This first wine of the harvest season is traditionally released on the third Thursday of November – and that’s today! A true party and celebration wine, Beaujolais Nouveau is about spending time with friends and family and kicking off the holiday season. Best enjoyed fresh, or before spring returns, Nouveau is a terrific compliment to the rich, earthy and spicy flavors that come across the holiday table.
Despite its fun-loving nature, this 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.
In addition to Beaujolais being a great complement to turkey dinner, it’s also a decidedly drinkable wine that suits most tastebuds. Perfect for a gathering! But I enjoy it beyond turkey day. Here are a few other holiday meals I plan on pairing with this year’s vintage this season:
For more recipes and entertaining inspiration check out our holiday hub
And be sure to pick up a few bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau — or a case, you’ll get a case discount — your holiday guests will thank you for it. Find it in these stores
What’s your favorite holiday supper to pair with Beaujolais Nouveau?