After all, it was the very first day Beaujolais Nouveau from France would be available. Nope. So I had to ask where the Kermit Lynch Beaujolais Nouveau was. I’d read in the KL newsletter that the wine—from Domaine Dupeuble Père et Fils—would be available beginning 18 Nov at Bi Rite Market just a few blocks from my house.
Perhaps I risk showing my age, but the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau used to be a big deal—producers raced each other to be the first to deliver their wine to thirsty US wine lovers. There were festivals, celebrations, meals, drunken. . . Well, maybe I should stop there. In any case, I look forward to the wine each year. But it seems not many in San Francisco share my anticipation. At least not in my neighborhood.
In my world, which is, of course, the one that matters to me most, Beaujolais Nouveau is the quintessential Thanksgiving wine. First, it is a celebration of this year’s harvest, just as the Pilgrims were doing originally and each of us do at our own tables. I hope. Second, the wine’s fresh, grapy flavor (created by the special fermentation process—carbonic maceration) and snap of acidity make a great foil for rich Thanksgiving fare. It tastes of berries and grapes and its slightly tart edge that keeps you coming back for more. It spins the word “quaffable” in a delightful direction. (From Harold McGee on a podcast of Fresh Air, I learned why Beaujolais Nouveau has this effect. Acidity stimulates your taste buds and causes your mouth to water. Thus, mouthwatering. Just what you need to keep you stimulated through that feast you will be facing on Thursday.)
There is just too much going on at Thanksgiving—too many dishes and maybe too many relatives—to really appreciate a complex, “serious” wine. Beaujolais Nouveau doesn’t take itself seriously. Neither should we. So why not join the fun and drink some Beaujolais Nouveau?