When I was young, there were certain days throughout the year that were special, that called for pomp and celebration and recognition. My birthday, of course, plus all of the major holidays. In 2014, there is something to potentially celebrate on every single day of the year. Have you noticed? National donut day is the first Friday of June. Milk day is January 11th. October 14th is Bald Appreciation Day. Here’s my question…were all of these so-called “holidays” observed back in the 80’s and are we all just now aware of all of them because of social media? If I’d known that national Banana Split Day was held each August 25th, it would have ranked right up there with Christmas to my 7-year old self.
Even today doesn’t escape us, although, I like today’s holiday. Today is Beaujolais Nouveau Day. Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France. Each year, the newest vintage is released for sale on the third Thursday of November. Back in the 1970’s a race took place on this day from Beaujolais to Paris in which the first bottles of the new vintage were carried. The race gained in popularity and soon races of the sort were held in surrounding countries, followed by North America and finally in Asia in the 1990’s. Today, many wine stores and distributors have the newest vintages of Beaujolais Nouveau available at 12:01 am on the third Thursday of November each year. No race required.
This red wine is unusual as it is bottled just 6-8 weeks after harvest. Most red wines are still fermenting at that point in time, far from being ready to bottle. This method ensures that the wine has very little tannin and is dominated by juicy, fruity flavors. Many experts agree that the wine is ideal when served slightly chilled. Sounds like our Beverino, no? While people can certainly keep Beaujolais Nouveau around for a few years, there’s really no reason to do so since it does not improve with age. This is a wine intended to be drunk immediately. Sounds like our philosophy, no? All Ponte wines are released ready to drink immediately, although, many of our reds can age beautifully.
Because of the release date of this French red wine, it has become synonymous in America with Thanksgiving. And why wouldn’t it? After all, when it comes to the complicated and varied flavors of the holiday, we think it’s a great idea to serve a red wine that is not too bold and full of fruit flavors. Ponte 2011 Tempranillo fits this bill perfectly. With a medium body and tame tannins, it’s lighter than most of our other red wines and tastes of black cherries and plums. Our 2012 Barbera is a touch heavier, but is still considered to have a medium-body, for those who want a little more oomph on your Thanksgiving table.
So, Happy Beaujolais Nouveau Day to you! We hope your “holiday” is full of lots of chilled, medium-bodied Ponte wine.
–What’s your favorite non-holiday “holiday”?