Every year around this time, the campaign begins. Like an upstairs neighbor who insists on practicing their badly tuned trumpet at 2AM, no matter where you go, you’ll encounter marketing material for Beaujolais Nouveau. On the third Thursday of November, the wine gets released, and shops everywhere flood their shelves, hoping the aggressive marketing campaign helps them move bottles.
But every year the same thing happens: many consumers open the wine, and just don’t like it all that much. That’s not surprising, since the wine has only been actual wine for about 6 weeks; before that, it was still just a Gamay grape sitting on the vine. There’s been no time for that wine to mature, not to mention the fact that the whole Beaujolais Nouveau phenomenon was first created to just quickly get rid of vin ordinaire. That’s right, the Gamay juice that wasn’t good enough to get barreled and saved for later, eventually to be released as true Beaujolais.
And so people pick up these bottles for their Thanksgiving tables, drink it because they think that’s what you’re supposed to do this time of year – we have to hand it to the French, the campaign is super persuasive – and then never drink real Beaujolais the rest of the year, because, at the end of the day, they don’t actually enjoy Beaujolais Nouveau and assume that if they don’t like Beaujolais Nouveau then they won’t enjoy Beaujolais. And that’s upsetting, because real Beaujolais is fucking delicious and not expensive. It’s eerily similar to Pinot Noir and perfect for this time of year with all of the flavors on the table.
That’s why we want to start a movement. Let’s make November the time to drink REAL Beaujolais — it’s good enough to deserve a whole month rather than just one day, like Beaujolais Nouveau. Go out, grab some bottles of delicious wine, and get ready for an awesome Turkey Day. And don’t worry, we realize because you’ve probably been inundated with all the Beaujolais Nouveau marketing, you don’t know what to pick, so here are our top 4 recommendations:
Raisins Gaulois, Marcel Lapierre – $14 – BEST VALUE
Made by the son of the late Marcel Lapierre, who was arguably the most famous winemaker in all of Beaujolais, this wine is absolutely delicious. It has a really nice acidity that Pinot lovers will dig and awesome flavors of raisins and cranberries.
Régnié, Julien Sunier – $25
This wine is perfect for turkey, but the notes of spice and dried flowers will carry you from the bird to the pumpkin pie as well.
Pierre Chermette – $17
An awesome wine, especially for the price, Pierre Chermette uses organic, natural, and biodynamic winemaking practices.
While Georges Duboeuf is mostly known for Beaujolais Nouveau, they actually make great, affordable Beaujolais, and this bottle is a prime example. If you can’t find this exact bottle, look for their Beaujolais Villages instead.