In these days of high unemployment and global financial crisis, it’s nice to relax with a bottle of wine that doesn’t break your pocketbook. I’m here to sort out the memorable from the truly awful, and each bottle is under $10 unless noted otherwise.
Beaujolais Nouveau is made from the Gamay grape and is typically bottled 6 to 8 weeks after harvest which is GOOD NEWS for those who can’t handle the tannins from aged wines – Nouveau typically has far less tannins. It is the first wine of the harvest, made to celebrate the harvest, but until WW II was kept at home for local consumption. For more information on Beaujolais Nouveau, go here.
The first time I tried it, back in the 1980s when the wine world used to make a big fuss about Beaujolais Nouveau, it was the first wine I’d had that tasted like a fruity Kool Aid with a nice banana flavor to it. There are two offerings from Georges Deboeuf; one from inside the “controllee” of the Beaujolais region, and one from the surrounding villages (Beaujolais-Villages); unfortunately, I’ve only got the one from Georges Deboeuf. But I did find a pretender! Below are two “Nouveau” wines.
Oh, and remember this is NOT a wine to stock in your cellar (if you like it). Buy it, drink it! Do not let it age because trust me, age does not improve this wine.
Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau 2012 Cuvee Spe´ciale – Appellation Beaujolais-Villages Controlleé Alcohol 12% by Volume; under $10 at Cost Plus World Market
On the Label: “The 2012 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages Nouveau, the first wine of the new vintage, has arrived! Time to enjoy and celebrate the harvest in style iwth this charming wine!
Thirty years ago, Georges Duboeuf introduced American wine enthusiasts to the delights of his Beaujolais Nouveau. Beaujolais Villages Nouveau is packed with generous, round, black and red berries aromas.”
My Take: It was better 30 years ago. That’s a knee-jerk reaction and I’m aware of that. But I didn’t get the light, fruity Kool Aid flavor I was hoping for; no banana taste. It had a heavier feel to it, which makes me wonder what this year’s vintage Beaujolais will taste like in a few years. However, it is inoffensive, not overly priced, and has a fun label that you can actually buy in tie form for that busy executive in your life.
My Rating: ~ Drinkable ~ And if you bone up on the whole Beaujolais Nouveau mystique, you can bring a bottle of this plus some stories to share the next time you are invited to dinner. Find them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/georgesduboeuf
Charles Shaw Red Table Wine Nouveau 2012 Napa and Sonoma, California $1.99 at
Trader Joe’s in California; $2.99 elsewhere.
On the Label: The typical Government Warning and that’s about it.
My Take: This bottling just made me laugh. I understand the reasoning behind it; they can’t put Beaujolais on the label – but to just toss a bunch of different grapes into a wine and decant it into bottles after a couple of months seems strange to me, even for Two Buck Chuck. The wine wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t a good red wine, either.
My Rating: ~ Barely Drinkable ~ If it lands at your table somehow, add fruit to it and turn it into Sangria. You’ll be glad you did. However, others have different opinions on this wine. Go to Vivino.com and check out their ratings.
As usual, this is just my honest opinion and depend upon my mood, the weather, and what cycle the moon is in. Your taste buds will differ.
~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~
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My Rating System: Undrinkable, Barely Drinkable, Drinkable, Very Drinkable, and the ever popular Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!