Beaujolais Nouveau 2023
When Is Beaujolais Nouveau Day?
Falling on the third Thursday of November each year, Beaujolais Nouveau Day is a time to celebrate French wine fresh from the harvest.
Beaujolais Nouveau refers to the new vintage of young wines made from the notoriously juicy Gamay grapes. It's a vin de primeur, fermented for just a few weeks before being bottled up and sent around the world. It is illegal to sell this wine before the third Thursday of November, making Beaujolais Nouveau Day a special date in the calendars of wine lovers all across the globe.
Beaujolais Nouveau Events In London
The release of a brand new vintage is always worth celebrating! All across the globe, bars and restaurants host Beaujolais Nouveau events on or just after the third Thursday of November, offering wine-tastings, paired dinners and shindigs to welcome the brand new gamay to the party. As a hub of culture and gastronomy, London is no different, with Beaujolais Nouveau events popping up across the capital to cater to all tastes. Whether you want a curated, intimate tasting with your nearest and dearest or you'd prefer something on the scale of a mini festival with hundreds of other wine-lovers, there are plenty of Beaujolais Nouveau events in London to enjoy!
Every year we pay our respects to the harvest by celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau in typical Top Cuvée style. The last couple of years we've teamed up with the genius Nicolas Chemarin to produce deliciously drinkable bottles of our very own Beaujolais Nouveau. Light, fresh and juicy, this cuvée consistently hits the spot and gets the party started.
This year, our Finsbury Park restaurant served up a Beaujolais Nouveau feast, pairing wines showcasing the best of the region with some hearty French fare, whilst in Bethnal Green we offered up a signature wine tasting, delving deeper in the fun and fruity world of gamay grapes. Every year, our Beaujolais Nouveau events are like the wines themselves: unpretentious, friendly and absolutely delicious.
What is Beaujolais Nouveau?
Unlike other French wine, Beaujolais Nouveau is drunk immediately after harvesting (barrels are rolled through the streets to shops), and has a cheerful reputation (due to its affordability) and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
It is generally served chilled (to bring out the fresh flavours) and is often sold with flamboyant packaging on its labels. Real fast and cheery celebratory wine. Unlike the Champagne houses or producers in Burgundy and Bordeaux, Beaujolais produced in the Beaujolais region (34 miles north of Lyon) is grown and harvested by around 400 small farmers, often working in collectives.
At its peak in the 1980s, U.K. shops sold 760,000 bottles per year and more importantly, helped put this tiny region on the map – permanently.
Part of the allure of this revered day is that under strict French wine law, this is the only wine able to be sold in the same year in which it was harvested. Such wines are called vin de primeur, and tend towards grapes like the Gamay, capable of very short fermentation (3-6 days) while giving a rich fruity flavour sweetened by residual sugar.
When Can I Drink Beaujolais Nouveau?
Exactly on the stroke of midnight, Beaujolais residents open the barrels of the new wine and declare "le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé"!
After a slump during the 20th century, Beaujolais Nouveau wine has undergone a sexy resurgence and is back in a big way, drawing particular attention and adoration from an unlikely source – Japan. The country has gained cult status for their outlandish and over the top celebration of Beaujolais Nouveau Day – most notably holding mass onsen wine events where they trade the once volcanic mineral water with thousands of litres of Gamay and bathe in its glory. Like, literally.
Some believe that they have taken such a voluminous liking to the idea because it coincides which the changing of seasons, a tradition held in high esteem in Japanese folklore. Others believe it’s inherent to their nature to celebrate things in lavish ways and others things it’s simply because they love a spa and a good time. Either way, they are dedicated disciples to the variety (and the occasion) and the country is the number one export market for Beaujolais Nouveau. In 2019, around five million bottles were exported to Japan, which is roughly 50% of the total exported volume. Kanpai!