Throw a Beaujolais Nouveau Party

Young, fruity and delicious, Beaujolais Nouveau is released around the world in limited volumes, on the third Thursday of November each year — mere weeks after the harvest. These great-value French wines are a simple, fun celebration of nature's bounty that is rooted in tradition.


 Dust off the old French LPs, invite some friends and crack open a few bottles of this light, fresh red. “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!"

In France, the Beaujolais Nouveau release kicks off a huge festival to celebrate a successful harvest season. Around the world, lovers of this young wine wait for their first chance to taste it — and to stock up on limited quantities. Once it’s gone, the world has to wait for another year, and each year brings distinct flavours and qualities to the wine.

A great Beaujolais Nouveau will be silky smooth and medium bodied with a vibrant acidity and very little tannin. Typical flavours to look for are cherries and cola, pink peppercorn and white peach, as well as dried herb and wildflower aromas.

When planning a Beaujolais Nouveau party, there are a few things to keep in mind:

- The wines should be served slightly chilled, about 12 to 13 degrees Celsius (55 Fahrenheit) or just slightly warmer than a white wine – an hour in the fridge should do it.

- Count on about three glasses of wine for each person.

- Serve your wines from lightest to heaviest. It's preferable to have a variety from a few of the 10 different regions (Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie and Morgon, for example) to showcase just how the Gamay grape varies from place to place.



In keeping with the lighthearted, casual tone of a traditional Beaujolais Nouveau party, consider a relaxed approach to pairing. A charcuterie platter consisting of a light chicken liver mousse, a dry-cured and fermented saucisson or some Jambon de Bayonne are a great accompaniment. French cheese, of course, is a natural fit (think beyond the typical brie or camembert by adding in a buttery morbier or a mild munster). Don't feel compelled to stick to French food, though. Beaujolais Nouveau works surprisingly well with sushi, and is a compelling match for a slow-braised lamb tagine or cold Chinese sesame noodles.

They're Here!

Here's this year's exciting crop of releases, including some wonderful Nouveau wines from other regions, including Ontario and Italy. Act quickly – once they're gone, they're gone!