This week marks one of the best holidays of the year. Thursday, November 21st is Beaujolais Nouveau Day! No, you won’t be given the day off work to celebrate, but if you are itching to burn through those remaining vacation days, here’s your chance. To partake in this celebration, all you have to do is: drink wine and be merry.
At face value, Beaujolais Nouveau Day is just an excuse to let-out your inner Franco-oenophile, French Wine Lover. Serious wine connoisseurs see it as a preview of the Beaujolais vintage that will hit the market in a handful of years. Critics say it is to push the young wine out to the masses in an effort to get people choosing French wine from the Beaujolais region of Burgundy for the upcoming holiday season. However, true Beaujolais Nouveau Day fans proudly proclaim that the day is simply an excuse to get together with friends and family, and live in the moment. Beaujolais Nouveau Day is all about sharing the best things that life has to offer including conversation, food and wine. And really, how beautiful is that?
Beaujolais Nouveau is not a pretentious wine, despite having its own celebration. Made from grapes that were on the vine only a handful of weeks before being bottled, Gamays are known to be light, fresh and fruity. But the Beaujolais Nouveau is even more so. The 2019 varietal is bound to to be slightly floral making it an accessible and easy drinking light wine, best served slightly chilled. This year, Winnipeggers are in luck and will have access to the Georges Duboeuf's offering of both red and rosés.
Not sure how to celebrate? Don’t overthink it! Gather a few friends that are sure to provide hours of great stories and debate, and lay-out a spread of delicious french cheeses with charcuterie and, of course, a fresh baguette. I suggest a soft goat cheese, rich brie and a spicy blue with your favourite cured meats. Don’t want to host? Sous Sol in Osborne is planning a proper Beaujolais Nouveau Day celebration. Reserve ahead of time to make sure you get your hands on a bottle or two. Just be sure to keep the celebrations low-key as the restaurant frowns upon use of confetti.
And as if you didn’t need another reason to celebrate this Thursday, let me leave you with the plea – don’t store away any of the bottles. Beaujolais Nouveau is a limited release that should be drank well before we ring in 2020; and atcually, the sooner it is drunk the better. Santé, mes amis! After all, le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!
Amanda Bibeau is a Winnipeg-based food blogger who is passionate about affordable food for all and ‘food without judgment.’ Amanda enjoys hiking, exploring Winnipeg's craft beer scene and working her 9 to 5 as a sr. recruiter with RBC.