In With the Nouveau

In the States, all of the attention goes to the fourth Thursday in November. But in France, it’s the third Thursday that prompts a celebration. Today marks the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau, a quickly-produced, easy-drinking wine made from the most recent harvest in Beaujolais, a region in southern Burgundy.

Beaujolais Nouveau has been decried by certain wine circles, the members of which believe that this easy-drinking wine is dragging down the reputation of the Beaujolais region as a whole.

The criticisms have merit: Nouveau is not a complex or developed wine, unlike its cellar-worthy sibling, Beaujolais Cru. Think Fifty Shades of Grey to Cru’s Lady Chatterly’s Lover.

But some are embracing the fun-loving French tradition. Food & Wine reports on a group of Oregon winemakers who are releasing their own version of the infant wine, made with the traditional Pinot Noir and Gamay grapes (read the full story here).

Could Beaujolais Nouveau be the next low-brow wine to get a cool-kid facelift? If it could happen for white Zinfandel or jug wine, why not?