Beaujolais Nouveau Release Day 2010: Grape Fun in Chicago and Around the World.

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Let the Celebrations Begin!

It has become traditional that the third Thursday in
November is Beaujolais

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Nouveau Day.  The day kicks off the annual celebration of the casual light red wine produced from the gentle rolling hills and golden stone countryside of the Beaujolais region of France.  French law has decreed that the Beaujolais Nouveau cannot be released until a second after midnight on the third Thursday of November which this year is on Thursday, November 18.  Then anything goes and the race is on to distribute over 65 million bottles (approximately half of the region's total annual production) around the world.  In this past this has been done by motorcycle, balloon, truck, helicopter, Concorde jet, elephant runners, rickshaws and I wouldn't be surprised if even by the Stanley Cup.

Celebrations are held around the world with France, the U.S. and Japan partying the hardest.  The wine, made from the Gamay grape is light and inexpensive, shunned by wine snobs but loved by the masses. A typical Nouveau is bright, lively and juicy making them great for a party and complimentary to many foods from pizza and meatloaf to more expensive fare.

The Nouveau changes each year but has been on a three-year roll of some of the best tastings of the decade.  Thursday will tell if this continues.  Some 2009 Beaujolais Nouveau that received very good rankings were Antonin Rodet ($13.99); Pascal Chatelus ($10.99) and Georges Deboeuf ($9.99).  You may want to check out their 2010 siblings or ask your trusted wine merchant for recommendations.

Chicago Celebrations.

Mon Ami Gabi is featuring a 5-course Beaujolais Nouveau Dinner with wine pairings from the Beaujolais region of France on Thursday, November 18 at 6p.m.   $65.00 plus tax. 2300 N. Lincoln Park West. Reservations: 773 348 8886.


Bistro 110 will feature several wines from the Beaujolais region of France including Cru Beaujolais, Morgon and others during the month of November.  In addition on Thursday, November 18, they will celebrate the release of Beaujolais Nouveau with a Beaujolais Tasting Event with regional cuisine prepared by Chef Dominque Tougne. 110 E. Pearson, 312 266 3110.

Whole Foods in Lincoln Park will have an all-day free wine sampling of Nouveau Beaujolais on Thursday, November 18.  1550 N. Kingbury, 312 587 0648.

Check out some celebrations around the world in the slide show below.

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