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Beaujolais

Soon after the third Thursday in November the windows of licensed restaurants and wine retailers would display the legend, Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé. Across the planet the same sign would appear – for a few weeks in November, Beaujolais became the world’s favourite drink.

 

Beaujolais is back

For most of the second half of the last century, at this time of the year, a wine phenomenon occurred. The clocks went back, evening became night and the weather invariably took a turn for the worst. The long English winter was upon us and for most Londoners the next fun stop on the calendar was Christmas. But for wine drinkers the fun time was about to begin.

 Soon after the third Thursday in November the windows of licensed restaurants and wine retailers would display the legend, Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé. Across the planet the same sign would appear – for a few weeks in November, Beaujolais became the world’s favourite drink.

Then in the 1990s the global love affair with this fruity easy drinking wine turned sour.

Price hikes and a cynical rush to expand production at the expense of quality caused consumer disillusionment. A new generation of Australian wine-makers offered comparable more consistant cheaper wines which promised a new generation of young wine drinkers, fun, all the year round – sales of Beaujolais wines slumped.

But what goes around comes around – To-day it is Australian wines that are struggling and Beaujolais Nouveau appears to making a spectacular come back.

A few years back Beaujolais producers took a long hard look at their vine growing and wine making methods and made adjustments to improve quality and please the modern market. The result is fruitier more concentrated wines leading to booming sales in France, USA, Japan and Germany.