This article treats one of the world's most successful marketing campaigns, the French red wine that arrives just in time for Thanksgiving, Beaujolais Nouveau. This wine is released for sale just after the stroke of midnight on the third Thursday in November. Within 24 hours over one million cases will be sold.
During the coming year, consumers all over the world will probably buy more than 65 million bottles. If things work on schedule more than 4 million bottles will be exported to the United States, and 7 million to Japan and to Germany. On the other hand millions of bottles of last year's production was destroyed prior to the release of the 2007 crop.
Let me present a few tidbits of information before reviewing what may be one of the best Beaujolais Nouveau wines. This wine comes from specially designated areas (villages) in the Beaujolais region of southeastern France. Like its un-villaged cousin it is made from the Gamay grape, which was kicked out of the world-famous, neighboring Burgundy region in 1395. French legislation requires that all grapes in the Beaujolais region be picked by hand. Champagne is the only other French region that forbids mechanical harvesting.
While Beaujolais Nouveau was first regulated in 1938, it dates back to ancient times when a somewhat similar wine was produced for slaves. History fails to record their reaction. Let's take a look at mine. Before reviewing the Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau wine and imported cheeses that we purchased at a local wine store and a local imported food store, here a few suggestions of what to eat with such wine: Start with Foie Gras au Torchon (Foie Gras in a dishcloth).
For your second course savor Roti de Dinde (Roast Turkey). And as dessert indulge yourself with Pommes au four (Oven Baked Apples). OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price. Wine Reviewed Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages 2007 12.
2% about $16 I bought this bottle a few days after the release of the 2007 Beaujolais Nouveau (November 15, 2007) along with a more plebian French offering and an Italian Vino Novello (new wine), a quite similar Italian rendition. In what I am hoping is not a change in policy my supplier provided no marketing materials. Here are some comments from another supplier: More than one can bargain for, the unusually complex '07 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages exhibits combined aromas and flavors of ripe tropical fruits and sweet earth. And now for my reactions. I first paired this wine with a combination of honey garlic and paprika coated barbecued chicken thighs with the skin on, chicken fat-roasted potatoes that melt in your mouth, and Moroccan carrots.
The wine refreshingly cut the fat with its mild acidity. The dominant fruit was black cherries. This Beaujolais became more powerful and acidic when dealing with the spicy carrots. The next meal consisted of an omelet made with a mild, non-imported white cheese.
The wine seemed full-bodied, especially at first but later became weaker. It had a moderate length. The dominant flavor was black cherry, but I did taste bubble gum. Then I paired this wine with beef stew and potatoes. I tasted some fruit and even a bit of tobacco. The Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau was mildly acidic and fairly short.
Dessert was homemade sesame seed and sunflower seed cookies slathered in homemade Concord grape jelly. I didn't make the cookies or the jelly, but I raised the Concord grapes myself. This year's crop was bountiful, and if I daresay, delicious. Needless to say, I did not attempt to make wine out of them.
Anyway, the Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau wine was considerably less fruity than the jelly. As always, I don't blame the wine for unorthodox pairings that don't succeed, but I just had to try my grapes. The first cheese was a French goat cheese from the Poitou-Charentes region of central western France that is starting to develop ammonia. The cheese and the wine really didn't meld. The wine became more generic. Then I went to a more delicate, nutty-flavored German Emmenthaler (Swiss-type) that has seen better days.
The wine was still fruity but nothing to stop the presses. Final verdict. Can you guess? It's happened before and it's happened again. This Beaujolais Nouveau just can't justify the price. I can't say that I was surprised, and I do feel that I gave it a fair chance.
Frankly if you want Beaujolais, and why not, you're better off with one that isn't Nouveau. Suggestion, why not sneak a Beaujolais-Villages into your Beaujolais Nouveau party and see which one people prefer?.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but between you and me, he prefers drinking fine German, Italian, or other wine, accompanied by the right foods and the right people. He knows what dieting is, and is glad that for the time being he can eat and drink what he wants, in moderation. He teaches various classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his new wine, diet, health, and nutrition website www.wineinyourdiet.com and his Italian travel website www.travelitalytravel.com .