Happy Beaujolais Nouveau Day 2018!

Hi everyone…and Happy #BeaujolaisNouveau Day! Today, I’m 3 different Beaujolais Nouveau—2018 Château Gaillard Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau, 2018 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau, and 2018 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau. All three wines are $15 or less and will make a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving feast. Cheers!

Question of the Day:  Did you participate in Beaujolais Nouveau Day 2018?  What did you open?

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!

Fun & Fruity Beaujolais Nouveau

A week and a half ago, on the third Thursday of November, the 2009 Beaujolais Nouveau was released. That particular Thursday was a busy day at work for me, as it was the delivery date of my first big project at my new job, so by the time I left work, I was far too exhausted to buy a bottle to taste, although I mentioned to Hubby that I was sorry to miss the release. Friday, though, was a different story. I spent the day playing catch-up at work, as well as reading a few reviews about the latest vintage. When my boss let us leave work a couple of hours early, before heading home, I couldn’t resist a visit to my local wine store.

The 2009 George Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau (winery, snooth) was 100% Gamay grapes with a nice, deep purple color. On the nose, there were aromas of the strawberry jam you get from the little diner packets mixed with some grapes and cherries. In the mouth, not only wasn’t there a jammy taste, but also there was very little strawberry flavor. Instead, the wine tasted like sour cherries, tart raspberries, and a hint of cinnamon. The wine had a good, substantial body and a surprising amount of acidity.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely! If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. For $13, the 2009 George Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau is a fun, fruity wine. It’s not complicated, but still is very pleasant both on its own and with food. Beaujolais, and particularly Beaujolais Nouveau, are meant to drink young, so this is a wine that you should buy and enjoy now rather than keep… and it’s definitely one that is enjoyable.

Overall: 3.5 Corks