Saturday, November 23, 2013

Beaujolais Nouveau

Next week millions of Americans will celebrate the harvest with the annual Thanksgiving feast. Last night 13 of us celebrated the 2013 harvest the French way....with a Beaujolais Nouveau party at Josi and Patrick's house. Wine IS the feast in France! We sampled over a half dozen different 'new Beaujolais' wines from this fall's grape harvest along with a couple of Gaillac primeurs...all pretty bad! There's a reason wine is aged; in its infant state it's not particularly tasty. Patrick's meal, though was plenty tasty. We had plates of charcuterie with cornichons and terrines of lapin, sanglier and lotte along with rillettes of pork. You'll have to click on the links to discover what all these taste treats are, but let me assure you that they were all good with big chunks of fresh French bread. A cheese plate and two dessert choices...rhubarb or apple tarte...rounded out our simple dinner. Christiane told me that our assignment for next week's French class was to write (in French, of course) the difference between the new Beaujolais and the new Gaillac wines. Let's see...awful, less awful, more awful, a tiny bit better...that shouldn't be too hard to do!

What really confuses me, though, is the term Beaujolais Nouveau. You see, 'nouveau' (the French adjective for 'new') always comes before the noun. So why are all the bottles labelled Beaujolais Nouveau? Christiane told me it's because in this case Beaujolalis Nouveau is a proper name and can be arranged however one wants. Do you see why it's so hard for me to learn French? They keep changing the rules!


  1. I've never rated Beaujolais Nouveau - or Gaillac Nouveau for that matter. I think it's a gimmick to sell more wine. In the UK in the yuppie 80s and 90s there was a race every year to see who could bring it back to London first. But your meal clearly made up for anything that was lacking in the wine! As for those adjectives - even after 16 years I am still not sure where they should go. And there are always exceptions to the rule...

    1. It's a marketing ploy for sure. Same in the US. I love, though, that the French seem to use it as simply another excuse to sit down and have a meal together!