The More You Know…

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé

There are a few relatively well-known universal constants: the Speed of Light, Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

On a lesser known plane is the Trainor-diNorcia Wine Continuum. Never heard of it? It’s the basic principle that, when the question ‘would you like a glass?‘ is posed to either myself or my husband, it will invariably be answered with: ‘yes, please,’ ‘absolutely,’ ‘hells, yeah!’ or some variation on this theme.

Not surprisingly, my husband & I do have an unusually well-stocked bar. Having said that, I am quite aware that a true connoisseur of libations would take one good look at our collection and quickly dismiss us as amateurs.

But here’s the thing: we freely admit that we know NOTHING about wine. Not a damn thing. But we do know what we like. In fact, we keep a pretty, embroidery-covered book on the top of our bar for drinks we try and think are deserving of a repeat performance. We like browsing at our local LCBO to grab something new & previously untried by either of us just so we can give it a whirl. We’ve found some that were added to the book. We’ve found others that, upon that first mouthful, were dumped directly down the sink (yes, the entire bottle; there have been a few not even worth being saved for cooking.)

This year, we’ve had a whole new world opened to us: the Wonderful World of the Beaujolais Nouveau.

Apparently, each year on the third Thursday of November – the Beaujolais region of France releases the results from that year’s crop of hand-harvested Gamay grapes. It’s meant to be consumed right away – or at least by the May following its bottling – which would explain the difference in taste compared to what most people are used to with Red wine.

It wasn’t until a co-worker (who shares our love of the occasional *ahem* glass of vino) mentioned that he was looking forward to dropping in to the LCBO last Thursday, as this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau would be on the shelves. Kind-hearted soul that he is, he grabbed an extra bottle and gave it to me yesterday morning – not the worst way to start a Monday!

Beaujolais Nouveau is a purple-pink wine that, because it hasn’t aged, is pretty light compared to most Reds. In fact, when I opened the bottle we sampled with dinner last night, my first comment was, “hmm… smells more like White wine, than it does Red.”

It tasted quite similar to a white wine as well – and, surprisingly, not the super sweet flavour you would find in a Rosé.  And, because it’s a lighter, fruitier wine – it can actually be served somewhat chilled (which, as we know, is a no-no with any other Red.)

Now, whether or not the annual Beaujolais Nouveau frenzy (the bottles, apparently, are hard to come by & sell out quickly) is little more than a cleverly executed marketing campaign remains to be seen (at least to me… I’m sure there are many experts on the subject who would be more than happy to set the record straight.)  But I will say this: I enjoyed my first experience with this annual bacchanalian rite of passage.

Education is a wonderful thing.