‘Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive’ | ParkRecord.com

‘Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive’

On Sunday, Deer Valley joined establishments around the world in toasting the much-anticipated release of the 2008 Beaujolais Nouveau, a festive red wine produced in the Beaujolais region of France and parts of Italy. French law mandates that the wine be released no earlier than the stroke of midnight on the third Thursday of each November, when vino lovers across the globe unite with a singular goal in mind: eat, drink and be merry.

To mark this year’s long-awaited arrival, Deer Valley hosted the 26th Annual Beaujolais Nouveau Festival at Silver Lake Lodge. The event featured the Georges DuBoeuf 2008 Beaujolais Nouveau in casks as well as the 2007 vintage in bottles. Guests enjoyed traditional Burgundian cuisine such as frogs’ legs with chardonnay beurre blanc, escargot, rillettes, cassoulet and Filet de Boeuf, as well as an abundance of regional sausages, cheeses, and desserts.

Mark Groenig, who has attended the festival for the past 10 years, said that Beaujolais Nouveau is a fixture at his family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. He described the beverage as a good, cheap guzzling wine. "It’s meant to be enjoyed, not critiqued," he said.

Danica Farley, a first-timer at the event, explained that she came to the festival to nurture her love of all things French. Describing Beaujolais Nouveau as mild and crisp, "It has delightful flavors, and it makes you smile," she said.

Beaujolais Nouveau differs from other wines in that it is produced, bottled and released within a few weeks of the fall harvest. The winemaking method, called carbonic maceration, allows a rapid fermentation process that doesn’t require crushing the grapes. The resulting wine is fresh, fruity and very low in bitter tannins.

As an added bonus to this year’s harvest, several winemakers made eco-friendly adjustments to the annual race from grape to glass. In recent years, environmental crusaders have decried the wine’s release because of the environmental impact of shipping millions of bottles across the world in a matter of days.

According to published reports, Boisset, the second-largest maker of Beaujolais Nouveau, bottled this year’s entire harvest in recyclable PET bottles.

Georges Duboeuf, who produces about four million bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau annually, negotiated a deal with the French government to allow an early release of the wine. This move facilitated the use of ships rather than planes to transport cases to the U.S., reducing the carbon footprint of the journey by about 75 percent.

Beaujolais Nouveau selections range in price from $10-15 and are available at liquor stores statewide.

For information on upcoming events at Deer Valley, please visit http://www.deervalley.com/events-calendar.html.

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