Monday, November 26, 2007

Beaujolais Nouveau

I don't have much to say today. It took me all of yesterday to recover from my crossword drama. If there is any justice in this world, any justice at all, they will print two puzzles next week!

A couple of days ago, I was involved in some commenting on wines over at Secrets Of The Red Seven. I think most of my readers also visit Eric's blog, but in case you didn't/don't, here's a quick recap.

I'm not a wine expert by any means but I do enjoy sampling different kinds. I don't worry about bouquet, nose, finish, etc. but I have learned that I like wines described with fruity flavor (citrus for Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Reisling; plum for Pinot Noir; raspberry for Merlot, Cabernet Savignon) rather than earthy (mineral, charcoal) adjectives.

I've been to Napa and Sonoma on wine tasting trips, and I'd usually buy a couple of bottles at Costco just to try new varieties at reasonable prices. Each year, our rather large Washington Square neighborhood in Santa Ana, CA had a wine tasting event where we would go from house to house and sample wines. Those were fun times, and everyone could walk home. I always teased my dear neighbor that her husband was going to find her in the ditch the next morning. But I digress. I just want to set up my (non)level of experience in rating wines.

Eric suggested that Gewurztraminer and Red Zinfandel were excellent choices to accompany turkey dinner. This year, I was in charge of the wine for T-day at my neighbor's house and I had already selected a Gewurztraminer, but bought a Beaujolais Nouveau as the red.

The folks at Thanksgiving dinner are partial to white but enjoyed the red. On Friday, the Wall Street Journal featured a review of Beaujolais Nouveau. This was in relation to "Beaujolais Nouveau Day" which is the third Thursday of every November. It is the day when the current year's BN is released. BN is best when you drink it young so I guess if you are a wine snob, you have to get it the first day, since that is the youngest it will ever be.

The one I bought, from Georges Deboeuf (see pic of label above), was rated Good/Very Good.

"Best Value. Always reliable. Jammy, easy and friendly, with a long, strawberry-raspberry finish. Smooth and pleasant."
Notice the "jammy" and "strawberry-raspberry" description? I knew I'd like it before I bought it! I paid $9.99 for a bottle, but we have high alcohol taxes here in NY, so it should be less expensive around the country. Prices in California are about one third less than what we pay here. :(


Big Daddy said...

Gewurztraminer is one of my fave wines.


evilganome said...

I remember years ago when I was working in a really good restaurant, every year we would wait for the new beaujolais and then get some really good cheeses, baguettes and pears and celebrate.

It really is a wonderful and very drinkable wine. Alas, I really don't drink any more so I can only envy those that can.

Stupid digestive system.

Red7Eric said...

If memory serves, the Gewurtz and the Red Zin (RED ... not the pink $#!t) were selected as ideal Thanksgiving wines because everything at Thanksgiving has a strong, bold flavor -- nothing really recedes into the background. Wines that are light (Sauvignon Blanc) get lost, and wines that are too bold themselves (Cabernet Sauvignon) fight for attention. But the Red Zin and Gewurtz are "complex" ... lots of complementary flavors in each, but nothing that knocks your socks off.

I would imagine that the Beaujolais Nouveau is much the same, tho' possibly a bit sweeter than the Red Zin. You just have to remember to let it breathe, or it tastes like baby burps.

Alan said...

We've always been fans of Beaujolais Nouveau. There's a winery called "Liberty School" that makes a fine (& cheap) one that's very nice. Well, I should qualify that ... *I* think it's nice, but I know nothing about wine.

But, knowing nothing about wines, isn't Gewurztraminer a very sweet dessert wine? Seems like an odd choice for thanksgiving dinner. But then, what do I know? Might go well with pecan pie though, eh? :)

Y | O | Y said...

Alan--Yes, Gewurtz is light and sweet, and generally described as having flavors of grapefruit. It is very close to Reisling and it's also wonderful with Chinese food!

I wouldn't call it a dessert wine. I think Port and Madeira are more for dessert because of their high sugar content. My ex insisted on serving Port after dinner-party meals because he loved it so much and apparently it goes well with pot; I don't care for it much...Port or pot.

He and I also started a Mediterranean cruise on Madeira Island a couple of years ago. It is Portuguese in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa - not far from the Canaries. Very, very nice and lots of retired Brit ex-pats. I'll have to do a post about it sometime.

Big Daddy said...

Port wine goes great with chocolate desserts.

They play off each other.

Michael said...

Beaujolais Nouveau is getting to be a Thanksgiving tradition in our house, too. Perfect with turkey!