Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2010
Fact: The annual release of the Beaujolais Nouveau has always been regarded in the wine world as more of a marketing event than a toast to great wine. But this youthful spirit is not your typical wine, and it often adds a celebratory element to harvest feasts like Thanksgiving. Its vigor is often as fresh and welcome as the just-picked vegetables that fill the table.
What makes Beaujolais Nouveau different is that it’s made using carbonic maceration, rather than the more traditional process of fermentation. Wikipedia describes the process as follows: “Carbonic maceration ferments most of the juice while it is still inside the grape, although grapes at the bottom of the vessel are crushed by gravity and undergo conventional fermentation. The resulting wine is fruity with very low tannins. It is ready to drink quickly but lacks the structure for long-term aging.”
The process also gives the wine a flatter feel on the tongue, which appeals to many who aren’t used to wine’s acidity. In other words, it’s a wine that often appeals to soda drinkers.
(Beaujolais Nouveau is made from the Gamay grape, but it should not be confused with other wines from the Beaujolais appellation of France, wines that are far more serious and complex in structure — and more costly, as well.)
Feeling: This year’s offering from Georges Duboeuf, the largest importer of Beaujolais Nouveau, is a typically bright, light wine that blends in nicely with snacks and lighter dinner fare, such as turkey and chicken. It’s not too complicated, not too demanding. At a recent pouring, even people who don’t like red wine enjoyed it. It also looks appropriately festive with its seasonal red and orange label.
But like too many wines these days, the alcohol level (12 percent) is a little high for what it is. So is the price. I paid $9.99 for the bottle, and after a glass or two. I found that to be at least $3 too much. You can find a much better wine for less.