Happy Beaujolais Day!

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You know the week before Thanksgiving has become a thing.   And if you want to call it another excuse to party, another excuse to eat, drink, and participate in merriment, I’m all for it.

Beaujolais Nouveau 2017 officially kicked off this past Thursday.  To me, it’s the precursor to all that’s great about the holidays.  And this is meant as the highest compliment.  It could just be another marketing gimmick, or another way to make a dollar, but who really cares?  Any reason to get together with the people you love, to drink some simple and affordable wines, eat a whole bunch of yummy food, and just hang out is better than any reason not to.

And if there’s more, and as long as it’s not overkill, I’m all for more genuine celebrations as long as it’s in a healthy, safe, and heartwarming manner.

This event truly warms my heart.

I was talking with a close friend over the week about getting some of our favorite people together for this truly special day. And with a few schedule adjustments we were able to do this to perfection.

Speaking of schedules, 2017 was a strange year in France for as it had one of the smallest amounts of harvesting and production in quite some time.   In spite of all that, the hosts f the party and myself each brought a bottle to share and try with friends.

And they provided this spread for the ages.  I mean what else needs to be said?

Well we should talk about the wine, right?

First up is the hosts’ choice, the 2017 Beaujolais Nouveau from Bouchard Aîné & Fils.

This is what makes this event so fun.  It’s exactly what you would expect from a Beaujolais Nouveau,  It’s light on the nose and when you sip.  The grapes tastes as young as you would expect. There’s no thrills, no life changing feelings (well that all depends on the person drinking), and this isn’t likely to win any awards.  But it might just win you over.

There’s some cherries, hints of other fruits (all depends on your interpretation and imagination), and a little to no tannins. It’s exactly what you would expect.  It’s exactly what I expected.  And sometimes that’s all you want.   At the average price of $10-12, there’s no complaints.  It tastes like a bottle under $10.  I would say the couple extra dollars is an upcharge to join the celebration!   And people to love the label.

Next, was the bottle I brought.  The 2017 Beaujolais Nouveau from Joseph Drouhin, almost leans towards the medium side.  This is the opposite of our first bottle, and seems a little more serious and sophisticated.  It might take itself a little too seriously.  The violet color is the antithesis of our first bottle.  The berries, cherries, and other fruits taste a little darker and a little smokier.  I believe this was the favorite of the group.   There’s a little more structure to this.  If you didn’t tell me this was a nouveau, I wouldn’t know the difference.  This tastes more like a regular Beaujolais.

At $15 this borders on closer to bottle service or vip access to the party.

After all this analysis, none of this matters.  We went back-and-forth in sipping each bottle, that any insight and commentary was rendered meaningless.

What’s most important now, this time of year, and forever, is who you choose to spend these celebratory occasions with.   The small gatherings where you can discuss the wine, the food, and anything else that might be on your mind, or makes you feel good, is more important than discussing all the complexities and intricacies of these bottles, or anything.

Having a good time is of bigger importance than taking these things too seriously.   And I take what I say oh so seriously.  Haha.

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After a while, other wine was drank, the amazing food was continually noshed on, and the conversations went from light hearted to serious, and back to light hearted.  But it was all in good fun and out of love.   This is what life is really all about.  This applies to now, the holidays, and for the duration of our existence in this amazing thing called life.

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This was incredible.  I don’t know what else to say.  I’m grateful to be welcomed into a friend’s house where things are happy, beautiful, holiday like, and represents all the other good that’s in the world.  This is what makes this life so grande.  It’s the intimate gatherings with close friends and family that help us as grow as people, and as souls.

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This warmed my soul.

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These bottles are easy to find, and I would suggest drinking them before the year is over. It’s not meant to wait.  These grapes average six to eight weeks old, so the time is now. Here’s a list of other suggested Beaujolais Nouveau bottles to try.

Here are my posts on this beautiful occasion.

My blog is now three years old, and I’m honored to have this as my third anniversary post.  I wasn’t aware of this detail until this morning.  I felt an additional post for the week was essential to commemorate.  I don’t believe in coincidences, I believe in the awesome.

I think this is going to be a great holiday season.

Peace be with you.

Ideen

 

 

 

 

I Love Thursdays

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As a kid, and now as an adult, I’ve always looked forward to Thanksgiving.  The fourth Thursday is one many of us mark on the calendar as a day of eating, celebrating with people you care about, drinking, eating, and more eating.

But in what has now become a preview of things to come, the third Thursday, Beaujolais Nouveau Day, has almost become the launching pad of the holiday season, at least here in the states.  And of course for others, the holidays started right after Halloween, if not before.   Nevertheless, I’m happy to have found two unique bottles versus last year, and thankfully two gatherings to bring them to.

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I love Friendsgiving, or Friends Thanksgiving.  I love how we all embrace each other a little more during this time of year.  There’s a natural energy and progression that hits us for a couple of months.  It’s the height of love.  I want to believe it permeates throughout the year.  Some would say it would talk away some of the shine and uniqueness of this time of year.   I would venture to say that being good to each other should be exclusive to the entire year.  And it can be.  With that being said…

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The 2016 Beaujolais Nouveau from Bouchard Aîné & Fils was my favorite of this season thus far. This was brought to a Friendsgiving this past Sunday. So yes, I cheated.  I broke the tradition of only having this on that faithful Third Thursday, but good wine is meant to be drank.  And it was still at the store, so it was meant to be bought, meant to be savored, and meant to be appreciated, all year round.  Ok that was a bit dramatic.

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But this wine had a sweetness about it.   I should have figured out that besides blackberry and cherry, which is synonymous with these wines, was some white peach.  This made the wine alone.  The synopsis which is listed also mentions flavors or smoke.  You would think smoke would undermine the sweet and fruity principles that these wines bring forth.  This was not the case.

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I loved it and was happy that my friends enjoyed it too.  The bottle barely made it through dinner.  You know when you bring a bottle and no one drinks it, feelings may be hurt.  It’s happened to the best of us.  So I’m happy other people enjoyed it and are now fans.  I’m a huge fan.

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I was a huge fan of the feast.  Everyone made or brought some awesome foods.  Pictures are all over this writing, and I don’t need to explain everything on my plate.  Hopefully the pictures do them justice.  But everything was wonderful.  The hosts are great people who I consider close friends, it was nice to reconnect with friends I don’t always see, and I’m happy to have met some new ones.  This is the point of the holidays, and the point of this thing of course called life.

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Can you spot the green eggs and ham?  Haha.

So that was dinner.  And after dinner comes sweet tooth time.

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Bottle #2 is the Beaujolais Noveau from Joseph Drouhin tasted a bit more standard and more of the wines that are in line with this event.  That’s not to say it was bad.  The dark fruits, blackberries, and cherries made this wine a little more fuller than I expected.  I didn’t love it at first, but it was a grower.  A few of sips were better than others. And that could entirely be based on the pastries that were paired with.  The sweetness may shown itself when it otherwise wouldn’t.

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This was a smaller gathering with good friends.  I feel like such a grown up going to another party for dessert and vino.

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These wines are meant to be paired with heavy meats and cheeses.  But there are never any rules to this thing.  Well there might be one.  These wines are meant to be drank now. I have bottles from a couple of years ago that are probably lost causes.   They were meant to be brought to various holiday parties and events.  I won’t make that same mistake by letting them collect dust.

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We got a long season and that means these youthful wines are meant to be had immediately.  And most go for under $15.  And some under $10.  Those are my kind of price points.

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The holidays are about getting carried away, indulging yourself like there’s no tomorrow (or until the next party), and spending time with the people you care about the most.

I would strongly recommend the Bouchard Aîné & Fils, and I think many others will love the Joseph Drouhin.

As an aside, I did taste the Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau, and it left so much to be desired. It’s the weakest I can recall in sometime.  I would say it lacked the fire and enthusiasm of previous years.

So you might be asking where you can find these bottles?  The respective websites are not the best of help in that regard. All I know is that in Baltimore, you can find them at the fine folks of Canton Crossing Wine & Spirits.  I’ve always had a great experience there. Online sites may list this at various prices.  If I can track down where else they can be found, I will update this list.

Here is my Beaujolais Nouveau post from one year ago.

Happy Third Thursday to you and Happy Thanksgiving Eve!   And if you read this after that, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Holidays, and Happy Wine Drinking!

I Love Beaujolais Nouveau!

Best to you and yours,

Ideen

A Tale of Two Parties

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Beaujolais Nouveau has been quite the hip and niche  thing to celebrate, especially in the past few years.  I’ll admit before the Internet blew up like it had, I only heard about this celebration in passing.  I wasn’t into wine like I am now.  So I thought nothing good or bad of it.  I simply took it for granted.

Then you could say I’ve grown up and matured.  Maybe.

I’ll keep the explanation of this celebration brief. And links have been provided throughout.

The event has been a phenomenon thanks in part to Georges Duboeuf and his marketing and creative labels.  He’s also very passionate about what he does.   He has a gravitas and panache that many of us are capable of having but don’t always push forth on that inspiration.  I know I can attest to that at a multitude of times.

On the third Thursday of every month this wine is released to the public, irregardless of harvest times and meant to be purchased and consumed on that day.

The grapes are anywhere from just six-to-eight weeks old and meant to be drank young.   The wine is made from Gamay grapes and it’s required by law to be picked by hand.   Plenty of information is spread throughout if you want to research further.  But I hope you get the gist of it.

Many folks are purists and feel that this wine should only be drank on this day and not again for another year.  I respect that tradition. However, I like traditions myself.  To me this this is now the (un)official start to the holiday season.  The third Thursday has a ring to it, which of course precedes the 4th Thursday which is this obscure holiday based on giving thanks.  Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

My close friends and I now have a pre-holiday gathering revolving around the celebration of the harvest and Turkey Day.

There’s so many bottles based on this event but for the life of me I always find the same two.  I scour many stores and none seem to get anymore. Perhaps before these wines become too skunked to taste or past its sell by date, I’ll find others to write about.  Which means I have till Spring.  If.

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Bottle number one is from the aforementioned Mr. Dubouef himself.   This was fantastic.  And I want to drink it.  My pals felt the same.  There was a sweeter berry then just the cherry.  It wasn’t strawberry.  In doing in a bit of cheating I discovered the winning ingredient was raspberry.  I should have recalled.  I’ve drank this before.  Maybe I was thinking too hard. Maybe I’m over-analyzing.  But I do adore this wine and intend to purchase more bottles over the holidays.

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This is a winner and it went perfectly with our cheese and crackers spread before we enjoyed our main course.   The problem (if you can call it that) is we went through this one in no time.  It was meant to be part of our feast as well but we loved it so much it was dismantled in barely half-an-hour. Oops!   This light-bodied goodness can go with anything.  It can be savored alone or with any feast you choose. Have some fun with it.  We did.

There were times I sipped that tasted better than others.  I felt like I was drinking candy and that’s a positive.  It felt like happiness and it felt like the holidays.   I am so happy I chose this bottle to be opened for this gathering of close buds.   It got better with time and I would love to buy another bottle and let it breathe for a few days.   I am salivating at the thought.

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Next up is the DeBeaune.  To me this didn’t come close to replicating the DuBouef version. Nor did it have to but it wasn’t even a contest.  I purchased both at the same time since I was indecisive.  I rather have two to compare and contrast anyways.

There’s nothing bad about it.  It just felt like an ordinary table wine to me. However, this would also be great at any party.   I may not have not loved it but I know many who say they enjoyed it more than the DuBouef.

The display at the store was all about this one as opposed to the ‘understated’ DuBouef.  Funny.

I brought it to a friends gathering this past Sunday and I barely got to have some myself.  It was gobbled up in minutes.  So somebody liked it or it was the only bottle opened at the time.  I’ll go with the former on this one and maybe not project so much.

I did my best to enjoy with a wonderful cheese and vegetable platter.

That’s the fun of this journey.  We all will have differing opinions and respect one another’s palate.  In a few weeks my mind could change on one or both.

I am excited as to what the next month will bring in terms of wine and food experiences.  I hope I will be able to expound on the great holiday parties and pairings that are to come.

Tradition might be altered but I believe these and many other wines can be enjoyed whenever you want.  As long as there’s good company, good food, and most of all a good energy around, then I’m all for it.   I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I’d like to thank Total Wine for their assistance last week.

I wish you all a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving.

Take good care.

Best,

Ideen