Beaujolais nouveau is a red wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France. It is the most popular vin de primeur, fermented for just a few weeks before being released for sale on the third Thursday of November. It is famous for races by distributors to get the first bottles to different markets around the globe.
As far back as the 1800s, Beaujolais growers and winemakers would gather to celebrate the end of the harvest by toasting the vintage with some of the young wine produced that year.
Tradition and custom have made the annual release of this much-loved wine a fun-filled event. This “Beaujolais Day” is accompanied by publicity events and heavy advertising.
In the United States, it is promoted as a drink for Thanksgiving, which always falls exactly one week after the wine is released (on the fourth Thursday of November). Part of the fun of enjoying Nouveau on the third Thursday of November is knowing that on the same night, in homes, cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and bistros around the world, the same celebration is taking place.
Beaujolais nouveau is a purple-pink wine reflecting its youth, bottled only 6–8 weeks after harvest. The method of production means that there is a higher acidity and very little tannin. Beaujolais nouveau is intended for immediate drinking. It will have very bright, fresh, red fruit flavors, such as cherry, strawberry, and raspberry, along with fruity ester flavours of banana, grape, fig and pear drop. The wine is recommended to be slightly chilled to 13 °C (55 °F).