A tradition in France is the arrival each year of the Beaujolais Nouveau, a special type of wine from the Beaujolais region that is harvested and made each summer, and arrives in restaurants in late autumn. It’s a tradition that Brasserie Balzac are celebrating this year in Stockholm. On November 16 they’re having a special, all-day party to celebrate the arrival of this year’s batch, and we asked them for a little background info.
Ok, first can you tell us a little about Beaujolais Nouveau wine, and the history and traditions of ‘Beaujolais Day’, the celebrations of the arrival of the first bottles?
Beaujolais had always made a vin de l’année to celebrate the end of the harvest, The festivities of the harvests are ancient in all wine regions but since the Beaujolais is a wine that doesn’t benefit from ageing, the annual wine is always in main focus in Beaujolais. Since the wine is attractive for the buyers for such a short time, the farmers had to come up with innovative ways to market the wine. In the 60s the idea was born of a race to Paris with the first beaujolais and in the 70s it had already become a national event in France. The race spread to the European countries together with its famous slogan ”Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé” (”the new Beaujolais has arrived”). In 1985 the date of the release was set to the third Thursday in November and this made the craving for the wine even bigger and it became famous world wide, as the wine that is sent around the world by airplane. In the United States, it is promoted as a drink for Thanksgiving, which always falls exactly one week after the wine is released (on the fourth Thursday of November)
What, in your opinions, is the best way to consume the Beaujolais Nouveau wine?
The best way to consume the wine is in a crowd of friends with plenty of laughter on the street of a French town. When it comes to food it combines well with charcuterie, paté, rillettes and hams. The food is rather there to accompany the wine more than to pair with it.
What have you got planned for the celebration party?
We are reconstructing the feeling you get at a regular Beaujolais Nouveau festivity in Beaujolais. A constant line of waiters will provide our guests with a really nice Beaujolais Nouveau village and delicacies from France such as charcuterie and oysters. Of course we will fly in a French band together with the wine!
And finally, how should your guests prepare themselves for ‘Beaujolais Day’ at Brasserie Balzac?
Just come the way you are, from work, from home or from kindergarden. Just don’t eat or drink before!
Brasserie Balzac’s Beaujolais Day, Nov 16. Tickets are available from balzac.se from Nov 2.