Thursday, November 19, 2015

Grape expectations

Today is the day that the Beaujolais Nouveau is released. It's not such a big event as when the marketing geniuses thought to publicize the tradition back in the early eighties, but still, it marks the first release of this year's vintage. The hot and dry summer we had hints at good things to come. We shall see.

This is not Beaujolais; I don't even think these are wine grapes.

The Touraine region, where we live, also has a "new wine" tradition that dates back quite a while. The local Touraine Primeur is also released today. We will be able to buy it in our local supermarkets (and at wineries, of course) over the course of the next month. New wine isn't necessarily good wine, not having benefited from proper aging, but it can be tasty and can give you a preview of the vintage's qualities. I'm looking forward to our first bottle!


  1. Now this looks like a real late harvest (or maybe too-late harvest). Anyway, tomorrow is la Grande Fête du Touraine Primeur in Amboise. It doesn't look like the weather is going to cooperate very well for the outdoor events. But photo-ops are where ya find 'em. And I need 'em.

  2. We find the 'bourru' , that sounds as if it has a kick like a mule, an emetic and laxative. We used to see the signs out that 'le bourru est arrivé' when here on holiday. When we moved to France we thought we ought to try it. The lady on the cash desk did warn us!
    Not to be confused with proper new wine.

    1. What region uses the wine term bourru? I think what you're talking about is called bernache here in Touraine.

    2. Dordogne. Mind you I looked up the spelling in Larousse on line and they have it with an extra e as alternate but Hachet does not recognise it. Gruff or ruff (or rough)

    3. Potty

      You have a definition here;,bourru-definition-dictionnaire-du-vin-vocabulaire-lexique,13178,4245379.asp

  3. Australian vineyards need to be large to be profitable. Many a hobby wine maker with a few acres has lost a lot of money, including a neighbour. I forget if it was in Austria or Germany, but we were told by a master wine maker that a few acres of good land with the right climate is all that is needed in these countries to be successful. I expect it is the same in France.

  4. In these parts the "B madness" resembles the release of a Harry Potter book. People line up to get some. Which reminds me to go this weekend (when the crowds dissipate) and get me a few bottles. It is always a lovely November ritual.

  5. stuart, I know what you mean. I need to get out with the camera more.

    potty, that's what they call "bernache" in Touraine.

    andrew, the little guys can make it here; many of them belong to co-ops who pool grapes from many small producers to make, bottle, and market the wine.

    judy, is there any doubt?

    mitch, I thought they looked like big cranberries, too.

    gosia, thanks!

    michael, we do it every year!

  6. We had some Beaujolais Nouveau last night and it was excellent, not at all reminiscent of the paintstripper masquerading as wine that was so fashionable in Britain in the eighties. We found some Muscadet Primeur this morning while out hunting (unsuccessfully) the elusive Touraine Primeur, and we bought a bottle out of sheer curiosity.


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