Thursday, November 20, 2008

Beaujolais Nouveau est Arrivé!

Today is the day that this year's Beaujolais Nouveau is released. Today we'll be tasting out our Nouveau all day at both locations, so stop by and come taste some wine!

For those not familiar, Beaujolais Nouveau is an unusual style of wine that always gets released on a Thursday around this time of year. Beaujolais is a region in France that makes red wines out of the Gamay grape. There are regular Beaujolais made in traditional ways, but the Nouveau is made using a technique called Carbonic Maceration. Without getting too technical, this is when rather than crushing the grapes and then fermenting the juice, the winemakers put the grapes in large vessels and let gravity crush the grapes at the bottom. As the juice at the bottom of the tank ferments, Carbon Dioxide is released and pushes the oxygen out of the vessel, thereby creating conditions that let the juice in the whole grape clusters ferment inside the grape.

The entire process from grape to bottle only takes about 6 weeks, hence the term Nouveau (new). These reds are very low in tannin and are drunk chilled. People sometimes called Beaujolais Nouveau the red that drinks like a white for that reason. It should be consumed young - you don't want to drink 2008 Beaujolais Nouveau in 2009.

Nouveau can be real hit or miss in terms of quality, but we have found the Domaine Manoir du Carra to be consistently good every year. We have both their regular Beaujolais Nouveau and the Nouveau Villages.

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