Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Genius in a Bottle

By Maureen C. Petrosky

Long before the reign of Madison Avenue’s Mad Men, a marketing mastermind created what we now call Beaujolais Nouveau, basically, a brilliant idea born in a bottle. Beaujolais is a winemaking region, but to set itself apart from all the other juice, these producers have successfully created worldwide anticipation of its annual release. The light- bodied, fruity, easy drinking red wine is released every November, and is celebrated with such gusto and reverence you would think it a newborn baby. In some ways it is. Today, one of, the if not the most famed producer of Beaujolais, Georges Duboeuf, could be called the father. His bottles dominate the shelves in the U. S. market and this year they’re already dressed for the holiday season in a stunning gown of gold and red, which also makes an ideal tabletop addition to any seasonal soiree.

No doubt this reasonably priced red’s dramatic release is perfectly timed each year right before Thanksgiving. It always catches the eye of once-a-year wine shoppers as well as those stocking up to entertain over the holidays. In the world of wine reviews this pour can cause serious sippers to become bitterly cantankerous. It is thought of by some as nothing more than bulk juice with a fun label. Truth is, wine connoisseurs need something to hate on. My take: More for us! Relax, see Beaujolais Nouveau for what it is, and love every sip. It’s not supposed to be a serious example of Old World charm. If anything, Nouveau is totally New World, meaning it is perfect for the American palate and pocket book. Ringing in at around $13/bottle this year, it makes for a great party wine or a lovely hostess gift.

Georges DuBoeuf, Beaujolais Nouveau, 2009, $13
Nouveau always has a hint of what I can only describe as waxy flavor. It’s like déjà vu of those perfumes that used to come in a compact or the heavy scented Estee Lauder lipstick my Grandmom loves. For me the past couple of vintages the B.N. have been overshadowed by this attribute, but I was delighted that upon first swirl and sip of the 2009 the fruit came first. This is what you’d call a young wine, notice no heavy tannins and not much structure here. So don’t try to age these. Drink them new- thus the Nouveau celebration. This wine didn’t even last an hour in my house. Tis’ the season, so bottoms up!

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