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Beaujolais Nouveau— Why You Should Care

They're unveiling the latest crop of Beaujolais Nouveau and why should you care?

Because it’s a big French party, that’s why silly. The French know how to let their curls down, so why not follow suit? And as it happens to fall on Thursday November 15, a week before Thanksgiving, it’s a great excuse to sniff out which Beaujolais vintages you’ll be serving at your feast—because this wine, perhaps a little bit older than the enfant Nouveau, is a good first bottle to kill once everyone finally sits down.

At first, the Beaujolais Nouveau celebration was just another fun, French secret. But, coucou! We want to party too. In the past 40 years, it’s turned into a worldwide celebration that accounts for nearly a third of the region’s production. Just six to eight weeks after harvest, 11 million cases of the new vintage are taped up and sent around the globe just in time to pop the cork on the third Thursday of November. Think Santa’s little elves, except with sexy French accents, and piles of cigarette butts everywhere.

But let’s not mistake its mass popularity as a seal of this wine can do no wrong. That’s the power of marketing for you. It’s a little young yes, and yeah chefs might have to bend a touch to pair it— so, think of it more as an excuse to party, oui?

What can you expect it to taste like? Beaujolais is made from the Gamay grape, which produces fruity wines with medium acid, and low tannins, that are often enjoyed young. In the case of baby Beaujolais, the flavor will be a lighthearted version of itself; quaffable nonetheless in good company. This is the “bubble gum” wine. That’s right, that’s a thing. Cat pee— not this time. While digging through your bag of wine adjectives, “bubble gum” jumps out a lot when tasting reds from this region.

Here is how H-town is throwing down for the 2018 Beaujolais Nouveau vintage:

The Beaujolais Nouveau Festival at the Astorian, 2500 Summer
The French American Chamber of Commerce is throwing a big 'ole party. General Admission $75 and VIP $98. The event will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and will be open bar with access to 20 restaurant booths. Tickets may be purchased here.

Bistro Provence, 13616 Memorial Drive, 713-827-8008
Bistro Provence is hosting a wine dinner. Reservations are required. $65 per person + tax and gratuity. The dinner will include four courses paired with select wines, not including the amuse bouche paired with the 2018 baby Beaujolais.

Etoile Cuisine et Bar, 1101-11 Uptown Park, 832-668-5808
Etoile is offering a pre-lunch and pre-dinner appetizer and glass of Beaujolais Nouveau special.

Brasserie 19, 1962 W Gray, 713-524-1919
On Saturday, Brasserie 19 will feature Beaujolais and Beaujolais Nouveau over brunch from noon to 3 p.m. as well as live music. For every bottle purchased, guests will be entered to win a swag basket. Reservations can be made by calling or here.

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