Beaujolais Nouveau refers to the first wine of the new harvest and ushers in the new vintage year (in terms of wine). It debuts for sale the third Thursday of November, and it's a pretty big deal in France. In fact, in France you can go to jail if you sell Beaujolais Nouveau before midnight on November 14. Beaujolais Nouveau really celebrates the "life" of the vine.
According to the harvest report from Georges Duboeuf (known as "the king of Beaujolais"), the 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau is "best chilled. The perfect wine for Thanksgiving, it will enchant your palate." It is typically vibrant and aromatic, impressive since it's only 10 days old.
Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France. It is a purple-pink wine, almost the color of grape juice and it is lightweight. There is very little tannin, and the wine can be dominated by fruit flavors of banana, cherry and pear.
The Beaujolais Nouveau label changes each year and each year carries a theme. This year's theme is "magic." Whole Foods stores will be carrying the same wine with a slightly different look this year, a screw cap. This is a preview of what is to come in 2013 when it's rumored that all Beaujolais Nouveau bottles will have a screw cap.
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You can find the wine at many local retailers on the 15th and the price is only about $9.99. But hurry! Once it's gone, it's gone. The U.S. only receives about 20,000 cases, and given the stuffy celebratory nature of the day, you shouldn't delay. Most retailers sell out before December 25. This is wine you drink right away- no aging!
Special Events: A special Beaujolais Nouveau 30th Anniversary Event will be held Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at AJ's Fine Foods on the southwest corner of Lincoln and Scottsdale. The event is free and features French folk singer Cecile Hortensia, a mime, magician, wine tasting and French food demos so you can celebrate in style.
This website contains information about local retailers carrying the wine as well as restaurants who will be serving it. Some restaurants, like Zinc will host special prix fixe dinners on Thursday to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau 2012.