Beaujolais Nouveau: Not Quite So ‘New’ Any More


Happier times … But unquestionably a corrupting influence …

I’ll admit it. I’m only a lukewarm fan of Beaujolais Nouveau, which is maybe why I barely noticed this past week’s celebration. Don’t get me wrong— It’s nothing personal! I just don’t think it’s that big a deal any more.

Sure, Nouveau is still a fun idea, no problem with that. But rather than enhance Beaujolais’ overall reputation, I think the long term impact of the campaign has been quite detrimental to Beaujolais at large. When, for example, was the last time you bought a bottle of Moulin à Vent or Saint AmourNowadays, often as not, Gamay from elsewhere gets a whole lot more traction than Beaujolais—and (aside from the fact that there are some pretty decent BC Gamays out there), Beaujolais Nouveau may be part of the problem.

No. I’m not a wine snob, far from it. And I agree that Nouveau, with its fresh personality and almost non-existent tannins, can be just the ticket. Throw a party and I might even be there. And I wouldn’t have a problem quaffing some with Oyama’s cassoulet. Plus, you have to hand it to Georges Duboeuf for making the most of what’s become arguably the most successful marketing campaign in the history of wine.

However, the international wine community has grown considerably since the first bottles were rushed to Paris, and later around the world. But at the risk of being a party-pooper, do we really need to bathe in it….?  No wonder they now produce around 60 million bottles—though maybe not in this very challenging year…  

It appears I’m not the only one whose enthusiasm is on the wane … Check out what’s happening in the U.K.—widely considered the bellweather for the wine industry.

I’m actually pretty fond of my year-round Beaujolais Nouveau reminder—the fun Duboeuf poster above, which dates from a time when “Nouveau” truly was still a novelty.

But that’s not the real reason I cherish this frolicking couple.

In the not so progressive BC of 1994, it was BANNED by the province’s all-powerful Liquor Control and Licensing Branch. And we’re still not sure exactly why.

Go figure!

In the meantime, just to prove I’m not a total grinch, if you do want to celebrate, here’s a couple of links to help:

Beaujolais Nouveau

Beaujolais Villages Nouveau


By | 2018-01-21T15:05:31+00:00 November 18th, 2012|Wine|0 Comments

About the Author:

Tim has been covering the food and wine revolution for about 20 kilos. Count 15 kg alone thanks to the blossoming cuisine and wine culture of British Columbia, Canada. Tim’s hallmark is seeking out and recommending value wines from BC and around the world that offer quality at every level. He also scopes out noteworthy restaurants that live up to their promises—and often over deliver. Readers depend on the Hired Belly for his “Belly’s Best” and “Belly’s Budget Best” picks to help them find the right wine for the occasion. He writes, tweets and shoots his own images for columns in the Vancouver Courier and North Shore News. He also contributes to WHERE Vancouver magazine, as well as to several other publications. They include Taste magazine, Tidings Magazine, and Montecristo. His columns are frequently picked up by major newspapers across Canada. Tim is a frequent judge for wine competitions, such as Vancouver Magazine International Wine Awards. He is a founding judge of The BC Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Wine. He is frequently invited to judge at The BC Wine Awards, and others. Tim has traveled to taste in many of the world’s leading wine regions, most recently in Burgundy, Argentina and Chile.

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