CHICAGO, Thursday, November, 8, 2012. What's the third Thursday in November? If you said Thanksgiving, you'd be wrong. The third Thursday in November is Beaujolais Nouveau Day--celebrated around the world with France, the U.S. and Japan partying the hardest.
French law has decreed that the Beaujolais Nouveau wine, produced from the Gamay grape that grows in the countryside of the Beaujolais region of France, cannot be released until a second after midnight on the third Thursday of November. Then the race is on to be the first to serve and consume the new batch of the Nouveau.
Anything goes to distribute over 65 million bottles (approximately half of the region's total annual production) as fast as possible around the world. In this past this has been done by motorcycle, balloon, truck, helicopter, Concorde jet, elephant runners, rickshaws and more.
Beaujolais Nouveau, is an affordable easy to drink fruity red wine that pairs well with many foods from pizza to Thanksgiving fare. There is only a small amount of tannins, thus the taste of the wine is dominated by fruity flavors such as banana, fig and pear. The purple-pink hued wine is bottled only six to eight weeks after its harvest, making it an object of ridicule by some wine snobs but loved by the masses.
The Nouveau changes each year but has been on a roll the last few years with some of the best tastings of the decade. This year's Nouveau is expected to be a good one--next Thursday will tell the tale--when Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivés in the Venteux Ville (a.k.a the Windy City). Below are some of the establishments that are hosting special celebrations.
Chef/Owner Martial Noguier will present an innovative interpretation of French bistro classics in honor of Beaujolais Nouveau with his three-course prix-fixe dinner special at Bistronomic for $39. The menu will feature Homemade Country Pate, Beef Bourguignon, Banana Brioche Pudding plus a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau. November 15. 840 N. Wabash Ave.
The celebration will take place in the main bar at Paris Club on Thursday November 15. Guests will be treated to complimentary appetizers and Beaujolais Nouveau by winemaker Joseph Drouhin. Admission is FREE, no RSVP necessary. Santé! Paris Club, 59 W. Hubbard.
Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Fest.
Head to downtown LaGrange on Thursday, November 15 for their 10th annual salute to Beaujolais Nouveau. The town celebrates with a Wine Tasting pub crawl that travels to 6-8 different restaurants in downtown La Grange. Guests can sample 18-20 different wines as well as appetizers. 5p.m. to 8p.m. Tickets are $50 per individual or $80 for two.
LM Restaurant Group Beaujolais Nouveau Special.
Beginning Thursday, November 15, all LM Restaurant Group restaurants will feature Beaujolais Nouveau for $6. LM Restaurant Group restaurants include: Brasserie by LM, Troquet, LM Bistro and Brasserie 54.
Mon Ami Gabi Oak Brook.
Mon Ami Gabi in Oak Brook is heralding the release of the 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau with a Prix Fixe wine-inspired dinner featuring an amuse bouche of Celery Root Remoulade with Pommery Mustard followed by the Cream of Garlic soup with Savoy Cabbage, Flageolet Beans and Duck Confit, and an Endive and Roquefort Cheese Salad with Roast Pear. Entrée options include a choice between the Pan-Seared Whitefish with Red Potatoes, Brussel Sprout Leaves, Caramelized Garlic and a Beaujolais and Bacon Sauce, or classic Steak Frites with Beaujolais Butter. The finishing touch will be a Blackcurrant Sorbet with Red Wine Syrup and, of course, a glass of the 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau. The price is $45 per person (plus tax and gratuity). 260 Oakbrook Center. 630 472 1900.
Beaujolais Nouveau Celebration at the Peninsula's Pierrot Gourmet.
Pierrot Gourmet is celebrating the release of this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau with a special French menu available November 15 through 18. Pierrot Gourmet’s Chef de Cuisine Norman Hargrove has planned a weekend of classic dishes and wine. For reservations, call 312 573 6695 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Beaujolais Nouveau at Chicago French Market.
Celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau at a special wine tasting at Chicago French Market inside the Oglivie Transportation Center. The grapes used for this wine were on the vine in August, picked in September, in the barrel in October and in the bottle in November. While you taste this young wine, stroll through the market and experience 29 unique vendors’ specialties, with live music. November 15, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Complimentary. 131 N. Clinton Street.
Passport to France.
The French-American Chamber of Commerce’s Passport to France, is held each year in honor of Beaujolais Nouveau’s official uncorking. The event will feature some of Chicagoland’s top French chefs, French wine and spirits, a silent auction, live music from DJ Sadie Woods and more. Thursday, November 15, 6p.m. to 9p.m.