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Raise a glass with Georges Duboeuf’s Beaujolais

This week, the wine industry mourns the loss of one of its tireless trailblazers: the iconic Georges Duboeuf, renowned for elevating Beaujolais wines to global acclaim. He passed away at the age of 86.

With Georges’ departure, the entire wine world paused in silent reflection.

Have you had the pleasure of savouring Georges Duboeuf’s Beaujolais wines?

What is Beaujolais wine?

Beaujolais, for the most part, embodies vibrant notes of raspberry and cherry in its red wines. These delightful concoctions are never dry or bitter. In fact, most Beaujolais wines are crafted for immediate consumption, bursting with scrumptious flavours upon release. 

All Beaujolais wines are dry. Yet their upfront fruitiness often give a beautiful impression of sweetness. To boot, Georges Duboeuf’s Beaujolais wines pretty much set the gold standard in the industry.

 
 

What is Beaujolais Nouveau wine?

In fact one style of Beaujolais, Beaujolais Nouveau, is the earliest legally released wine in all of France.

Picture this: on the third Thursday in November following the harvest, at the stroke of 12:01 am, the first Beaujolais Nouveau is unleashed upon the public amidst a frenzy of festivities. The region is engulfed in massive parties, torchlight parades, and fireworks, with the revelry spanning an entire week!

Perhaps unbeknownst to you (and why I’m writing this post), Georges Duboeuf is the unparalleled mastermind behind Beaujolais’ resounding success

For in a region that has witnessed steady decline over the past decades, the Duboeuf family has kept the region’s many vignerons in business ensuring the region’s vitality.

How Georges Duboeuf brought Beaujolais to the world

How did Georges Duboeuf keep the locals in the wine business?

He bought a whopping 20% of all grapes in the region for their Duboeuf family brand. Today, they make 2.5 million cases annually.

You see, not all farmers know how to label their wines and get them to market. But Duboeuf started selling wine from his bicycle at the age of 19. By 1964, he bought the license to be a négociant, a business that can buy grapes and make wine under one label.

Truthfully, the Duboeuf domain only owns one Beaujolais estate: Château des Capitan’s in Julienas. The rest of his grapes come from other vignerons.

Next, Georges then partnered with the celebrated Lyon chef, Paul Bocuse catapulting the success of Beaujolais Nouveau. Together they created a buzz that spread from Lyon to Paris to New York and to the rest of the world.

Even now, the cafés of Paris eagerly display signs in their windows, heralding the arrival of the new vintage. “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!” or “Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived!”

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More on Beaujolais Nouveau

Beaujolais Nouveau wines are released when they are maybe 1-2 months old. The ‘Nouveau’ wines are younger and fresher than the wines labelled as Beaujolais.

Beaujolais Nouveau are made with a winemaking technique known as carbonic maceration. This brightens the colour of the wine to give it a bright fuchsia rim. But it also gives it the pronounced candied cherry fruit aromas and flavours.

All Beaujolais wines made from 100% Gamay grapes.

How to serve Georges Duboeuf's Beaujolais Nouveau?

Although Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine, it should be chilled before drinking. Serving temperature for this light bodied red wine is best at a cool 10 º Celsius.

In fact, most sources say you should chill the wine to bring out the fruit flavours. Chilling the wine also tapers the sour tartness of these super young wines.

So here in Whistler, Canada. I just plop the bottle in the snowbank for 15 minutes, et voilà!

Drink immediately and do not cellar. Bottoms up!

(In fact, during the week of celebrations in the region, the native Français are known to drink Beaujolais Nouveau in large heavy beer glasses with handles!)

Pairing Food with Beaujolais Nouveau?

Beaujolais Nouveau is a wonderful answer to all those Asian dishes that are tough to pair with wine. Therefore, Asian fusion dishes that have soy sauce in them or spice work wonderfully with the intense cherry fruit.

It’s a red wine that equally matches salmon dishes. Their intense fishy oils are washed away on the palate with Beaujolais Nouveau. Think too of raw fish and soy sauce in sushi! And since the alcohol levels remain fairly low (between 11.5 – 13% abv), they work well with spicy dishes too!

 

[Which wines go with sushi? Here’s an indepth guide to pairing one of the most difficult dishes on the planet.]

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Salmon oil works well with Beaujolais Nouveau
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Difficult Asian foods with soy sauce go well with the cherry fruited Beaujolais Nouveau wines
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Spice won't clash with Beaujolais' medium alcohol levels

So, if it’s that time of the year after the third Thursday in November, snatch up a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau.  Raise a glass to Georges Duboeuf! And thank him for bringing Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau to the world!

Psst hurry up, these wines don’t last long!

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