Once again, it is that time of the year - “Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé!” (The new Beaujolais has arrived!) – well, almost. Every year, on the third Thursday of the month of November, wine aficionados, vintners and winemakers across the globe celebrate a launching of the first wines from the recent harvest.
On the nights of the 14th and 15th of November, wine traders, wine stores and wineries will throw Beaujolais themed parties throughout the country. Some of the better ones are hosted by the Wine Route (Derech haYain) stores, the Scottish Company, Khan of The White Donkey in Safed, Marinado in Ein Gev and many other wineries and restaurants across the country will be offering special meals and special deals on Beaujolais vinos.
The wine receives its name from the Beaujolais province of France which is situated just north of Lyon and is considered (by many) as part of the celebrated Burgundy wine region. The Beaujolais Nouveau usually ranges from purple-pink in color and is a rather light weight wine, characterized by very refreshing and fruity aromas and flavors. These wines are intended for immediate consumption and should be served slightly chilled (similar to a white wine). Serving the wine chilled helps “smooth out the rough edges” which often characterize a young vino.
Many wine aficionados have criticized the production of Beaujolais wines, considering them immature vinos or wines lacking any interest. While this is true for the most part, there are some very interesting and even relatively high quality Beaujolais wines produced in France. Furthermore, the first wines to be released from the recent vintage sounds like a cause for celebration. Wouldn’t you agree?
Over the years, Israeli wineries have also joined the Beaujolais bandwagon with the first Beaujolais style wine in Israel titled 'Hilulim' being produced by the Carmel winery in 1983. Today, there are several Israeli wineries producing their version of a Beaujolais Nouveau (some using more traditional methods/grape varities than others but the concept is still quite similar), from the recently completed harvest, including: Binyamina, Golan Heights and the Tishbi winery.
If you would rather go for something from the import department, you can try the Joseph Drouhin, Beaujolais Nouveau, Villages, 2012, imported by the Scottish Company or other imports by Derech HaYain. By the way, Due to strict laws set by French wine organizations, the new Beaujolais wines are only released from the winery four days prior to the official launching event.