The Georges DeBoeuf 2010 Beaujolais Nouveau

Type: Dry, fruity red
Made With: the gamay grape
Plays Well With: Thanksgiving Dinner

If you haven’t bought your wine for Thanksgiving Dinner yet, may we offer one really great option – Beaujolais Nouveau.  This is one of those that wine snobs just love to turn their noses up at, but they’re the ones missing out.  This fun, fruity, brand-spanking new little wine can stand up to turkey, but is fruity enough not to go sour and icky with those sweet potatoes and cranberries, and is light enough for your relatives who don’t drink wine and are terrified of all those big, dry reds you’ve been going on about.

Beaujolais Nouveau is wine that was harvested the year of its release and is made in the Beaujolais region of France, which is sort of in Bourgogne, sort of at the northern edge of the Rhone Valley.  You can get some phenomenal Beaujolais Grand Crus, and some darned good Beaujolais Villages, but those are more traditional red wines that need a couple to 10 years of aging before they’re any good.

However, the Nouveau (which is French for new) is literally that – the new wine and it’s released every year with much fanfare on the third Thursday of November, about six to eight weeks after the grapes it’s made from were harvested.  It’s made to be drunk really young, which is one of the reasons why the snobs will sneer and call it soda pop.

The other reason is that the way the wine is made does leave it with an almost carbonated feel, even though it is perfectly still.  It’s kind of like drinking fizzy mineral water that has gone flat.  The process is called carbonic maceration, and basically, the harvested grapes are loaded into a tank, which is sealed.  The grapes on the bottom start getting crushed under the weight of the grapes on the top.  The wild yeasts already on the grapes go to town as the bottom grapes release their juices, and slowly but surely, the whole mess turns into wine with a lot of carbon dioxide in it.  The tank is unsealed and the carbon dioxide blows off, much like when you leave a soda can open, and the wine is pressed and bottled and aged just long enough to be ready for Turkey Day, which they don’t celebrate in France.

The Georges DeBoeuf 2010 Nouveau, has a light, almost fuchsia color, a nose that almost smells like fruit punch, and it tastes like tart berries.  We tested it with some turkey, cranberries and sweet potatoes and it definitely was the perfect playmate.

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