IT'S that time of the year again, but the dullest month in the calendar does have some ruby linings. Throughout the European vineyards the wine makers are tending the results of the lovingly gathered harvest. Yes, it was with love, for in many areas the vintage is reckoned to be very fine.
The first wine to appear with a 2009 vintage will be Beaujolais Nouveau. Growers are so pleased many consider it to be the finest since 1947. Bon viveur wine bar owner Don Hewitson (Cork and Bottle and Shampers in London theatreland) thinks it is the best since 1986 when he sold a mere 12,000 bottles - he wasn't around in '47 so we'll go with him.
Beaujolais Nouveau brings a brightness to November as no other wine can. It's a jolly wine made from gamay grapes in the area of southern Burgundy. All the great restaurants of France have a number of beaujolais wines on their lists, so those who malign it are in the wrong company.
The red wine is bright and twinkles of violets and cherries. It has the nose of hedgerow flowers with ripe autumn berries. It goes down very easily and is a perfect party drink. It is great with all Lyonnaise food, so particularly good with chicken and other poultry, saucisson and cheeses, particularly the soft ones.
Beaujolais Nouveau will be in the shops next Thursday, the third in the month. It will cost from around pounds 4.95 a bottle, but the top growers do ask more.
The best known in Beaujolais is Georges Duboeuf, whose wines are very typical of the area and he is the man for great nouveau - even in duller vintages he makes a good wine.
This year any nouveau should typify the style of beaujolais, so there will be plenty to choose from.
I doubt if Don will sell anything like the numbers of 1986, but his and the enthusiasm from many eminent wine buffs should help to re-establish beaujolais on the calendar. For Pete's sake we need something to liven things up at this time of year.
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|Publication:||Daily Post (Liverpool, England)|
|Date:||Nov 14, 2009|
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