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For Wine Lovers, An Anticipated Debut

Georges Dubeouf Beaujolais Nouveaus at Astor Wines & Spirits
Beaujolais Nouveau Selection at Discovery Wines
Domaine Rochette Beaujolais Nouveau at Astor Wines & SpiritsC.C. Glenn The various brands of Beaujolais Nouveau 2010, which made its debut Thursday night.

Wielding an 18-inch baguette in one hand and a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau in the other, Luis da Silva marched around Jules Bistro on St. Marks Place Thursday night wearing a kitschy black apron.

Le Beaujolais est arrive! the manager’s apron declared, the universal cry that the young, fruity, barely fermented (and to some, barely drinkable) wine has hit the shelves and bars.

Around the world, the third Thursday of November marks the official release of Beaujolais Nouveau, the wine crushed from 100 percent Gamay grapes from the Beaujolais region of France, in the southernmost part of Burgundy.

Most wine connoisseurs, vendors and drinkers agree that Beaujolais Nouveau isn’t actually that tasty. A marketing ploy, an advertising maneuver – call it what you will – it’s no secret that the Beaujolais Nouveau is marketed to be a grandiose event, albeit misguided.

French native Geoffroy de Guibert, who met a handful of other French friends for the celebration at Jules Bistro, says, “No, it’s not good. You know it’s not a good wine. You know it’s kind of a disgusting wine, but it happens once a year. It’s just for the event.

Because the wine is not aged, it is best served chilled (and is likely to taste worse as it warms to room-temperature). And while it may not stimulate your palate, the young wine can serve as an indicator of the vintage’s success. Each year the nouveau tastes different: last year it hinted at banana, this year the jury’s still out. “It’s about the weather, it’s about rain, it’s about sun,” says Chloé Descombes, another French native celebrating the event at Jules Bistro, agrees. This year? “I’d say it’s a good wine,” says Ms. Descombes.
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