Is Beaujolais Nouveau “the” Thanksgiving Wine?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After years of hearing about Beaujolais Nouveau and its connection to Thanksgiving, we decided this year that we needed to try it. Many times we’ve enjoyed a nice Beaujolais Villages at a local Chinese restaurant. So I felt pretty confident that the Gamay grape would not

disappoint.

But to be honest I had some trepidation even thinking about trying the ubiquitous uber-young Beaujolais Nouveau.

What’s the history of Beaujolais Nouveau? As I understand it, after harvest was completed many wineries in France traditionally put together feasts for the workers where they enjoyed what would become  the just-bottled Beaujolais Nouveau. It’s even quite common for French wine connoisseurs to gather to enjoy the Beaujolais Nouveau at 12:01 am on the third Thursday of November. George Deboeuf himself is even known to have said “its harder to make Beaujolais Nouveau than it is to make Cru Beaujolais” because “every hour counts…the fermentation is so fast.”

As a side note, interestingly, as of 2006, Japan was the largest market for Beaujolais Nouveau, and I have no idea why.

It may just be a coincidence but Beaujolais Nouveau is released just a week prior to the American Thanksgiving holiday so of course marketers have seized the moment to promote Beaujolais Nouveau as the perfect Thanksgiving wine.

Given the above, Jane and I decided to try  Beaujolais Nouveau. Just for fun we also picked a bigger, bolder Morgon to compete in a side-by-side comparison. The other bottle is a 2009 Chateau Grange Cochard from Morgon. To be fair the Beaujolais Nouveau is priced at $11 and the Morgon is $19 so it’s not really a fair fight, but we rally want to stand back and see what happens when these two duke it out.

 

 

 

Steve Says:

On the 2012 Georges DuBoeuf, Beaujolais Nouveau:

Up front the nose is big strawberry with a hint of cotton candy sweetness. The color is very light with a corresponding ultra light, thin texture. With this bottle it’s absolutely a necessity to chill it before serving.  Although I am surprised by the fact that it only shows a hint of sweetness, since by the nose you’d think it would taste like a big chewy sweettart. But in reality it rides the fence pretty well between sweet and dry. It actually reminds me of my disistant memories of what a wine cooler was like.

2 stars out of 5

 

On the 2009 Chateau Grange Cochard – Morgon:

This bottle shows a deep dark inky color. On the nose you find a rich woodiness with a hint of cocoa. The finish is slightly dry with subtle soft tannin. This is a satisfying great drinkable bottle. Of course its hard to compare this to the Beaujolais Nouveau, but I can honestly say I’ll certainly not be buying any more of the Beaujolais. However the Grange Cochard Morgon will definitely be on my list of bottles to buy in the future.

3.5 stars out of 5

After tasting both wines I have one comment: While history says that Beaujolais Nouveau is the wine for Thanksgiving, I believe that the wine you love is the best wine for Thanksgiving. Regardless of whether it is Beaujolais, Pinot, Malbec or Cab Franc, just drink what you love and cherish the moment with friends and family. Don’t let another person’s opinion of the “right wine” overpower your own preference.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

 

Jane Says: 

On the 2012 Georges DuBoeuf, Beaujolais Nouveau:

The Beaujolais Nouveau is a novelty at best. We were curious about it’s legend, which is super fun, so we gave it a try. Will we buy it again? No. If you want to try it for novelty sake, go for it. If you’re looking for a good Beaujolais to drink at Thanksgiving dinner, try one of DuBoeuf’s better bottles.

1.5 stars out of 5

 

On the 2009 Chateau Grange Cochard – Morgon:

The Chateau Grange Cochard on the other hand was  really lovely. We drank it after the Beaujolais Nouveau and couldn’t stop drinking it! I highly recommend it. It’s medium to full-bodied, with a slight hint of green pepper, dark chocolate and blackberry. All in all, yum!

3.5 stars out of 5

Back to cooking Thanksgiving dinner! Cheers! Happy Thanksgiving!

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