Beaujolais Nouveau: 54 million bottles exported

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As the annual autumn Beaujolais Nouveau celebration on the third Thursday of November looms, the 2018 vintage is looking exceptionally good. According to Inter Beaujolais – the official Beaujolais Growers’ Association: “There hasn’t been anything like it since 1964”. In 2018, the Beaujolais vineyards enjoyed particularly favourable weather conditions, resulting in perfectly ripe grapes.

Almost half the region’s production is exported and can be tasted in bars, restaurants and wine shops the world over, while Inter Beaujolais will mark the occasion closer to home in Paris, with a night of electro music, broadcast live for the first time to the rest of the world.

Les Sermentelles de Beaujeu

Despite the global furore, the most famous celebrations will nonetheless take place in France. From 14-18 November 2018, the town of Beaujeu will play host to Les Sarmentelles, a 5-day festival now in its 30th consecutive year. Some tens of thousands of visitors will take part in the festival to witness the first barrel being symbolically opened. Just before the stroke of midnight, the crowd will launch a countdown and the 2018 Beaujolais Nouveau will be tasted within the first few minutes of the third Thursday of November.  The ceremonial opening is preceded by a torch-lit procession through the streets of Beaujeu, a gourmet dinner, traditional live music and dancing, and a whole host of street entertainment.

Paris, fleeting capital of Beaujolais Nouveau

To mark the release of the 2018 vintage, the first Beaujolais wines are joining forces with another famed French export, which has recently won over the global electro music scene. On November 14th, les Bains iconic nightclub in Paris will host DJ and producer Breakbot, accompanied by Irfane, Alan Braxe and Yuksek. For the first time, the evening will be broadcast live around the world via Mondiovision, in the presence of the Japanese Ambassador, who will be presented with the keys to organise the next Beaujolais Nouveau celebration in Tokyo in 2019.

Beaujolais Nouveau Japanese style  

Japan is the world’s leading importer of Beaujolais Nouveau with 6.3 million bottles shipped every year. The Japanese, who will be among the first in line to taste the new wines, have even taken to relaxing in hot Beaujolais Nouveau baths.  The reason for its popularity in Japan is arguably because Beaujolais Nouveau has now found its niche as part of the Japanese calendar. The wines are seen as an accepted way to mark a key event in the year, just like the cherry blossom festival in April. And proof of their popularity, famous names from all over the country flock to take part in Beaujolais Nouveau celebrations, and join the fun via direct TV links.

Like every year, Japan Airlines, the national flag carrier company, will also do its bit for the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau, offering passengers Limited Edition bottles of Beaujolais Villages Nouveau Vieilles Vignes (non-filtered), Thierry Marx Special Edition 2018.  This unique wine is the brainchild of Pierre Ferraud & Fils, esteemed wine producer, under the watchful eye of Head chef Thierry Marx. The wine will be poured Thursday 15th November with in-flight First Class and Business class meals, while Beaujolais bread by Maison Kayser will be served with meals on Business Class flights departing from Japan.

The United States: second largest importer

Over in the States, on the day Beaujolais Nouveau makes its entrance, restaurants and wine specialists a-plenty celebrate with special meals or tastings. The event takes place fortuitously just a week before Thanksgiving, a national holiday, and as such is enjoyed in the context of a festive season lasting from November right through to January. With its light, fruity character, Beaujolais Nouveau is the perfect foil to the traditional Thanksgiving meal of roast turkey, potatoes and vegetables.

And Beaujolais Nouveau all over the world

Towns and cities all over the world, including Peking, London, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Santiago and Madrid, will celebrate the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau this year.  At a festival devoted entirely to Beaujolais Nouveau in Myanmar, guests can taste the first Beaujolais wines accompanied notably by a selection of French pastries from the French Bakery School (IECD).  Beaujolais Nouveau is also feted in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney Australia, where tastings are organised by the local Alliance Francaise. In Auckland, New Zealand, the wine is celebrated during the night of 14th November with an entire road closed for the street festival showcasing French produce and a strictly tricolore dress code.

To learn more about Beaujolais Nouveau 2018:

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