Beaujolais nouveau is a light-hearted, fun wine, made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France. Beaujolais nouveau is made by a special fermentation process, and is meant to be drunk within 6 months of the release date. By French law, Beaujolais nouveau is to be released no earlier than the third Thursday of November.
The Gamay grapes used in Beaujolais nouveau can only come from the Beaujolais AOC, and by Frence law, all grapes from this region must be harvested by hand. This is because Beaujolais is made using carbonic maceration, which is using the whole grape, that brings out the fruit flavors without the bitter tannins from the skins of the grapes.
Like all wines, Beaujolais Nouveau can vary in flavor somewhat from year to year. One thing you can always count on is lots of fruit in that taste. Strawberry, cherry and even banana flavors can be found as well as a hint of candy is not uncommon.
Beaujolais nouveau is ready to be drunk just 6 to 8 weeks after harvest and pairs well with your Thanksgiving Turkey. This light wine also pairs well with fresh wild caught salmon. If you are going to serve it on Christmas, it also pairs well with pork.
The commercial success of Beajolais Nouveau has lead to the development of other "primeur" wines in other countries. Countries such as Italy, Spain and the United States are producing Noueau style wines, using various grape varieties. They then time the release of these nouveau style wines for the third week in November to be part of the Nouveau enthusiasm.
On the third Thursday of November, you will find a lot of "nouveau" wines available, but if you want to drink the classic one, try the fruity Beaujolais Nouveau from France.
Note: If you plan to enjoy this wine with your Thanksgiving dinner, shop early, it is known to sell out fast.
It is best when served lightly chilled.