Showing posts with label Beaujolais Nouveau. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beaujolais Nouveau. Show all posts

Friday, January 8, 2021

Blood Of The Vines - Low Rent Comedy Teams

Pairing‌ ‌wine‌ ‌with‌ ‌movies!‌  ‌See‌ ‌the‌ ‌trailers‌ ‌and‌ ‌hear‌ ‌the‌ ‌fascinating‌ ‌commentary‌ ‌for‌ ‌these‌ ‌
movies‌, ‌and‌ ‌many‌ ‌more‌, ‌at‌ ‌Trailers‌ ‌From‌ ‌Hell.‌  ‌This week, we have wine pairings for three films sporting low-rent comedy teams.  In each case, they came together for a brilliantly mediocre film - a moment in time that has proven to be unforgettable no matter how hard the participants have tried.
Masterminds probably overreaches on the title just a bit.  The 1949 movie stars The Bowery Boys, who picked up where the Dead End Kids and the East Side Kids left off.  The fanciful plot centers on one of them, who finds he can tell the future due to a toothache.  Believe it or not, his gig in a circus sideshow is the good news in this story.

For a Masterminds wine pairing, let's take a bridge or tunnel to Brooklyn, where a former California winemaker has set up the Brooklyn Winery.  He uses grapes from Napa Valley and Sonoma County as well as fruit from New York’s Long Island and Finger Lakes regions, so you can take your pick.
1966's The Last of the Secret Agents? sends the spy film genre up the river for a few laughs.  It stars the comedy team of Marty Allen and Steve Rossi.  Okay, so you need more bait?  It also features Nancy Sinatra in her underwear.  

The plot depends on the belief that Allen and Rossi would ever be tabbed by anyone to help the good guys beat the bad guys.  A few years after this film, the comedy team would star in Allen and Rossi Meet Dracula and Frankenstein, the death knell of a film career.  Decades later they would get a "lifetime contract" to play a Vegas hotel, a gig that lasted a good four years.

For an Allen and Rossi movie, why not buy a Martini and Rossi vermouth?  Go ahead, as long as you have the mask on no one will recognize you.
1959 saw a resurgence in popularity for the Three Stooges.  I'm guessing it had something to do with their film shorts being shown on television on a daily basis.  I know that's where I first saw them, in the afternoon block of cheap comedies for kids after school.  "Weekday afternoons at three," said the announcer.  "Dad, is today a weekday?" I asked, hopefully.  

The plot of The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze, predictably, is similar to the Jules Verne classic, Around the World in 80 Days.  This time, it is Phileas Fogg's great-grandson making the bet - and the trip - with the help of the Stooges.  Moe Howard and Larry Fine are joined here by Joe DeRita, in the revolving door known as "the third stooge."  DeRita confessed later in his career that he never thought the Stooges were funny.  I knew a bunch of eight-year-olds that would argue that point.

A wine for the Stooges?  There is one for Iggy and the Stooges, but that's probably a reach.  How about a wine which is simple to the point of immaturity?  Grab one of those bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau off the point-of-purchase end cap.  It was harvested and vinified only months ago.  It's not a wine for everyone and is actually reviled by many who consider themselves experts, much like the Stooges themselves.  Also like the Stooges, the wine isn't getting any better while sitting on the shelf.

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Beaujolais Nouveau Is Here, And It's Good

It's time again for the seasonal experience known as Beaujolais Nouveau.  The young wine that is produced and hurried to market each fall by France's Beaujolais region is here.  I'm not a fan of it, so I was quite surprised to find that it's pretty good this year.

Beaujolais Nouveau is released on the third Thursday of November at 12:01 a.m., a practice that was originated as a publicity stunt.  I've read accounts of the wine being rushed by any conveyance imaginable to the bistros across the land, each trying to get it there before their competitors.  The wine is generally touted as a great addition to both the Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts.  Its pairability with the wide variety of flavors available over the holidays is, for some, legendary.  I have never been able figure why, since the wine has none of the qualities we usually look for in a mature wine.

The leading producer of Beaujolais Nouveau is Les Vins Georges Duboeuf.  You've no doubt seen his name on those bottles with the fruity labels which appear each holiday season.  The company always puts out press releases extolling the virtues of the harvest.  The copy was pretty much the same this year, "nearly perfect summer," "exceptional harvest," "grapes of highest quality," "among the greatest vintages" they've ever had.  But this year the words rang true.

Duboeuf this year has a Beaujolais Nouveau, a Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau and a Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé, which is making its American debut, all imported by Quintessential.

All three wines are made only from Gamay grapes, whole bunch harvested from the southern part of the region.  Duboeuf and his team reportedly tried some five-thousand samples over two weeks to settle on the cuvées found here.  Tough job, but someone's gotta do it.  The wines have a scale on the back label, much like Rieslings do, showing that they are somewhere between dry and medium-dry.  They hit 12.5% abv for alcohol and sells for less than $15.  The label art is quite nice this season, and is called "Foolish Pleasure" by Chloé Meyer.

The 2018 Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau is pretty good.  The nose - Gamay grapey - is nearly all dark fruit with a smattering of spice, and that profile holds true on the palate, too.  It's a clean, brisk drink that doesn't seem to fall prey to the usual complaint of being too young.  The spicy angle lends it maturity beyond its years, er, weeks.  Happy Thanksgiving.

The 2018 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé is, not surprisingly, alive with vibrant fruit aromas and flavors.  The nose has herbs and strawberries in an earthier-than-Provence framework while the palate displays cherry, strawberry and a hint of the mayhaw jelly I enjoyed as a youngster in southeast Texas.  No kidding.  The acidity is gentle but tingly.  The pink wine will be great as an aperitif or with the turkey or the ham, and especially with those Black Friday leftovers.

The 2018 Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau  is 100% Gamay wine is considered a fuller-bodied beverage than the typical Beaujolais Nouveau.  There's more complexity in it due to the granite-and-schist-laden soils of the 38 villages.  They made 85,000 cases with an alcohol number of 13% abv.  It sells for $14.  The wine is medium-dark and smells earthy, full of minerals, almost like dirt with a rusty nail stuck in it.  Good earth, though.  The palate shows plums and dark berries with a hefty dose of those fabulous minerals.  Acidity is fresh but not overpowering, while the tannins are firm enough to handle a pork chop, if you like.  The finish stays awhile and is somewhat flinty.

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Monday, December 12, 2016

First Wine Of The Harvest

Holiday time always brings on the Beaujolais. If you follow such things, you get that little pre-Thanksgiving kick of the Beaujolais Nouveau release. It happens on the third Thursday of November, every year, giving a small window of opportunity before tastes move on to other delights, like cru Beaujolais.

The Nouveau is a young wine, made from Gamay grapes and meant to be consumed while young. To be blunt, it’s not getting any better in the bottle.  I have always found BN to be a dull, drinkable wine that is often quite grapey, but others seem to revel in its simplicity. Personally, I don’t see the need to rush the wine out the door immediately after harvest, but I understand it started as a marketing ploy, and lives on as that today. "The First Wine of the Harvest."

‘Tis the season, anyway. So I tried the Georges Duboeuf 2016 Beaujolais Nouveau with no anticipation at all. Never having enjoyed a vintage of the style, I was fully prepared to be nonchalant about it. The 12% abv wine shows a Rieslingesque "dryness scale" on the back label that indicates this one comes in as "medium dry."

The wine looks very dark and smells it, too. Blackberry aromas dominate the nose and palate, with a fair amount of complexity in the forms of minerality. A grapey taste stands front and center with shades of earth showing nicely. The finish is plain and unfettered by nuance. It's good this year, but it's still not a wine to think too much about, it's a wine to absent-mindedly swirl and sip over good conversation.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Beaujolais Nouveau

Holiday time always makes me turn a little more toward Beaujolais. If you follow such things, you get that little pre-Thanksgiving kick of the Beaujolais Nouveau release. It happens on the third Thursday of November, giving a one-week window before tastes move on to other delights.

The wine ends up on millions of Thanksgiving tables each year in the U.S., not to mention being the drink of choice in French cafés toward the end of each year.

Beaujolais Nouveau is a young wine, made from Gamay grapes and meant to be consumed while young. To be blunt, it’s not getting any better in the bottle.  BN is usually a dull but drinkable wine that I often find quite grapey, but others seem to revel in its simplicity. Personally, I don’t see the need to rush the wine out the door immediately after harvest, but I understand. It started as a marketing ploy, and lives on as that today.

The better choices are the wines from the crus of Beaujolais, the ten villages that all offer their own separate and distinct terroirs. They don’t cost much more than BN, but the difference is like night and day. There was a Brandlive online tasting event recently which featured Franck Duboeuf and Steve Kreps Sr. of Quintessential Wines, the exclusive US importer of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf. Charles Communications founder Kimberly Charles moderated.

@WineHarlots summed up the difference between BN and cru Beaujolais nicely during the Twitter tasting: "Beaujolais Nouveau for a day. Cru Beaujolais for a lifetime."

The wines tasted will be written up here in future posts. The record of the live stream may still be here, if you’d like to watch and listen.

2016 Beaujolais Nouveau (SRP $11.99)
2015 Beaujolais-Villages (SRP $12.99)
2015 Domaine La Madone Fleurie (SRP $19.99)
2015 Morgon Jean-Ernest Descombes (SRP $21.99)

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveaux 2011

Picnics are fun, even if you go solo - and even if it's just out on the deck.  Faced with a little yard work and armed with a salad and a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau by Georges Duboeuf, I made a picnic that turned out very nice.

One important consideration is this: get the yard work done first, then relax.  It's a lot easier to do hard labor before the wine, rather than after it.  And, the task/reward scenario has always loomed large in my life.

Duboeuf's BN had been sitting in the wine cellar/office/junk room since its natural season, around the end of last year.  A perfect springtime L.A. sunny day - barely warm with a cool breeze - provided an opportune backdrop for the work and the picnic.

The wine has only 12.5% abv, so it's a great lunchtime accompaniment, when you probably want to go a little easier on the alcohol.  Its fruity, youthful nose is abundant with fresh cherries and strawberries.  The palate is also young and fruity with a nice acidity, so it goes great with food.

This "Red Beaujolais Wine" paired well with my favorite grab'n'go lunch - a mélange of tasty treats from the Whole Foods salad bar.  As usual, I packed some grain, hummus, black olives, Parmesan cheese, eggless tofu salad and corn into the small box, along with a couple of corn fritters.  I was feeling rather giddy on the first day of my unemployment in which I had been able to just relax - job hunting is harder than having a job - so I threw in the fritters as a treat.

That's a big piece of banana cake in the photo, by the way, and the BeauJo went quite well with that, too.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010


The Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived!

Beaujolais Nouveau occurs on Thursday, November 18, 2010.  This news is either met with glee and anticipation or, uh, something less than that.

It's a French happening, the day when the Beaujolais region may officially release the year's vintage of Gamay wine.  Some embrace the day and thirst for that young, newborn wine to take its first halting steps.  Others say "What's all the hubbub, Bub? The wine's too young!"

For those in the first category, here's a small selection of Beaujolais Nouveau events that will carry you through Saturday!

2010 Beaujolais Nouveau At The Wine Country
November 18, 2010
4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
The Wine Country
2301 Redondo Avenue
Signal Hill, CA
Cost: $10
Tasting of the current vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau.

Beaujolais Nouveau At Rosso Wine Shop
November 18, 2010
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Rosso Wine Shop
3459 1/2 N Verdugo Road
Glendale, CA
Cost: $10
Taste the Louis Tete 2010 Beaujolais Nouveau with cheese, pate, charcuterie, cornichon and crusty bread.

FrancophoneFest Food & Beverage - Beaujolais Nouveau
November 18, 2010
7:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m.
Spectra by Wolfgang Puck at the Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA
Cost: $20; $30 door
Celebrate food, wine, beer and spirits from Francophone countries (France, Armenia, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, etc.) Live international performers to help set the tone.

Beaujolais Passions 2010
November 19, 2010
7:00 p.m. - midnight
Beverly Hills Country Club
3084 Motor Avenue
Los Angeles, CA
Cost: $42; $55 door
Keep the celebration going on the day after. Sample the Nouveau along with other wines from the Beaujolais region. Live entertainment and a DJ will spice up the affair. Ticket includes one glass of Beaujolais Nouveau plus bites from France.

Nouveau Beaujolais Wines On The Water
November 20, 2010
6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Harbor Breeze Cruises
100 Aquarium Way
Dock #2
Long Beach, CA
Cost: $32
One of Morry's wine sharing cruises. It's BYOBN, so bring a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau to share.