Traditionally, on the third Thursday of November, at midnight, the New Beaujolais holiday comes to French soil – a young wine made in a small region north of Lyon.
Beaujolais Nouveau appeared in France in the middle of the 20th century and had a purely commercial basis. In principle, wine made from the “game” grape variety, which is traditionally grown in Beaujolais, is noticeably inferior in quality to the winemakers of Burgundy and Bordeaux.
Some French monarchs even called Beaujolais “disgusting drink” and categorically forbade serving it to their table. As a rule, Beaujolais is not adapted for long storage, but it ripens faster than Bordeaux or Burgundy wines, and it is at a young age that it has a rather rich flavor and aromatic bouquet.
On reflection, the Beaujolais winemakers decided to turn the shortcomings of their product for good and proclaimed the third Thursday of November the holiday of the new harvest wine. This advertising and marketing ploy turned out to be an unprecedented success, and now the day of appearance in the sale of “Beaujolais Nouveau” is celebrated not only in France, but also in many other countries of the world.
One of the indicators of the annual global excitement on the third Thursday of November was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records – in 1993, $ 1450 was paid for the first glass of Beaujolais Nouveau in an English pub.
Gradually, the holiday was overgrown with its own traditions. The third Thursday of November became the “day of the winemaker”, the day when the whole country walks, and when there is an opportunity to assess how successful the harvest was this year. In addition, it is also a popular and fashionable tradition, which was invented by the inhabitants of the most wine-growing country in the world.
As usual, winemakers from the town of Bozho start the celebration. Holding lighted torches made of grapevine in their hands, they form a solemn procession onto the city square, where barrels of young wine have already been installed. Exactly at midnight, the plugs are knocked out, and the intoxicating jets of Beaujolais Nouveau begin their next annual journey across France and around the world.
A few days before the holiday, from small villages and cities of the Beaujolais region, millions of bottles of young wine begin their journey from France to countries and continents, where they are already eagerly awaited in shops and cafes, restaurants and clubs.
It is a matter of honor for their owners to host a festival of young wine! There is even a competition between producers who will be the first to deliver their wine to this or that part of the world. Everything is used: motorcycles, trucks, helicopters, Concorde aircraft, rickshaws. It is almost impossible to explain the reasons for the crazy popularity of this holiday in the world. There is something mystical about this …
Regardless of the time zone, the tasting of the new harvest Beaujolais begins on the third Thursday of every November. Even the phrase “Le Beaujolais est arrivé!” (from French – “Beaujolais has arrived!”), serving as the motto for the festivities taking place on this day around the world.
Beaujolais Nouveau is a whole ritual, a great pagan and folk holiday. Being versatile, it adapts to any country and fits into any culture.