Beaujolais Nouveau hails from the vast, hilly vineyard region stretching from southern Mâcon all the way north to outside of Lyon, bordered by the foothills of the Massif central and the Saone river plain.
The wine got its start as an early wine drunk by vineyard workers to celebrate the end of a long harvest. Eventually, the wine starting to make its way into local establishments around the Beaujolais region, and became trendy in Parisian cafes (who doesn't love a new vintage of wine only available for a short time?)
Thanks in no small part to the tireless marketing efforts of powerful locals, the celebration of Beaujolais Day spread throughout Europe. By the 1980s, Americans had joined the party, followed by Asia in the 90s. While there are many other wine styles (and grapes) in the region, today, one third of Beaujolais' production is dedicated to the Nouveau style. This translates to nearly 35 million bottles distributed to 110 countries every year!!
Unlike other wines, Beaujolais Nouveau is quickly bottled and distributed after just 6-8 weeks of fermentation. This makes it a fresh and juicy wine, low in tannins and higher in acidity. Light red or almost pink in color, Beaujolais Nouveau makes for exuberant sipping. Don't save these bottles for a special occasion, it's meant to be drunken early to celebrate the last golden light of autumn. Serve slightly chilled and pair with platters of cheeses, cured meats, and lots of friends!