Friday, November 20, 2009

Beaujolais nouveau est arrive!

Each year, on the third Thursday in November, the wine and spirit stores release the year's beaujolais nouveau for sale. Ah, and what a day it is! My parents have taken to celebrating with a cocktail party (serving, obviously, only beaujolais nouveau).

This is a wine meant to be drunk immediately, as a celebration of the harvest. It is young, immature, and frankly will not be the best wine you drink. Some years it's awesome (two years ago, in fact, was a phenomenal year) and others, a bit "eh" (like last year). For me, that adds to the charm. It may be vin ordinaire, but that doesn't mean it's bad. Apparently some people see this as the wine of Thanksgiving, although it honestly never occured to me to connect the two.

One should drink the beaujoulais nouveau before the next year's harvest, although in our house it's never lasted that long. Darling Husband has just reminded me that we gave away our last bottle of last year's wine this August, which I suppose is breaking that rule. Honestly, though, it was hiding behind some marechal foch and I found it in the wine rack and we were running late and it's not polite to show up empty handed and anyway it was a relatively informal picnic and...

Yes. Well. It's to be drunk by spring. Moving on.

My mother served "heavy hors d'oerves," which I think is a way for her to serve buffet style and not worry that people are leaving hungry. She still worried. She shouldn't have.

Here are some of lovely foods on which we nibbled:

*Shrimp with cocktail sauce
*Assorted fresh veggies
*Home made hummus
*Rice, cheese and spinach bake
*Assorted French cheeses (God bless runny cheeses...)
*Jalapeno poppers
*Mini corn dogs
*Ham, turkey and cheese with rolls, to make tiny sandwiches

I just might be forgetting something, but the dozen or so of us there munched and quaffed and laughed quite contentedly. Baby Girl was with a sitter for the first time (as opposed to spending time with her grand parents or aunt) and did very well, but I wasn't willing to let it go more than an hour and a half. It's too bad, because the conversation was sparkling, the company relaxed and convivial, the food fun and satisfying and the wine very drinkable.

If you're going to snag a bottle, better be quick about it. It doesn't last long in stores and some unscrupulous wine sellers have been known to put aside a case of it for themselves and their friends. If you don't see it on the shelf, ask and it's possible they will "find" a bottle in the back after all. :o)


  1. There's something a bit intellectually... i don't know what, about the thought of Port Salut and mini corn dogs on the same plate... But OH, did it ever work. :-)

  2. We picked up our second case of Nouveau this afternoon. Interesting idea about it being "Thanksgiving wine." I think we'll serve some at Thanksgiving for our red-wine-only relatives, and anyone else who wants to pass on the '02 Alsace Gewurztraminer. With luck we'll drink the last of the Nouveau at the Bastille Day party (July 14).