Beer and Wine Department
Beer and Wine Weekly Update, November 17, 2014
By Josh Downs, Beer and Wine Manager
Last week I made a subtle mention of Beaujolais Nouveau, knowing that I was going to end up talking about it this week. For anyone who doesn’t know, Beaujolais Nouveau is a very young French wine, made from the Gamay grape, that is released to the public once a year on the third Thursday of November. In America, it has been coined as the wine to drink at Thanksgiving, mostly due to the proximity of its release and the holiday (it also pairs very well with Thanksgiving fare), but its origins didn’t have the American holiday in mind. The wine had always been made to celebrate the end of the harvest in Beaujolais, but up until World War II, it was only for local consumption. During the war, AOC (appellation d'origine controlee, a French Certification regarding regional requirements for wine, cheese, and other agricultural products) rules were established for Beaujolais, stating that the wine produced there could not be sold until December 15th in the year of the harvest. The rules were later changed in 1951 to a release date of November 15th, and the wine officially became known as Beaujolais Nouveau. It was after this change that vintners in Beaujolais realized there was some big marketing potential for the wine. Members of the UIVB (L'Union Interprofessionnel des Vins du Beaujolais) hosted a foot race to Paris, carrying the first bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau the whole way. This event instantly became a hit, and by the 70’s, it had become a national attraction. The date of the release was finally changed to the third Thursday in November in 1985 to take advantage of the potential sales in America for the holiday season. At City Market, our normal delivery days are Fridays, so we will be seeing Beaujolais a day after its release, but don’t worry, it will still be just as fresh!
November Wine Picks for Under $10
The holiday season is approaching fast, so this month we are featuring two fantastic wines at great savings so you don’t have to break the budget on a good wine for Thanksgiving dinner or as a gift. Both wines featured this month are from the Plantagenet Vineyard in Mount Barker, Western Australia. Plantagenet is one of the most trusted wine brands in Australia and there is good reason for it.
Hazard Hill Semillon Sauvignon Blanc is a lush and flavorful white. Notes of guava and citrus on the nose lead to citrus zest, apple, and gooseberry in the body. The finish is long and refreshing, with a good minerality. Drink this alongside salads, shellfish, and poultry. Hazard Hill Shiraz is dark and rich with notes of cherry, blackberry, and plum. This savory wine is complimented by a peppery finish that lasts. Enjoy a glass of this alongside red meats, stews, and other rich fall dishes.