The Festival of Beaujolais Nouveau
Despite the fact that it is believed that the French tradition to celebrate the birth of young wine originated in the 19th century, the first mention of such a holiday is found in the annals of the 4th century AD.
Traditionally, the wine of the new harvest began to be used on St. Martin’s Day, on November 11. A roast goose, which was generously washed down with young wine was served at the table.
The history of the Beaujolais Nouveau holiday is inextricably linked with the river Sona and the city of Lyon.
The Beaujolais winemakers were so eager to provide their merchandise with the annual Lyon horse fair, that accelerated the process of wine fermentation drastically. In fact, it reached the condition already in the barges that floated along Sona towards Lyon.
The fair unfolded in late October and was simply impossible without Beaujolais wine. It is a truly popular drink, cheap, tasty and cheerful.
Then the tradition was interrupted by World War II. After it, the sale of the new wine was allowed on November 13 of each year. Finally, in 1985, it was decided to establish a unified Day of Beaujolais Nouveau on the third Thursday of November.
From this moment, the history of the world brand “Beaujolais Nouveau” begins.
Generally speaking, from the point of view of the gourmet, this wine consists of solid flaws. It has a very simple bouquet, it does not stand storage, it may seem excessively sour. However, there were people who turned these shortcomings into dignities.
The idea was to firmly associate the Beaujolais Nouveau Day with the holiday not only in France, but all over the world. The wine maker Georges Dubef was the first who started making noisy presentations with the delivery of Beaujolais to different parts of the world for a certain time by steamboats, balloons and even “Concorde”.
At the opening ceremony of the first bottle, movie stars and politicians are invited, the first glass is sold at an auction, prizes are drawn and various competitions are held.
Efforts led to the lightning fast promotion of the Beaujolais Nouveau brand. Today, 400,000 liters of this wine are imported to 200 countries. This is 55 million bottles, half the production of French winemaking.
And this despite the fact that it can not be stored for more than a few months. The Beaujolais Nouveau holiday is incredibly popular in Germany, America, Japan, Southeast Asia and Russia.
Since 1846, wine is bottled in bottles of the standard volume of 46cl, that is slightly less than half a liter. “Bold wine,” as it is being called by the French, quickly unleashes tongues, but severely hampers any movements.
The historical area of Beaujolais is in the department of the Rhône and formally belongs to Burgundy. Black grapes ripens earlier than in other regions of France. Beaujolais winemakers tried to deliver it to consumers as soon as possible and developed their own technology.
For the production of wine, the process of carbonic maceration is used. This means that the juice from the grapes is squeezed out under its own weight in large closed vats and begins fermenting.
In the upper layers, the process begins in berries. A lot of experience is required in order to correctly determine the moment of draining the wine. A mistake in a couple of hours can make the taste either expressionless or too tart.
Further fermentation actually occurs during the delivery of wine to consumers. As a result of such an accelerated process, the classic Beaujolais Nuvo wine with a bright fruit and berry flavor and odor is obtained. It may even be slightly effervescent.
Gradually, the technology of obtaining Beaujolais Nouveau wine spread to many regions of France. Most often, the same grade is used. This is what they do in Touraine, on the banks of Laura and even in Languedoc. A traditional snack for Beaujolais Nouveau is cut meat and famous French cheeses.
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