November and thoughts on Beaujolais
This isn't quite accurate - if nothing else, it ignores the Southern Hemisphere wines made from grapes harvested in March and April - but, as I've always said, if nothing else, the arrival of each year's Nouveau is as good an excuse as any for an autumn party.
Wine Lovers' Page columnist Sheral Schowe has written on Nouveau this week, so rather than go into detail here, I'll simply refer you to her article, http://www.wineloverspage.com/sheralschowe/beaujolais.shtml.
As the Thanksgiving Day holiday approaches in the U.S., however, I'd like to repeat a piece of advice I've given before: There's almost no better match for the traditional holiday turkey feast than Beaujolais! Even a grapey, fruity new Nouveau will do, but in my opinion it's better still to uncork a bottle of the region's finer stuff, one of the so-called Beaujolais "Grand Cru" wines.
Ten specific villages in the Beaujolais region are so well-regarded that their wines are sold under the village names rather than the generic "Beaujolais." Here's the roster: Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Côte de Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent, Régnié and Saint-Amour.
Like the Nouveau, the generic Beaujolais and somewhat more upscale Beaujolais-Villages, the "Grand Crus" are made from the Gamay grape and share Beaujolais's customary ripe, soft, and fruity character. But they add an intriguing complexity that you won't find in the simpler wines; and for a holiday dinner, that's well worth seeking out and paying a little extra to enjoy.
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A first-rate Beaujolais
Dark garnet, with delicious, complex aromas of strawberries with earthy and herbal notes of tarragon. Bright, peppery fruit and herbs make a wine that's refreshing but worthy of more attention than just casual sipping. U.S. importer: Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, Calif. (Oct. 28, 2000)
FOOD MATCH: Perfect with a quick cabbage-and-beef stir-fry tossed with pasta.
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Vol. 2, No. 42, Nov. 6, 2000