France’s Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived, always the third Thursday in November, and the drinking furor that ensues from the just-released young wine has now officially begun!

The Gamay grape of the Beaujolais wine region has had a long history in Anjou with its own Anjou-Gamay AOC so there are many of our own Gamay Primeurs to be found but Brian’s incredible wine find was a Muscadet Primeur Blanc! From the vineyards around Nantes it was for sale in a bar in Doué la Fontaine and Brian was so taken by its fresh nose of apples and pears that he bought a bottle, which went down very well indeed with our wine-making friends who tasted it at the village soirée that we attended.

Beaujolais evening in Le Puy Notre Dame

Beaujolais Evening in Le Puy-Notre-Dame

The celebration of the foaming torrent of young, purple wine which flows from the hills of Beaujolais is still quite a big thing in France and several local restaurants will follow the tradition of welcoming the wine. Of course we couldn’t let this occasion pass us by either, celebrating at an evening Fete du Beaujolais Nouveau held in our local eaterie LE BOUCHON PONOT in Le Puy Notre Dame where a Diner-Concert is planned this year.

We arrived to find an excited ambiance amongst our very good  friends, with endless bisous and hugs which followed by having a glass thrust into our hands to start on the complimentary Beaujolais lining the bar!  This restaurant is always up for a lively Nouveau celebration but tonight there were further incentives as guests arrived bearing bottles that they thought were good examples to share! Conversation about wine is especially pleasurable, as a lot of the clients are local vignerons and their professional views and nuances on the wines enhances the evening for us, however, that is not to say that there are also a few animated disagreements on the respective merits of certain wines!

Felicitations to Jean Yves, Mag and l’Equipe, as they created an excellent party atmosphere  for everyone as we were entertained with a lively musical  duo playing a twanging guitar and an assortment of drums including a pitcher jug with holes and something that resembled an old tea chest,  alongside ‘le Baguette d’leau which, to explain, is a long thin stick (the baguette) full of grains, which is twisted and turned in time to the music against the microphone  to get that long slow rattle, kind of mexican I should say and had a brilliant effect on the overall music.

Well into wine tasting

Here is Brian with his friend Michel, both clearly enjoying the wine tasting!!

Dishes of steaming Pot au Feu and Tête de Veau were skilfully delivered to our long table along with copious baskets of fresh bread!  The latter dish, calf’s head, is considered to be a bit of a delicacy, haven’t quite got there yet but Brian loves it.

Following this French tradition is a very rewarding side of  living in a wine-making village in France (apart from the headache the following morning that is)!  At least this year no-one had to be taken home in a state of blissful contentment.

Go buy yourself a bottle and enjoy!

à votre santé


Gites, Wine Tours of the Loire Valley.