Beaujolais Nouveau is coming: Here's where to celebrate like the French
November 17! Mark your calendar. The third Thursday of November is the traditional debut of the world's freshest, least pretentious wine: Beaujolais Nouveau.
One of the best places to celebrate this year may be at the Jeune Lune Event Center (105 N. First St.) in Minneapolis, at an event organized by the French-American Chamber of Commerce. You'll be able to enjoy much more than just innocent, unspoiled Nouveau. French wine, local star chefs, and local musicians will all come together from 6 to 10 p.m. on Thursday the 17th.
Here are more details:
The celebration of the release of Nouveau Beaujolais was first conceived as a means of bringing more attention to that wine region just south of Burgundy in France. The gamay grapes for the Nouveau are picked, made into wine, bottled immediately, and shipped to all corners of the globe to be enjoyed at once. It's a kind of wine harvest celebration as well. A huge success, it now seems to have obscured the fact that really good wine also comes from Beaujolais. The French-American Chamber of Commerce is playing it both ways.
At the event on the 17th you can taste exemplary wines from all over France: Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Rhone Valley, and Champagne. Two wholesale-import companies, between them offering some of the best French wine available in our market, will be pouring everything from Crozes Hermitage to Sancerre, from fine Champagne to Cru Beaujolais (that's the quality red wine of the region). The very best Nouveau wine in our market, one that drinks more like a cru Beaujolais, will also be on show. You can taste and order the wines for pickup after the event. France 44 (in Edina), Sorella Wine and Spirits (Minneapolis) and Thomas Fine Wines (in St. Paul) are retail partners.
The event will be co-hosted by R.T. Rybak and Megan O'Hara. The cost is $35 if you are an FACC member, $45 in the more likely event you're not. To make a reservation, visit the FACC website here.
In addition to great wine, food will be offered from a number of local restaurants that specialize in French or have a feeling for the cuisine. Vincent, Cafe Barbette, Meritage, and Haute Dish are setting their menus. The Grand Cafe, Basil's at the Marquette Hotel, and Al Vento will also offer treats, and Arnaud de Rambures, of Arnaud White Bear, will cover the sweet conclusion.
Music will be provided by Davina and the Vagabonds, from the cool jazz and blues side and by Robert Everest, a noted solo guitarist.
There will be a silent auction and the opportunity to win plane tickets to Paris, hotel nights, and wine gift baskets.
You can check the chamber's web page for updates as the 17th draws closer.
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