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Le Beaujolais Nouveau est Arriv!

Tomorrow is the third Thursday in November. In France that means a celebration of “Beaujolais Nouveau.”

“Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France.” What makes it ‘new’ is that it’s fermented for just a few weeks (6 to 8). Producers market it quite brilliantly (particularly Georges Duboeuf) to race to get the first bottles of the vintage to the public and everyone races to be the first to drink it.

It’s a ‘lightweight’ purple-pink wine that has very little tannin and is dominated by fruity flavors. It’s best chilled at approximately 13°C (55°F). I personally think it’s one of France’s least appealing wines and critics often say it’s simple and immature. One critic has likened it to “eating cookie dough.”

I’m not sure I’d go as far as that, but I must agree, the fuss is a little much, if not a lot of fun! Almost 50 million liters are produced each year, accounting for about one-half of the region’s total output, and about one-half of that is exported. Guess who drinks the most? Germany, Japan and the U.S.

Maybe you’d like to visit the region itself and celebrate in the place where Beaujolais Nouveau is born? Visit for information.

In Paris, you can count on all the “Bistrots à Vins” to be celebrating. Click here for more than 40 locations in Paris where you can imbibe.

My favorite is the “Bistrot Mélac,” in the eleventh arrondissement between Place de la Bastille and Place de la République at 42, rue Léon Frot. The owner, Jacques Mélac, with his enormous handlebar moustache, is a sort of “Cyrano de Bergerac” from the town of Bozouls in the Aveyron. Well prepared Aveyronnais dishes accompany his excellent selection of wines and nothing compares to Jacques’ jovial atmosphere he’s most proud of…but be prepared during Beaujolais Nouveau to barely get a taste of his best local fare nor barely a space in the SRO atmosphere of this multi-dining-roomed corner in working-class Paris.

Adrian LeedsA la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

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P.S. Next week is the fourth Thursday in November. In the U.S., that means a celebration of thanks. More about Thanksgiving in Paris next week…


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