THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN….
The Beaujolais Nouveau is with us again, for better or worse. Arriving in midlate November, a good one (if there is such as thing) will keep to Christmas and even into Spring. The largest producer is Georges Duboeuf and it is no coincidence that his is the marque we see most frequently in supermarkets. This year’s is not bad at all – just about the ten or so Euros you will have to pay for it: some modest fruit, a bit of the inimitable tang of the Gamay grape, a fair balance and a tiny hint of petillance at the finish. Unless Christmas day is cold, I can imagine sitting around the table with good roast turkey or plump chicken and enjoying a glass or two, ever-so-slightly chilled. As well as Duboeuf, I also enjoy the rather classy version from Albert Bichot.
I have a sentimental attachment to Nouveau and I doubt if there is a year I haven’t had a bottle or two, since first tasting it in Paris in 1970, at Christmas time. We had set out to drive to Antibes, in southern France, to spend the Christmas holidays. At our overnight stop, in Lyon, the weather turned foul, the roads were snowed over and we were marooned there for three days. After that we decided to go back to Paris. There, on a chill day, we availed ourselves of a cosy little restaurant in Montmartre, where with the house Paté and Steak/Frites we enjoyed a bottle of Nouveau.