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Thursday, November 18, 2010

What-What: Beaujolais Nouveau

On my street, the Rue des Marronniers, small posters and streamers line the restaurants annoncing, 'le Beaujolais est arrivé!', this part of the season is amazing.  Thanksgiving back home- and the Nouveau in France.  While we're stuffing ourselves sick in the States, here they are drinkin' themselves to a stupor.

Beaujolais is a region just outside of my city here in Lyon- the wine is special because it comes from this region and it is often hand picked at the vineyard.  It's also an event that everyone is excited for, and often, patrons or owners of bars/restaurants will wear a wicker hat.. a symbolic gesture.

Interestingly enough, the wine itself is often very young- fermented only a few months- before placed on the market to drink.  The wine only lasts about a year, and it's better to drink it while it's young and fresh.

Everywhere around Lyon from now (November 18) to the weekend will be celebrating this famous wine.  The packaging is special- comes in a bottle with a very colorful label... very recognizable.

Here's a paragraph from CityVox:
C'est en fait depuis 1985, que le 3e jeudi de novembre est la date officielle du lancement du Beaujolais nouveau. C'est la ville de Beaujeu, entre Lyon et Mâcon, qui a donné ce nom au vin. Quant à l’appellation elle-même, elle remonte au 13 novembre 1951. Pendant la IIème guerre mondiale, l’occupant tentait d'empêcher les producteurs de commercialiser leurs vins en leur imposant de nombreuses réglementations. Mais avec la libération, un arrêté autorisa la sortie des vins détenteurs d’une appellation d’origine contrôlée le 15 décembre, avec une dérogation en novembre pour les vins précoces."
Basically it says:
Since 1985 the 3rd Thursday of November is the official launch date for the Beaujolais Nouveau.  It's the city of Beajeu, between Lyon and Mâcon, that gave the name to the wine.  The production of this wine dates back to the 13th November, 1951.  During the second World War, the Axis tried to impose many restrictions to inhibit production of their wine.  Following Liberation, an order was put forth stopping these inhibitions and allowing the wines to be released.

It's a cultural part of Lyon and Rhone-Alpes... and integral into our heritage and daily life.

Speaking of which, there are a lot of festivals and parties to celebrate this release:

Once again from the CityVox page:

Lyon - 1e - Terreaux - Hôtel de Ville

Lyon - 2e - Presqu'Ile - Perrache

Soirée Beaujolais Nouveau à la Zone Verte  - Conférence rencontre atelier
Du 18/11/10 au 19/11/10

Zone Verte - 69002 - Lyon

Lyon - 5e - Vieux Lyon - Fourvière

Soirée Beaujolais Nouveau au Phosphore Bar  - Soirée
Le 19/11/10

Le Phosphore Bar - 69005 - Lyon

La Tour-De-Salvagny - Aux alentours de Lyon

Beaujolais nouveau au Casino Le Lyon Vert   - Soirée
Le 18/11/10

Casino Le Lyon Vert - 69890 - La Tour-De-Salvagny

Belleville - Ailleurs dans le Rhône

Nect'art Nouveau  - Musique Jazz
Le 18/11/10
Caribop, La Clique sur Mer
Théâtre Municipal de Belleville - 69220 - Belleville

Fleurie - Ailleurs dans le Rhône

Marathon du Beaujolais Nouveau  - Évènement sportif
Le 20/11/10

En ville à Fleurie - 69820 - Fleurie

There may even be more events... but you'll have to check out blogs, newspapers.. or even just walk into a bar and ask!

a+ and happy drinking!  (bon dégustation!)


  1. Le beaujolais "le père la grollée" est très bon je trouve! Tu sais, en France les snobs disent que le beaujolais n'est pas bon et que le bordeaux c'est meilleur, mais en fait le beaujolais est un vin très sympa pour l'apéro!

  2. Man, they drink in your town? To a stupor? My husband (French) fills up my glass only a 1/2 inch, which is followed by me glaring at him. I tried the Beaujolais nouveau. It's a tad too fruity for me, but drinkable. I found your blog from Keith over at a taste of garlic.


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