Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé!

The Francophiles out there will know this, but for the uninitiated this Thursday is Beaujolais Nouveau Day. Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine made from Gamay grapes in the Beaujolais region of France. It is a vin de primeur which means that it’s a French wine that the Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) has allowed to be sold within the same year that it’s harvested.

There’s been a long-standing tradition in Beaujolais of producing a vin de l’année to celebrate the end of the harvest but this was largely a local tradition until after World War II. In 1951, the AOC relaxed restrictions that said the soonest Beaujolais wine could be sold was December 15th. They pushed the release date up to November 15th and Beaujolais Nouveau was born.

Beaujolais Nouveau is a purple-pink wine which is bottled a mere 6 to 8 weeks after harvest. The result is a young, fruity wine with mild tannins that’s meant to be served slightly chilled and drank immediately. While many wine connoisseurs consider Beaujolais Nouveau to be simple and immature, it’s an excellent early indicator of the quality of that year’s wine harvest and provides an opportunity to enjoy wine while it’s still fresh and fruity.
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Spring in Paris

Spring was in full blossom and the pungent smell of lilacs and honeysuckle flowers invaded the city parks on my recent trip to Paris. It had been years since I had experienced such gorgeous weather in the city. I also discovered another Spring in Paris, an elegant restaurant tucked away in the tiny rue Bailleul just a few steps away from the Louvre.

Joshua Adler, the wine director at the restaurant and also director of the Spring boutique located just a few steps away in the rue de l’Arbre Sec is Brown Paper Ticket’s first and only (but I believe he won’t hold that title for too long) producer in France. He welcomed me to an incredible wine tasting in Spring’s cellar, a recurring weekly event for which he sells tickets to an English-speaking audience.
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