News & views
Beaujolais Nouveau - tired cliché or harmless bit of fun?
The celebrations of the new release of Beaujolais Nouveau are a bit of a damp squib these days. After all many 2013 wines from the southern hemisphere have been out for a good couple of months now. Why should we make a fuss about a wine that frankly isn’t even that good?
Because we always have is probably the answer. The Brits love the whole Beaujolais Nouveau schtick - the idea of it being raced across the channel in time for breakfast (though the supermarkets must get their supplies several days in advance). The image of heaving plates of charcuterie and oozing Bries.
For supermarkets it’s a chance to pile ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap (though not THAT cheap for the quality) and maybe gain a bit of PR with some kind of funky bottling. (This year M & S has bottled its Nouveau (£7.49 or £12 for 2 bottles) in a recyclable PET bottle though I don’t know what would happen if you took your empty bottle back to your local store. Money back for good behaviour? Seems too much to hope for.)
But my main objection is that it does the image of Beaujolais no good by portraying it as a frivolous one day wonder rather than a delicious and food-friendly wine that you can enjoy on all kinds of occasions (especially Boxing Day). Good news for us Beaujolais-lovers, of course, as it means the real stuff is still seriously under-valued. (Look out for the 2010 and 2011 vintages.)
Anyway if you’ve bought a bottle - and don’t let me spoil your fun by being a miserable old codge - here are some good Beaujolais pairings. And don’t forget to chill it for half an hour before you dive in.
Do you celebrate the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau or do you think that it's over-hyped?
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