The other night I had friends from the new Wine Store over and we tasted the Beaujolais Nouveau.
My friend and uber-wine geek, Michael Chipman from KUER 90.1 was there with his microphone to record the event. My other guests were my boss, Davy Paul, Dallon Silva and Warren McClain.
If you’ve been on some other planet and don’t know, each year the Beaujolais region of France picks, ferments, bottles and distributes gazillions of gallons of NEW wine. The new Beaujolais is fresh, fruity, candied and – in a good year, like this one – is delicious.
Utah stores are now carrying the new Beaujolais which, by French law, cannot be sold until the third Thursday in November. Also, in Burgundy and other places throughout France, the new wine is piped through the fountains in the streets for the Fete de la Vigne — and a very good time is had by all!
Wine snobs always pooh-pooh the new Beaujolais, but what they don’t get is that this wine is all about fun and the festivities surrounding the “pick and the crush.” I really like the new wines and remembering how fun it was in Dijon to walk up to a public fountain and hold out my cup. I believe, and everyone at my table agreed, that the new Beaujolais is great with food and would be a plus at any Thanksgiving table.
We had a small, blind tasting of the four wines which the state is offering this year. I prepared a small table of food to enhance our experience: some cold-roasted turkey, noodles with poached chicken and mushroom/tomato sauce, and whole-berry cranberries, as well as breads and cheeses.
The first wine we tried was bold, filled with violets, heather and a glint of lavender. The juicy wines are beautifully dark this year with purple and jacaranda colors. The attack is fruity — blueberries, apples and peaches with a sweet and delicious mid palate and full-fruit to the finish. We served all the wines chilled at about 60 degrees.
The second wine was more elegant and sophisticated with higher acidity. It was a bit drier, but had great body and richness and still the new earmarks were there. Several people at the tasting thought this wine was the best one.
The third wine, to all of us was a bit lackluster, but if you weren’t comparing it to any others, it would still be OK.
Like number two, the fourth wine was a bit more elegant and high acidity, but still very enjoyable and full of the characteristics of the new Beaujolais. The nose of nearly all Beaujolais, and particularly the new wines, have a bubblegum-like fragrance. I like to call this cooked fruit and candy because the odor reminds me of when my mom would make home canned-fruit and homemade fudge and toffee at Christmas time.
Here are the wines and the prices after we revealed our findings: Wine one is the cheapest — the Beaujolais Nouveau by duBoeuf at $9.99. Most of us thought this was the best overall at our tasting. Wine two was the duPeuble Vineyard Beaujolais Nouveau which is imported by Kermitt Lynch at $18.99; some at the table thought this was the best of the wines. Three was duBoeuf Beaujolais Villages Nouveau at $10.99, our least favorite and not worth the extra dollar. Wine four was a specific, Chateau wine called Chat de Plantigny at $11.99; most of us rated it quite good too because of its elegance and food-friendliness.
Many Utah liquor stores are carrying the new Beaujolais, so please try it and join the many wine drinkers around the world who love and look forward each year to the arrival of the Beaujolais Nouveau. (By the way, Beaujolais is pronounced BO-jo-lahy not BOO-jo-lahy.)