Zinfandel (winery) is a particularly good option because the medium-bodied wine is full of blackberry, raspberry, and cranberry flavors that hint at pine trees and baking spices. What’s particularly wonderful about the wine is it lingers in the mouth, get more and more flavorful. This Zinfandel will help bring out the deep flavors in the turkey (especially if you’re a dark meat lover), as well as in side dishes like the sweet potato casserole. It’s perfect for eating a leisurely feast with family and friends. I gave it 4.5 stars, and while I received this wine as a present, it looks like it sells for about $48.

Question of the Day:  Have you picked our your Thanksgiving wines?  What are you planning to serve?

Beaujolais Nouveau = Holiday Time!

2015 Beaujolais Nouveau closeupThe third Thursday of November–Beaujolais Nouveau Day–is really the start of the holiday season for me. Yes, it’s a marketing gimmick. And, yes, the wine is not a mature sophisticated wine, but it’s fun, festive, and I always look forward to its release.

In case you’ve never heard of Beaujolais Nouveau, it’s a wine made in the Beaujolais region of France. Unlike most wines, Beaujolais Nouveau is harvested, fermented, bottled, shipped, and (hopefully) enjoyed by wine lovers all within a 6-8 week period. It’s not meant to be aged. In fact, the longer it sits, the less enjoyable it becomes. The whole purpose of Beaujolais Nouveau is to enjoy it while it’s fresh, fruity, and immature with the idea that it gives you a sneak peak at what it’s more mature sibling–the Beaujolais wines–will taste like when released.

2015 Georges DeBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau

2015 Georges DeBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau

The 2015 Georges DeBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau (winery, snooth) is made with 100% Gamay grapes and is a deep purple color with a touch of ruby. On the nose and in the mouth, there were strawberries and blueberries with hints of cream and bubble gum. The wine had a medium body, smooth tannins, and low-to-medium acid.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. At $10 a bottle, the quality/price ration makes this wine well worth buying. In fact, it’s the best vintage in recent memory. While very fruit forward, this vintage will make a good food wine. Whether it’s appetizers like a chevre crostini and plate of savory olives, turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving, or your Christmas dinner ham, the 2015 Beaujolais Nouveau would be a nice match.

That said, I didn’t pair it with anything. Instead, I opened it and drank a couple of glasses on the Friday evening after Beaujolais Nouveau Day. It was perfect as I curled up on the couch with Hubby, watched TV, and kicked up a week-long holiday vacation. The only thing missing was a fire, but the weather in DC was just too warm for that.

Question of the Day: What are your thoughts on Beaujolais Nouveau? Are you a fan or is it too gimmicky for you? If you’re a fan, did you try this year’s vintage?

Price: $10
Purchased at World Market
Overall: 4 Corks

Beaujolais Nouveau…The Real Start to the Holidays

2014 Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau top labelThe start of the holiday season is really the third Thursday of November—Beaujolais Nouveau Day!  Yes, I know that makes me a tool of the wine marketing machine, but I admit that and then open a bottle or two of Beaujolais Nouveau because it’s fun and festive.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this wine, Beaujolais Nouveau comes from the Beaujolais region of France.  The wine is made using Gamay grapes, but unlike most wines, it isn’t aged before it’s released for sale.  Within a 6-8 week period, the grapes are harvested, crushed, fermented, bottled, and shipped to distributors and wine stores.  It is a fruity, low-acid wine, and the whole purpose of enjoying the immature wine is to get a sneak peak at what the year’s vintage of Beaujolais will taste like.  Beaujolais Nouveau should really be consumed within the few months of its release.  I never drink it after January, as it’s not meant to age in a bottle.  The longer it sits, the less enjoyable it will be.

My first bottle of 2014 Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau

My first bottle of 2014 Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau

And with that, let’s take a look at the 2014 vintage…

I ended up with two bottles, one that I bought from Whole Foods  and another that a friend gave to me because he knows how ridiculously excited I get about Beaujolais Nouveau Day.  And, just like last year, the two bottles had different labels.  However, this year, I felt that they tasted similar.

The 2014 Georges DeBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau (winery, snooth) is 100% Gamay grapes and is from Beaujolais, France.  The wine was a medium, watery ruby with purplish tints.  On the nose, there were candied strawberries and hints of white pepper.  In the mouth, there were strawberries, raspberries, and hints of white pepper, thyme, and orange zest.  The wine had a light-to-medium body with medium acidity.

 

My second Bottle of 2014 Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau

My second Bottle of 2014 Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau

Is this worth a glass after work?  Definitely!  If you see this wine/beer in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed.  At $10 a bottle, this wine was surprisingly complex for being so young.  It has nice flavors and is very drinkable.  It’s a wine that, as we enter the final stretch of the the end of the holiday season, you should definitely keep in mind.  It’s perfect for a big dinner with family or friends because it’s not only affordable, but also food friendly.  It will pair nicely with a roasted turkey or Christmas ham.

As for me, I actually didn’t end up enjoying this wine on the Third Thursday of November.  I had a work event followed by a condo board meeting, so it wasn’t until Saturday night that I finally opened my first bottle.  Hubby and I had spent the day packing in preparation for our big move–we put an offer in on a house and it was accepted, so we’ll hopefully be in the new place by Christmas!  After a full day of packing, I was ready to put my feet up and just relax, so I poured a glass, pulled out my knitting, and turned on a movie.  The wine was enjoyable on its own and was a great way to decompress after the stress of packing.

Question of the Day: Are you a Beaujolais Nouveau fan or do you prefer to ignore the hype?

Second bottle closeup of Beaujolais Nouveau 2014

 

Price: $10
Purchased at Whole Foods Market
Overall: 3.5 Corks

Beaujolais Nouveau Magic

I know I say this every year, but I feel like the end of Fall and the beginning of the “holiday season” isn’t American Thanksgiving…it’s Beaujolais Nouveau Day!  Several coworkers and I tried to find DC restaurants and wine bars that were having release parties, or at the very least were serving the 2012 vintage, but it seemed like this year had much smaller buzz than past years.  I can only assume that it’s because the weather meant a smaller Gamay grape crop, which in turn means smaller Beaujolais Nouveau production.  But, I wasn’t going to let that spoil my holiday fun.  It may have taken me until Sunday, but the A Glass After Work household can finally say “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est Arrivé!”

For the uninitiated, Beaujolais Nouveau is made in the Beaujolais region of France using Gamay grapes.  Unlike most wines, though, Beaujolais Nouveau isn’t aged before it’s released to distributors for sale.  In fact, the whole purpose of the wine is that it is young.  It only takes 6-8 weeks for the grapes to leave the vineyard, go through crushing, fermentation, and bottling, and head to the distributor and wine store shelves.  The fruity, immature wine hints at the wonders that will be the 2012 Beaujolais vintage as the wines age, and often is a great wine to have at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

I grabbed two bottles this of 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau, both from Georges DuBoeuf.  This year marks the 30th anniversary of Georges Dubious ‘s debut of the Beaujolais Nouveau in the United States, so the theme for this year’s release is “Nouveau Magic” and one of the bottles I opened was certainly shared the Nouveau Magic.

The 2012 Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau with the orange label (winery, amazon) is the bottle you’re most likely to find in stores.  It was a very light ruby with pinkish and purplish flecks.  On the nose, there were strawberries, “red shoe lace” licorice, and hints of mint leaves.  In the mouth, there were hints of strawberries and tart raspberries, but the biting acidity overwhelmed most of the taste.  The wine had a light body and light tannins.

Price: $8
Purchased at: Harris Teeter
Overall: 2.5 Corks

The 2012 Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau with the purple and orange label was a very light ruby with a pinkish purple tint.  On the nose, there were strawberries, “red shoe lace” licorice, and under-ripe raspberries.  In the mouth, there were strawberries, under-ripe raspberries, and twigs.  The wine had high acidity, low tannins, and a light body.

Price: $10
Purchased at: Whole Foods
Overall: 3.5 Corks

Final thoughts: Admittedly, beyond the label design, I’m not sure what how to help you differentiate between the two bottlings, but there was certainly a quality and taste difference.  The orange label wine was not only not magical, it was downright disappointing.  The purple label wine, though, was worth the extra two dollars and was exactly what I look for in a Beaujolais Nouveau—a fun, light, and fruity wine that will please most wine drinkers at your Thanksgiving feast and is the perfect pairing with turkey and cranberry sauce.  One hint before you serve this wine at your dinner table, though…refrigerate it a little beforehand.  It is one of those red wines that benefits from a little chill.

So, go grab a bottle of the purple Beaujolais Nouveau and,
to all my American readers,
have a safe, wonderful Thanksgiving.
Santé!