My general thoughts on Beaujolais can be found in my post here last year on the subject. In anticipation (is that really the right word?) of the Beaujolais Nouveau release date I have been reading I’ll Drink To That: Beaujolais and the French Peasant Who Made It The World’s Most popular Wine by Rudolph Chelminski
from, of course, the Frederick County Public Library. The first half of the book is a semi-dry, but interesting to a wine geek, read about the history of the Beaujolais region and the Gamay grape. It traces wine growing in the region from Roman times forward. The second part is an easier and more interesting read as it focuses on George Duboeuf and the rise of Beaujolais. It details how from very humble beginnings he used his work ethic and marketing savvy (he was the first person in France to use something other than a plain label on his wines) to build a business empire and promote the wines of the region, especailly Beaujolais Nouveau. All in all a fun read. One of the things the book inspired me to do is to try some more Beaujolais besides just Beaujolais Nouveau. I was aware that some of the non BN wines, especially the Beaujolais-Villages and Beaujolais Cru appellations can make outstanding wines, but I have not had a chance to try many. I’m going to try to rectify that situation and will report back to you.
Interestingly enough M. DuBoeuf struck a deal with the French government to allow an early release of his wine this year so that he could use ships to haul about 75 percent of his 2 million U.S.-bound bottles, instead of the usual one-third by boat, two-thirds by air. Some other producers are also shipping their BN in plastic containers as well this year. This was ostensibly done to make BN more “green” but cynics have pointed out that this is a way to cut costs to offset the Dollar’s decline against the Euro and try and keep the price of BN the same. As the book indicated he is a terrific businessman.