The Lou Messugo Blog - life in the south of France from a British/Australian TCK's perspective, bringing you French culture, travel on the Côte d'Azur and beyond, expat issues and a little bit of je ne sais quoi all mixed up with a hefty dose of photography.

Posted by on in French Culture & Traditions

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!

Beaujolais-Nouveau-2013Today all over France and in many French restaurants, embassies, homes, hotels and other businesses around the world people will be drinking Beaujolais Nouveau.  On this day, the third Thursday of November, friends gather over a few bottles of this very mediocre wine as a tradition, an excuse for a mid-week bit of fun.  The wine is usually much lamented, mocked and nearly always tastes of raspberries and bananas! Nobody actually likes it much, but it does have to be tried at least once each year.

So what's it all about?  In 1951 a law was passed announcing that new wines each year were not to be sold before the 15th of December. This met with resistance from some unions and a clause was added stipulating under which conditions certain wines could be marketed before mid December. This in effect led to the creation of the "Beaujolais Nouveau" appellation.  It wasn't until 1985, however, that the date was finally fixed on the third Thursday in November.  

beaujolais nouvNowadays just over a half of all production is exported, mainly to Asia which seems to have a love affair with this particular French wine.  I remember Beaujolais Nouveau gatherings in Hanoi, Vietnam back in the mid 1990s.  Those drunken evenings with my French friends were unfortunately (or perhaps luckily) not photographed for posterity as this was way before smart phones captured the minutiae of everyday life posting on Instagram and Facebook for the world to see!  But I can still picture the bar of the Metropole Hotel decked out in "le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé"* bunting and the fun we had those Thursday nights in November.  Instead you'll just have to content yourselves with some photos of this year's tasting which you can find on Instagram too (just to be truly up-to-date!)

      beaujolais nouveau

Will you be trying Beaujolais Nouveau this year?  What do you think of this, what is in my opinion, the wine industry's greatest marketing coup?

     bojo

*Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived/is here

 

Expat Life Linky
 
 
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Comments

  • Guest
    ersatz expat samedi, 21 novembre 2015

    I have never been able to stomach it, but it is a good excuse to get together!

  • Guest
    Anne jeudi, 19 novembre 2015

    Beaujolais Nouveau... Reminds me of wild student nights when night clubs were supplying it for free! The only times I drank red wine!! Thanks for this moment of nostalgia :-) #ExpatLifeLinky

  • Guest
    Christy Swagerty jeudi, 19 novembre 2015

    Hahaha, I love Beaujolais season! I've never actually tried it, but the buzz it rises in the cafes and restaurants was exciting enough for me! It was always such a thing to talk about and I remember people just adoring a conversation about whether or not they'd tried the new Beaujolais, if they'd liked it, and oh, they just have to have it again! Ahhhh, good times, and fun to learn about the history of it! Thanks, Phoebe! :)

  • Guest
    Amanda jeudi, 19 novembre 2015

    Many years ago whilst living in Toulouse I got to experience this celebration first hand with the French. Oh man what a party! I can tell you there were lots of university classes skipped the next day....... I didn't know the history behind it so once again I've learnt something through a blog post of yours! Thanks for linking to the #ExpatLifeLinky

  • Guest
    Delia @ Blog Formatting lundi, 25 novembre 2013

    This sounds like a great excuse to get together and have a chat with good friends, Phoebe! Who cares the wine is not so great!

    I actually love red wine (or rose) and we serve at dinner quite often - it's good for digestion, right? :)

  • Guest
    Phoebe lundi, 25 novembre 2013

    I'm with you there Delia! And red wine in particular is definitely good for you (just in moderation as the health warnings always say)!!

  • Guest
    Robin lundi, 25 novembre 2013

    Phoebe, I have never heard of Bojo Nouveau, and appreciate you sharing this article. Thank you!

  • Guest
    Phoebe lundi, 25 novembre 2013

    Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Robin, I really appreciate it.

  • Guest
    Lisa Mallis dimanche, 24 novembre 2013

    How fun! I love reading your posts, as I learn something new each time. I had no idea this "holiday" existed!

  • Guest
    Phoebe lundi, 25 novembre 2013

    Hi Lisa
    How lovely to have such positive feedback, thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • Guest
    http://outoneear.com dimanche, 24 novembre 2013

    I love learning about France. And reading your blog always (ALWAYS) makes me want to book another ticket and return. Yet I've never been a huge wine connoisseur. I'm usually attracted to the cheap (i.e. White Zinfandel) which everyone says is a beginner drinker's wine. Busted! So it this wine tasted of raspberries and bananas, it would probably be right up my alley.

    And you are so right about smart phones. I'm much older than you. But I'm so glad some of the things I've done were not captured on smart phones and posted on FB. In some ways, I'm sorry for the youth of today.

  • Guest
    Phoebe dimanche, 24 novembre 2013

    What a lovely thing to say, I'm so happy to hear that I inspire you to travel back to France. I hope one day you get here again. You may well like Bojo Nouveau as it is a sweet, young wine; give it a try if you come across it.

  • Guest
    Rosie samedi, 23 novembre 2013

    I quite like Beaujolais Nouveau she says quietly from the back ... but I don't think I have a very refined wine pallet!

  • Guest
    Phoebe samedi, 23 novembre 2013

    I liked the Georges Duboeuf one that I tried on Thursday, Rosie, you're not alone.

  • Guest
    Lorelle samedi, 23 novembre 2013

    We have some lovely wines in Australia as well Phoebe, I think no matter where you are certain brands stand out. Here it is Banrock Station. So if we buy a bottle that's it but usually we buy 4 litre cask wine for our fridge (also known as a gooney bag) but any excuse for a lovely drink with friends is good

  • Guest
    Phoebe samedi, 23 novembre 2013

    I love Aussie wines Lorelle. One of my favourites used to be Wolf Bass Yellow Label, I wonder if it's still popular? I left Australia in 1992 and have only been back for visits since then.

  • Guest
    marge samedi, 23 novembre 2013

    It sure sounds like a lot of fun! I have never heard of the wine but I would give it a taste.

  • Guest
    Phoebe samedi, 23 novembre 2013

    Do you have any French restaurants near you Marge? They might be doing a promotion for you to try.

  • Guest
    Victoria Carter vendredi, 22 novembre 2013

    Looks like you had fun, can't say I'm much of a wine connoisseur though. I honestly had not heard of this until now. I wonder if my husband did, he's rather worldly, I'll ask him tonight. Well you learn something new everyday! Thank you for sharing!

  • Guest
    Phoebe samedi, 23 novembre 2013

    Hi Victoria, it would be interesting to know where you're commenting from as you haven't heard of bojo nouveau...thanks for adding your bit! :)

  • Guest
    Ruth Elliott jeudi, 21 novembre 2013

    Will have to give it a go tonight - would be rude not to....

  • Guest
    Phoebe vendredi, 22 novembre 2013

    Absolutely Ruth, I'm with you on that one!

  • Chrissie
    Chrissie jeudi, 21 novembre 2013

    You've got to have a glass on this particular evening don't you? And then not again - until the third Thursday of November 2014 :)

    The best thing about Beaujolais Nouveau, however, is that it's a little reminder to get drinking the proper 'cru' Beaujolais, to see how good the real stuff can be!

  • Guest
    Phoebe vendredi, 22 novembre 2013

    Yup, once a year is perfectly enough although I thought this year's was OK....

  • LizR
    LizR jeudi, 21 novembre 2013

    Well we were drinking BOJO NOUVEAU tonight here in Beijing, at one of the Novotel hotels. All the Chinese I spoke to LOVED it, I didn't dare tell them that it certainly wasn't a classic cru, but just very mediocre!! Hic hic, a good night was had by all. Over the years, I've spent this typically French evening in Africa, Israel, Paris (Place Marché St Honoré, excellent atmosphere), and now in Beijing. Vive le Bojo!!

  • Guest
    Phoebe vendredi, 22 novembre 2013

    Yay Liz, you're just the person I wanted to hear from. Your comment just goes to show how international the bojo arrival is! :p

  • Guest
    D jeudi, 21 novembre 2013

    That's my excuse sorted for tonight :) Santé!

  • Guest
    Phoebe vendredi, 22 novembre 2013

    Cheers to you too!

  • Guest
    Cheryl jeudi, 21 novembre 2013

    It's hard to resist trying a bottle each year although it's not a wine I'm fond of!

  • Guest
    Phoebe vendredi, 22 novembre 2013

    I enjoy the excuse to try a new bottle though I agree it's usually not great. Tahnks for commenting Cheryl

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