There are so many things to keep track of when it comes to writing about food. For example, is something actually a thing or not? As I’ve just recently found out, something I thought was a thing, as it turns out, really isn’t so much. At least these days.
The French have rules. When it comes to wine, they’ve got a lot. Breaking those rules can result in some pretty serious consequences. The French are serious about their wine.
I guess it stands to reason. When you’ve got something that you want to protect, you need to be serious about it. For example, committing “wine fraud”, or misleading drinkers into thinking that they’re drinking something that they’re not, can cost you two years in prison and a €300,000 fine. That’s pretty serious.
France has a ton of unique and different wine regions. The Beaujolais region is located just north of Lyon. That’s the southeast part of the country. If you didn’t know where Beaujolais was located, don’t feel bad. I had to look it up too.
By French law, each year on the third Thursday in November at 12:01am, something special happens. Special whether you happen to be a wine enthusiast, connoisseur, or even just a serious wine consumer. The latest vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau is released to the public. That’s you and me! That makes Thursday, November 18, 2021 Beaujolais Nouveau Day around the globe.
This red wine is different. It’s barely aged. When I say barely, I mean it. We’re talking weeks here versus sometimes years. Even with the short aging time, it still manages to clock in at 13% alcohol, which makes it kind of a medium alcohol wine.
France celebrates this event like you would expect. Lots of parties, fireworks displays, and just general merrymaking. The French love their wine (and their cheese), so this celebration hardly comes as a surprise. Also, not surprisingly, this regional commemoration doesn’t really translate very well here in the states.
Back in the mid 2000's, Bijou Café used to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau Day their own way. They would host a wine dinner honoring the current year's vintage. As you could imagine, it was a fun night. There wasn’t a fireworks display, but Chef/Owner J.P. Knaggs did it right. Fantastic food accompanying the star of the evening, the current year's Beaujolais Nouveau.
Your options for a local Beaujolais Nouveau Day are unfortunately pretty limited now. But don’t despair, we’ve got a few possibilities for you. Mademoiselle Paris (8527 Cooper Creek Blvd., (941) 355-2323) is hosting a wine dinner on Thursday, November 18th. The first wine of the evening, yes, Beaujolais Nouveau. This has the potential to be a really fun night. I’ll give you a link at the end of this post to make a reservation if you’re interested.
Another option. How about a Do-It-Yourself Beaujolais Nouveau Day dinner or tasting? I know it’s a Thursday, but that’s a lame excuse not to have a party. I mean Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday every year. That doesn’t stop us from eating and drinking with friends and family.
If you’re looking for a bottle of this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau, you can head over to Michael’s Wine Cellar (1283 S Tamiami Trl., (941) 955-2675). Their knowledgeable staff can point you in the right direction when it comes to your Beaujolais Nouveau selection for the evening’s festivities. Actually, Beaujolais Nouveau is a fantastic choice for Thanksgiving too. You should probably pick up an extra bottle while you're there.
So admittedly, if you want to really have a full-on Beaujolais Nouveau Day celebration, you’ll have to fly to France. It’s probably too late for this year and, in reality, you probably wouldn’t consider it in any year. It would be fun, though.
Here are the highlights. If you want to celebrate the 2021 version of Beaujolais Nouveau Day, all is not lost. You may have to get creative, though. Maybe this can get you started on a whole new fall tradition. You could be a big part of making this forgotten wine holiday a thing again!
Here are some Beaujolais Nouveau Day links for your wine sipping pleasure.
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