NOTE This is the 2018 Beaujolais Nouveau article. For the 2019 Beaujolais Nouveau article, click here.
The Beaujolais Nouveau arrives this week. Everything you need to know is in this article.
What is the Beaujolais Nouveau?
Beaujolais is a wine made from Gamay grapes, a purple skinned, predominantly grown in France. It’s an acidic grape, which requires a particular fermentation process or soil conditions to soften that natural acidity. It is planted in Tours in the Loire Valley but mainly as you would expect in the Beaujolais region.
The Beaujolais Nouveau is released on the third Thursday of November each year having only fermented for three weeks making it a vin de primeur. Other, non Nouveau Beaujolais are fermented for longer and will improve with age. The Beaujolais Nouveau is a drink now wine, not generally a wine for cellaring.
Why is it the third Thursday in November?
In 1985, a law was passed in France declaring that the Beaujolais Nouveau cannot be released before the third Thursday of November. This makes the annual release a much-anticipated (and competitive for the vintners who race to get theirs to the bars and restaurants as early as possible after midnight) event. In France you will see signs announcing “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé” (“The Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived”).
How popular is the Beaujolais Nouveau?
In France, there are over 100 official celebrations for Beaujolais Nouveau Day. Worldwide, over 65 million bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau will be consumed.
So where to taste the Beaujolais Nouveau?
The Alliance Française d’Adelaide is not hosting any special event for the Beaujolais Nouveau but will have it available for sale at its French Market on Friday 23 November and Saturday 24 November.
La Buvette is going to be celebrating the Beaujolais Nouveau on its intended date (Thursday 15 November). All that we know for now is that there is going to be Beaujolais Nouveau and saucisson. At the time of publishing, La Buvette have not provided further details.
The Alliance Française d’Armidale will hold its joint Arrival of the Beaujolais Nouveau/Noel end of year celebration at Kent House with a dinner. Details are yet to come but if you’re interested in this event, contact the Alliance Française d’Armidale – coordinates here.
On Saturday 17 November, the Alliance Française de Brisbane will celebrate the Beaujolais Nouveau at the State Library of Queensland. The Alliance is importing 100 bottles of wine for this event. For $65 (or $55 for members) you will receive two glasses of Beaujolais Nouveau together with cheeses and other grazing delicacies. Mr Peter Scudmore-Smith, the master of wine, will be introducing the Beaujolais Nouveau and giving tasting notes about the 2018 vintage. Chantefique, Alliance Française de Brisbane’s choir will entertain the crowd.
The Alliance Française de Cairns will hold its Beaujolais Nouveau event on 23 November. It costs $35 for non-members and $25 members.
The Alliance Française of Canberra together with Pialligo Estate are putting on an event to celebrate the uncorking of the Beaujolais Nouveau.
For $99 per person, you will enjoy a four-hour event with a three-hour beverage package including free-flowing Chapoutier Beaujolais wine together with options from the Pialligo Estate wines. You will also be served smokehouse and cured meat/charcuterie, cheeses from both Australia and abroad and canapés.
NOTE: This event is not taking place on the 15 November 2018 but a week later (presumably to allow time for the wine to arrive from France).
The Alliance Française de Geelong is again celebrating Le Beaujolais Nouveau with its annual luncheon on Sunday 18 November. For $50 (members $40 and children $10), you will have two glasses of Beaujolais Nouveau along with your luncheon of French charcuterie, cheese, salad, baguette and desserts. There will be French music and a treasure hunt for the kids.
Bistro Volière will be celebrating the Beaujolais Nouveau on Thursday 15 November from 6pm with Beaujolais Nouveau from the vineyard of Trenel. For $55 you will have unlimited Beaujolais Nouveau plus charcuterie, cheese and canapés.
On Friday 23 November, the Alliance Française de Perth will hold its Beaujolais Nouveau event. For $43 (or $33 for members), you will get two glasses of Beaujolais Nouveau together with pâtés, cheeses, charcuterie and French bread.
The Alliance Française de Sunshine Coast is hosting its Beaujolais Nouveau luncheon at La Maison du Patissier on Saturday 24 November. For $40 (or $35 if you’re a member), you will get two glasses of Beaujolais Nouveau, a French lunch of petits fours, gougère, pain surprise, mini-éclairs, mini tartelettes, mini-opéra etc. There will also be a musical homage to Charles Aznavour and other French greats, quizzes and raffles to win bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau to take home.
NOTE: You must book before 17 November if you want to attend this event.
For $40 for members and $50 for non-members, you can enjoy cheese and charcuterie canapés together with a glass of Beaujolais and a selection of other wines. You need to book and can do so via the link.
Sydney’s North Shore’s Brasserie L’Entrecote is having a special event for the Beaujolais Novueau arrival on Thursday 15 November. For $80 you will enjoy a special 4-course menu for dinner together with Beaujolais Nouveau wine from the Trenel estate. Bookings are essential!
FASS is holding a Beaujolais Nouveau Tasting evening at Beyond the Label at Westfield Miranda on Thursday 15 November from 6:30pm. For $40 you will receive a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau and a glass of another Beaujolais (non-nouveau) as well as cheese and charcuterie platters. There will also be a talk from Jim McMahon, a wine specialist.
Le Coq Rotisserie
Le Coq Rotisserie has prepared a special 4 course menu for the release of the Beaujolais Nouveau.
They will also be serving Beaujolais Nouveau at $13 for a glass, $30 for a carafe and $55 per bottle.
Loluk Bistro will be selling Beaujolais Nouveau by the glass for $10.
While Sydney’s Rosé Royale won’t be celebrating the Beaujolais Nouveau, it is worth a mention as it is one of the very rare places where you can have a Beaujolais Rosé, currently Domaine des Pothiers, Côte Roannaise.
Will you be able to celebrate the Beaujolais Nouveau?