Celebrating Fast French WineIf it's the third Thursday of November, then it must be Beaujolais Nouveau Day! And to celebrate the occasion, The Gulf Coast Chapter of the French American Chamber of Commerce threw a fête worthy of the annual event at the Degas House on Esplanade Avenue in Tremé.
Francophiles and wine lovers gathered, along with many worldwide, to celebrate the Beaujolais region's release of Beaujolais Nouveau wine following the year's harvest. Every year, an estimated 65 million bottles will be consumed, according to European Waterways. Unlike other wines, Beaujolais Nouveau is known as the "world's fastest wine."
French food was served along with New Orleans-style cuisine for guests while a band comprised of Grammy-award winning musicians from various groups performed. The Degas House was open to guests with the rooms all offering additional food, desserts, and a full bar of beverages beyond the newly released wine.
This fruity wine is made from Gamay grapes, which are harvested by hand. Bottled just six to eight weeks after harvest, approximately 35 million bottles are shipped worldwide. Produced by only 55 appellations in the Beaujolais region, this red wine must come from the area to be given a special "AOC" status.
As early as the early 1800s, Beaujolais Nouveau began as quick-to-make wine for vineyard workers who were celebrating completion of harvesting—and the end of their hard work in the fields. Dating back to at least the 1800s, Beaujolais Nouveau was used to celebrate the year's vintage and was sent to local cafes and restaurants during November and December of each year.
By the 1900s, it was agreed that Beaujolais Nouveau could only be sold one minute past midnight on the third Thursday of November—at the earliest—to prevent it being rushed to market and released too soon. The release day is now celebrated globally.