Le Nouveau est Arrivé
Updated: Aug 4
So, I'm in this wine club. I know what you are thinking. You think that wine clubs are just excuses to get drunk on a week night. Maybe that is true. But this is not any wine club. No, this is The Wine Club. We have Powerpoints, ok? And we take notes. Sure, the notes get less and less comprehensible as the night goes on, but there is a record of our meetings. Not anyone can just join The Wine Club. You will be mailed one of our letterpressed invitations with our motto on it:
C'est ici que tout commence, c'est ici que tout continue, que tout évolue.
Yeah, we are not messing around.
Our invitations drying after being letterpressed
Our most recent Wine Club session was about the Gamay grape, a grape that grows primarily in the Beaujolais region of France. If you want to learn about it, too, check out the amazing Powerpoint I made here. There is some intense, earth-shattering animation in that presentation, so make sure to experience it in slideshow mode.
The big take away from my Gamay grape research was that there are amazing, delicious Beaujolais wines, but they are given a bad name in the wine world due to the phenomenal marketing of the often-shitty Beaujolais Nouveau. Beaujolais Nouveau is made from Gamay grapes that grow in the southern part of the Beaujolais region where the soils are not ideal for viticulture. The only way the wine from the grapes is potable is if the grapes are picked and squished and fermented very quickly - in about three weeks. The Beaujolais Nouveau is released on midnight on the third Thursday of November every year. The entire world gets to taste and celebrate the new wine on the same day.
Often the wine is a limp pile of sour fruit, sure. That's fair. The wine store I bought my nice Gamay wines from wouldn't even carry the Nouveau. The woman I asked literally turned her nose up and was like, "Do I look like a basic bitch?" And I was like, "Haha, oh, I was totally just kidding. Little vino humor on a Friday night in New Jersey, you know?"
But I wasn't kidding! Because fuck it, Beaujolais Nouveau Day is FUN! Maybe the wine sucks, but the anticipation of the entire world is part of it's terroir! You can taste the excitement, and it is delicious. So, yes, I did go out on a rainy November 19th this year to celebrate the arrival of our new French drinking buddy. Philly's Midtown Village had a whole festival. And 10% of all proceeds went to the French Red Cross.
And you know what else? I like the wine this year! I thought it was nice and fruity, just like me. I felt very validated in my opinion when I read this article, which states: "Winemakers say this year's Beaujolais Nouveau is among the best in a long time. 'We had a wet spring then record sunshine in July when the Rhone region was the hottest in the whole of France. It's a historic vintage.'"
This is beautiful Joanna, my intrepid and sassy wine buddy, who braved the storm to celebrate with me. And this is me... I think already drunk. Guys, they gave us free berets!
And THEN! And THEN! Joanna's wife Cheryl joined us (Cheryl looks super badass in a beret, it turns out), and Cheryl knew one of the restaurant employees from previous restaurant work, so we got the industry discount and every thing was perfect. By the time I took this photo of the lovebirds my hands were apparently pretty shakey. So much Beaujolais!
So, listen. Go get yourself a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau - the best Beaujolais Nouveau to be released in years. Then cuddle up with your bottle and your computer and run through the Gamay presentation. Maybe you'll learn something. Maybe you already know everything. Either way, next year you should party with us, too.