|As the wine drinking culture spreads in India, the country picks up the Beaujolais Nouveau tradition. Beaujolais Nouveau Day is celebrated around the world with vehicles and even aircraft standing at the ready as producers race to get the first bottles of the vintage to popular markets around the world before anyone else – from London to as far afield as Japan!|
In Delhi the event was organised by Air France and Maison de la France (the French Tourist Board) in association with The Imperial on Wednesday, 26 November. It was a balmy night and the lawns of the hotel were filled with people enjoying this popular red wine produced from the Gamay grape in the Beaujolais region of France. An assortment of charcuterie and cheeses specially flown in for the occasion accompanied the wine.
According to tradition the uncorking of the new harvest of Beaujolais takes place on the third Thursday of November. Called vin de primeur, the wine is fermented for only a few weeks and then officially released for sale on the third Thursday. A young, fruity wine, Beaujolais Nouveau is not expensive. Heavily marketed, its release is celebrated with parties from Beijing to Boston. Despite the festive atmosphere and hoopla surrounding its release, Beaujolais Nouveau is not considered a serious wine.
Forty percent of its production is exported abroad. Last year, 18.5 million bottles were exported to 107 countries for a total of €45 million in sales. Japan and the United States top the consumption list.
Although 2008 was not a good harvest, producers hope it will lift spirits during the financial crisis despite a poor crop! The wine’s success is accounted for because it is an easy wine to drink, semi sweet and fruity – and this is the reason it is likely to be popular in India too.