Tomorrow is when this year's Baujolais arrives, traditionally signalling the end of the grape harvest in that region–time to stop picking and start drinking.
A decade or so ago, the year's release of Beaujolais Nouveau was celebrated all over the U.S., on the third Thursday of November, a marketing effort spearheaded by Georges Duboeuf that succeeded wildly. Especially in a country that has (still) a penchant for easy-dipping fruity wines, Beaujolais was the wine way to a beer drinker's palate. (For more on Beaujolais Nouveau hype and tradition, go here.)
This year, when I mentioned it to a friend, he asked, "Really? Aren't we all over Beaujolais Nouveau?"
Well, nope. That's sort of like saying we're "over" champagne on New Year's Eve. Traditional, yes. Tired, never.
Which brings me to why I love Jimmy Santangelo: He has a true wine-lover's regard for the good things, not the trendy things. All oenophiles claim "I am not a wine snob;" Santangelo means it. And pours it.
This year's harvest was not as good as usual–expect higher prices– and Beaujolais may not be the most complex wine in the world, but most of it is eminently quaffable, it has a long and flavorful history and the occasion brings together people who love to drink wine.
Santangelo ordered a barrel of the stuff for Copper Onion which will be cracked tomorrow, and he'll also be serving Beaujolais from the various villages famous for it: Fleurie, Morgon, Brouilly, etc., tomorrow and through the weekend.