The Event
The Nouveau Beaujolais Is Here
© by Sheral Schowe
by Sheral Schowe

Just in time for the holidays and every other excuse we can think of for a good party, the first cases of Nouveau Beaujolais have arrived in Utah. This yearís hype about this fruity, crowd-pleasing wine is all the more important because it marks the first release of the last harvest of the 20th century.

The Nouveau Beaujolais custom began in Lyon and in the villages of Beaujolais when the French discovered that wines produced from the Gamay grape could be enjoyed almost immediately after it was picked, fermented, and bottled. As the news spread to Paris, it became a tradition for annual celebration. This tradition has spread around the world to other Gamay-producing regions. This year, 65 million bottles of Nouveau Beaujolais have been shipped around the world and are being uncorked at midnight on the third Thursday of November in every time zone. French law established the date and time. The wine is shipped quickly by boat and plane to hundreds of countries. The order for England was a little lighter than usual this year due to the beef trade war between the two countries.

Among others, the major producers from France this year are: Drouhin, Mommessin, Georges Duboeuf and Jean Paul Sellers. Though I would like to see each of these producers represented in Utah, we are lucky to get a couple of them. In addition, the Italian version, Terrazze della Luna, as well as Beringerís Gamay Beaujolais from California, will hit our market.

If you are looking for the perfect food pairing wine for Thanksgiving, Nouveau Beaujolais is an excellent choice. It will work well with the variety of flavors and textures on your holiday table. The wineís flavors are fresh, lively and fruity, with strawberry, cherry, berry, and banana, with a little pepper spiciness on the finish. The noticeable absence of tannins, which typically produce some bitterness, makes this an enjoyable wine for those who habitually drink white wines.

If you would like to learn more about Beaujolais Nouveau and other French wines, be sure to register for the University of Utahís World of Wines class, offered through the Department of Continuing Education in Park City. The five-week class will begin in mid-January, on Saturdays, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Call 585-7313 to register for this enjoyable and informative class.

Nov. 25, 1999

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