As of yesterday, Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!
Is David Tamarkin, the wine guru from Time Out Chicago, right that the annual launch of Beaujolais Nouveau is "the wine world’s biggest marketing scam"?
Well, yes, he is right. If its not the biggest, its one of the biggest. Nonetheless, being intrepid drinks fans and curious folk, we ventured out to our neighborhood wine store to see how many folks were out and what the general response to the Beaujolais Nouveau was this year.
My first experience with Beaujolais Nouveau was in London six years ago. I didn't know anything about it, but was in a French restaurant on the right Thursday, and they offered it to me. At first, I thought it was a great idea, and I had a couple of glasses. I even got sucked into the marketing that year and the next. Then, later, I learned more about it... and now I mostly stay away. This year, for some reason, I got curious again. Was it any different than I remembered?
This Year's Beaujolais Nouveau
We went to Wine Knows in Grayslake, Illinois, a great wine shop run but two very nice gentlemen who really know their wine. Here's a photo of Larry, one of the owners, along with two of the samplers at the tasting:
Wine Knows was pouring three different bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau, the ubiquitous Georges de Boeuf, Primeur by Joseph Drouhin, and one from Domaine Depeuble. Here are the labels (I'm still practicing how to take good shots for this blog):
So how were they? The de Boeuf and Primeur tasted very similar to each other. As David Tamarkin (correctly) put it, "its ... soft, simple stuff with little to no complexity." In other words, boring, rather blah.
In contrast, the Domaine Depeuble was drier, with a bit more body. We're still talking Beaujolais Nouveau, so it was very light, but it was definitely the best of the three. We took a bottle home and had it with dinner.
Anyone else gotten sucked into the Beaujolais Nouveau craze? If so, which ones did you try, and did you like them?