Like a good many people, Peter and I have much to be thankful for. And like most, we feel grateful for our good fortune on a regular basis. As I age I find myself feeling thankful for all kinds of things I didn’t think twice about when I was younger. I no longer take for granted the importance of family, decades-long friendships and the ability to do (mostly) whatever I want to physically. I recognize, but don’t dwell upon, the fact that any or all could change in the blink of an eye.
Wine also figures more importantly in my life now than it used to. When I was younger I didn’t give wine a second thought. Heck, I didn’t even give it a first thought. I never planned meals around wine or even considered what wine to serve with a meal. I mostly didn’t serve wine. My how things have changed.
We spent Thanksgiving with friends this year. It was a large, energetic, multi-generation gathering with lots of food and wine. In addition to a veggie dish we took wine, several bottles of wine. Among the wines we shared were three that we received as tasting samples. We thought it might be fun to share the bounty, as it were, and it was.
Pasqua ‘Romeo and Juliet” Prosecco DOC Treviso — pale yellow in the glass with generous bubbles. Complex aromas of pear, white flowers and toast are echoed in the flavor profile along with stone fruit and a bit of citrus. The finish is clean thanks to nice acidity. 11% abv. SRP $16
This delightful Prosecco has more flavor and complexity than most. It is made in the charmat (or tank) method typical of Prosecco. DOC Treviso on the label tells us the grapes (100% Glera from hillside vineyards) were grown, and the wine made, in the province of Treviso, one of nine provinces within the much larger Prosecco DOC. Prosecco DOC Treviso represents a slight step up in quality from Prosecco DOC.
The gorgeous label is a photo taken by artist Giò Martorana of graffiti on the wall beneath the balcony of Juliet’s house in Verona. Yes, that would be Juliet of Romeo and Juliet fame. The characters are, of course, not real and therefore the Juliet house is actually just a romantic tourist attraction. This seems not to matter to the countless visitors who leave behind love notes in the form of graffiti. The story may be fictional, but the wine is the real deal.
2019 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé — pale pink in the glass with generous aromas of roses and raspberries. Generous mixed berry flavors with a squeeze of citrus for lively acidity make for a refreshing and flavorful rosé. 12.8% abv. SRP $12.99
This is the second vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé made by Duboeuf, and it’s the only one I know of. It’s bright and flavorful and so pretty in the glass. It is made using the direct press method (short maceration on the skins before pressing as opposed to the saignée method.)
2019 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau — dark ruby-violet in the glass with generous aromas of ripe cherries, blackberries and raspberries. Nice acidity keep the wine light on its feet as do the well-integrated tannins. 13.2% abv. SRP $12.99
Beaujolais Nouveau, or “the first wine of the harvest” as they are called by Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, are traditionally released at 12:01 am on the third Thursday in November. These young, fresh wines offer a first taste of the vintage harvested just a few months before. These wines are made in the Beaujolais region using the Gamay grape. Traditionally carbonic maceration is the used for the primary fermentation and results in a fresh, fruity red wine.
According to the Beaujolais Nouveau Day website this fresh style of wine first became popular in the region about 100 years ago as a way to celebrate the end of harvest. It also means income from sales soon after harvest. By the 1970s the tradition of a race to Paris to release Beaujolais Nouveau was well-established. The tradition eventually spread to other countries in Europe, then to North America and Asia.
Franck Duboeuf, whose father established Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, was a major force in introducing Beaujolais Nouveau to the world in the 1980s. Les Vins George Duboeuf makes wine in Beaujolais and the Mâconnais region of Burgundy. They purchase grapes from hundreds of family growers in the region. The wines of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf are imported exclusively in the US by Quintessential in Napa.
In spite of the recent 25% tariff imposed on some specialty foods from Europe by the US, prices for Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau have held steady from last year. I learned, from my social media friend Michelle Williams whom you should be following, that this is because Les Vins Georges Duboeuf and Quintessential Wines together absorbed the 25% increase in cost.
Thank you for that and for sending this delightful taste of Beaujolais Nouveau our way.
Just a quick word about the artwork on the bottle labels this year. Unique to Duboeuf Nouveau wines sold in the US is a painting by Laura Runge, an artist from Texas. Laura’s Joyous Crush was chosen, via social media voting, from among almost 700 entries worldwide. 2019 marks the third vintage that unique artwork has graced the labels of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau bottles.
Also, many thanks to the ladies from Creative Palate Communications for the splash of Prosecco.