Free thoughts on language learning

Discussions on learning Spanish, English and other language issues. Occasionally, we may stray from language learning topics if there is something that catches my interest.

Monday, March 20, 2006

French Culture - On Beaujolais Nouveau

Beaujolais Nouveau - good wine or good marketing?

The release of Beaujolais nouveau is the great French event of the third Thursday of every November. For decades, the French have rushed to bars and restaurants to have a taste of this highly anticipated beverage. Millions of bottles of Beaujolais nouveau ("new" Beaujolais), or primeur (a wine intended to be drunk soon after it is bottled), are consumed every year in almost 200 countries. In fact, Beaujolais nouveau is the only French wine that has a specific festive element to it. People get together with friends around a platter of cold cuts and a bottle of Beaujolais nouveau. Its grapes harvested in September, Beaujolais nouveau is put on the market in November, some three months later. This wine is thus a vin primeur and does not keep for more than two or three months.

But the purists, the great lovers of wine are scandalized. How can you call this drink a wine? You can't make a wine in only three months! Three months for the harvest, for vinification (crushing, fermentation, clarification), bottling and serving?

Wine-lovers will tell you that wine takes time. That is why Beaujolais nouveau's status as a vin d'appellation d'origine contrôlée is doubtful. It would be fairer to say that it is a vin de pays , a country wine.

Whatever it may be, Beaujolais nouveau is a good opportunity to have a party; but will you be drinking a glass of good wine or a glass of piquette ? (piquette means bad wine ) It's up to you to decide!

Learn French specifically for French Food and Wine try our course!


Post a Comment

<< Home