Monday, November 26, 2007

Same Old New Wine

The week before Thanksgiving saw the official release of the 2007 Beaujolais Nouveau, the fresh, fruity new wine of the year. All around France the release of new wine goes on this time of year, from the Rhône Valley to right here in the Touraine region.

The 2007 New Wines arrive chez nous.

Our local version of new wine is called Touraine Primeur. Like its counterpart in Beaujolais, Touraine Primeur is made from the gamay grape.

But there's something different this year. Unlike in years past, there isn't any fanfare. There was no huge news event, just a little mention at the end of the television news broadcast.

I read some articles online that said that in Japan, historically one of the largest consumers of Beaujolais Nouveau, the excitement around the annual November release is dying down and sales are off. Some of the reasons cited were the strong Euro, which is making the wine more expensive, a crackdown on drinking and driving in Japan, and the increasingly sophisticated Japanese palate.

Has the new wine craze then finally reached an end? Time will tell. After all, it's been going on since the 1950s, reaching a worldwide crescendo in the 1980s and 1990s. Here in our house, we buy a few bottles every year, both from Beaujolais and our local Touraine producers. Of course, the wine doesn't have to travel halfway across the world to get to us.

And, while new wine is not a high gastronomic treat, we still enjoy it. It's another way to celebrate Fall and to mark the passage of time.


  1. I've never been crazy about vin nouveau, be it beaujolais or otherwise. I don't know why. Maybe I lack Japanese genes ;)

  2. claude, you may, however, have Chinese jeans...

  3. I remember the Touraine primeur as being quite good. I am fond of Gaillac primeur, as you may have seen on my posts.


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