Cheers! Wine Consultants

Let Nouveau remind you we are all connected

By Dan & Krista Stockman


Thursday [Nov. 19] is one of our favorite wine events of the year – Nouveau Day. It's the day Beaujolais Nouveau is released in France.

Nouveau is the first wine of the vintage. What were just grapes on the vine a few short weeks ago have been turned into a young, fresh, fruity wine. Nouveau is youth in a bottle.

The wine is released each year on the third Thursday of November with much celebration and fanfare. We anticipate this year, however, the celebrations will be a little more muted given the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, but we expect there will still be celebrations, nonetheless.

One thing we know about wine is that it brings people together. Even during times of sadness, wine has a way of helping us slow down, focus and reflect not only on days gone by, but on what we still have and hold close.

Wine also serves as a reminder of how small our planet is and how we are all connected. The Gamay grapes in the wine you drink on Thursday were hand-picked in France just a few weeks ago, around the time we were starting to think about Halloween. Students were settled in school both here and in France and temperatures were starting to drop.

Last week, as Americans and the French went about their normal routines, the wine was being bottled and shipped around the world to be in place for Nouveau Day. And then it happened.

November 13, 2015, in France was a day not so different than September 11, 2001, in the United States. The terror was felt around the world, and the solidarity was immediate. It created yet one more moment in history after which things will never be the same.

And, yet, some things must not change. Just as we did not allow fear and terror to take over our lives after 9/11, the French will not let these tragic events hold them back.

Some have noted that the attacks in Paris got much more attention in the West than similar attacks in Africa and the Middle East. Which is true, but for many of us, Paris feels …personal. We'll never forget the whirlwind few days we spent there last year – the wonderful food and wine, the incredible architecture and our late-night visit to the sparkling Eiffel Tower. To think of a place we hold so dear as awash in carnage is almost unthinkable.

So even though Nouveau is released on Thursday, it will be available – especially the ubiquitous George Dubeouf version – most everywhere until at least Christmas. So don't worry about missing the celebration, however muted: Grab some Nouveau and as you raise your glass, think of the French. Think of Syrian refugees desperate to escape the same kind of violence visited upon Paris. Think of Israelis and Palestinians. Think of Africans and Asians and Australians. Think of Americans. Think of your loved ones. And think of peace.