At midnight – No, at one past midnight on the third Thursday of November, Les Beaujolais Nouveaux sont arrives! A recent lunch was at a small cafe/restaurant, “Mets Vins Chics,” in Eze Bord de Mer (not the village of Eze) to try out this year’s harvest – a surprising delight full or body and taste. We enjoyed an apero and a leisurely lunch, basking under the sunshine and warm temperature, and enjoying a sea view – not bad for mid-November on the French Riviera.
The arrival of the first wine of the season – the Beaujolais Nouveau – is a celebration of the country’s most popular, iconic and valuable drink. Bottled less than two months after harvesting, the wine is lighter in colour than other typical reds given its’ extremely young age and is produced to be drunk straight away as opposed to be laid down for drinking at a later date.
Each year the release of the Beaujolais Nouveau conforms to a similar format. The first bottles of are released on the third Thursday in November, which this year means that in wine producing regions the opening will take place at midnight on the 18/19th. Forty years ago the popularity of this special event in the French calendar grew significantly which culminated in races to Paris carrying the fruits of the year’s harvest as well many other festivities. Although the occasion now competes with many other marketing activities of its’ kind internationally – and perhaps is more low key – in local communities the Beaujolais Nouveau remains hugely popular with tastings (of course), a plentiful supply of good food and live music and fanfares to accompany the arrival of this prestigious drink.
Where does the Beaujolais Nouveau actually come from? The wine is made from the Gamay noir à Jus blanc grape: Gamay to you and me. The law requires that all grapes are harvested by hand in the region and furthermore they must originate from the Beaujolais Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC).
In 2013, France exported wine to the value of €7.7 billion, but in the case of the Beaujolais Nouveau the wine is generally produced for domestic consumption, although bottles can be brought in the UK, US and other countries.
The Beaujolais Nouveau is not without its’ critics. For some people, the Beaujolais Nouveau is a marketing gimmick and as a drink should be avoided at all costs due to its’ insipid taste, when compared to other aged wines – but what do you think? Santé!
SOURCE/CREDIT: photo and article reblogged from Rootstock Ads Newsletter
November 15, 2015
In a state of shock after the attacks in Paris, the city of Nice has predictably doubled down on police and military presence, and cancelled all major city-sponsored events and shows over the weekend. But even though public gatherings this weekend were strictly forbidden by the Mayor’s office, this didn’t stop at least200 people from spontaneously gathering Saturday evening at Place Garibaldi for a candle-lit homage to mourn the victims of the Paris attacks. Unfortunately, however, they weren’t the only ones to show up, as a well-known and rather vocal group of thirty barged on the scene, singing a loud and aggressive version of the French national anthem and brandishing signs with anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant slogans like ‘France for the French’.
It is worth noting the local Muslim community’s reaction to the Paris tragedy: immediate and unanimous condemnation, responding to the senseless spilling of innocent blood by a massive turnout to donate their own blood to the local blood bank, joining other Nicois of all faiths, in a most personal show of solidarity to help the hundreds of injured. The line at the blood bank went around the block with many waiting up to 3 hours to donate. The influx was so overwhelming that over a 120 were asked to come back Monday.
The Mayor’s office is organizing a chain of solidarity for Paris next Sunday the 22nd November in Place Garibaldi at 2pm.
While long weekending in the Camargue, I was given the name of an excellent restaurant by the owner of the B&B where I was staying, who knew the owners and the quality of their local fare. And so it was that I ate at Le Fleur de Sel, not one but two evenings!
A gastronomic delight with excellent, friendly service: Chef Alexandra spontaneously created a two-course vegan dish for my friend, while I enjoyed the menu fixe – un regal!