The first party guest has arrived! Light and fruity and always on time, this guest brings good cheer, gets along with everyone at the table as well as everything on the table. For decades, the third Thursday of November is the first day where the new vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau kicks off the holiday season with an all-out celebration. This fresh and festive, once-a-year party wine is made for anyone and everyone. With its cherry-berry fruitiness, this nimble wine goes down easy and is revered as the perfect sidekick to the myriad of flavors on the holiday table. Despite its fun-loving nature, the red French wine does play by the rules. In addition to the third Thursday in November being mandated as the official annual release date by French law, the grapes used to make Beaujolais Nouveau must come from the specific region or Appellation d’origine contrôlée known as Beaujolais, which is located north of Lyon in the eastern part of France. The French government insists the grapes be harvested by hand. The wine is then made using a process called whole berry fermentation, resulting in a wine that is fruity and low in tannins. Beyond the rules, Beaujolais Nouveau provides the first taste of the year’s vintage quality and is really meant to be about celebration: of the harvest, of the first revenue from a year of hard labor, of another year past, and the approaching winter holidays. Best enjoyed fresh, or before spring returns, Nouveau is a friendly match for turkey and a terrific compliment to the rich, earthy and spicy flavors on the holiday table. The complex flavors of roasts, game, mushrooms, squash, root vegetables and flavorings such as sage, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, peppers, and the like are perfectly complemented by Nouveau’s grapey flavor and refreshing acidity. It’s a great wine to serve at holiday parties and its light fermentation entices both red and white wine lovers. Add this young French guest to the invitation list and be prepared for Nouveau to be the life of the party! Look for Beaujolais Nouveau in stores today!