Thursday, November 20, 2014
And I thought the day would never arrive.
Today, the 3rd Thursday of November, is traditionally "Beaujolais Nouveau Day", when the fresh pressed juice of the Gamay grape is rushed into bottles and shipped from Beaujolais around the world to celebrate this year's harvest and to portend the quality of the traditionally aged and bottled Beaujolais yet to come.
I will report back here as soon as I've secured a few bottlings to sample. I'll be roasting a turkey tonight for dinner, and making some of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes to go alongside, to test this year's Nouveau's legs in advance of next week's big food orgy. So check back here later today and tonight.
And now that the dust has settled after the evening meal, let me tell you about this year's Nouveau. First of all, buy it. It's going to be a good year for Beaujolais. Lots of strawberry and blueberry in the nose, and some of that green vineyard aroma that makes you think of a walk in the vineyard. I personally love that about Nouveau, that you taste the entire cycle of the wine from earth to vine to grape to drink. So few wines ever give you that gift, unless you get to visit a winery and taste a new wine from the siphon.
But the drink is what is so worth it this year: blackberries, wild blackberries right up front in that first sip, wild Oregon blackberries like the ones I found alongside the highways outside of Portland, big blasts of juice. Then nice, round jammy grapes, nicely sweet with a little tang. The wine bounced nicely off my herb-roasted turkey, nicely counterpointing the sage and marjoram pepper, salt and oregano that I rubbed all over the turkey. Married well with the oniony, celery stuffing I made as well. A nice finishing dryness to this year's Nouveau, too, cutting nicely through the buttery mashed potatoes and gravy.
Sipping a glass now, after dinner, this year's wine has enough to pair with a nibble of cheese, maybe a medium to sharp cheddar, nothing complicated.. But you will definitely be able to enjoy this wine on its own, long after you've basked in the compliments for pouring it at Thanksgiving. It's that good.