Although less celebrated in the UK than it was in the 1970s, Beaujolais Nouveau is still released on the third Thursday in November (21 November 2019)
In the 1960s and 70s, the wine began to become popular outside of France, with canny marketing campaigns turning the race to export the newly bottled wine into an event itself (Le Figaro, the French newspaper, has called the rush ”the greatest marketing stroke since the end of World War Two”.) Means of transport have allegedly included elephant, Concorde, and a hot-air balloon. According to The Oxford Wine Encyclopedia, the tradition of drinking wine so young dates from the 19th century, when “the year’s wine would complete its fermentation in cask while en route to nearby Lyons, where the new wine provided a direct link with village life in the Beaujolais hills”. Beaujolais Nouveau is a fruity, very young red wine that is released for sale every year on the third Thursday of November, on the stroke of midnight. The uncorking of the bottles in France is marked by parties, fireworks and other festivities.
Perhaps the biggest Beaujolais Nouveau Festival is the Sarmentelles Festival in Beaujeu (69 Rhône, Auvergne-Rhône – Alpes) 20 – 24 November 2019. Sarmentelles are vine roots. The festivities include wine tastings, music, dance and rides in an iconic Citroen 2CV – see www.sarmentelles.com
By Train TGV from to Lyon with Rail Europe