by Fred McMillin
for November 18, 1999


What's New?



Georges Duboeuf  
"As midnight approaches, cars, trucks and horse-drawn wagons roll onto the tarmac in Macon, France, amid the roar of aircraft engines. Men in blue aprons and berets glance at their wristwatches and begin loading boxes and cartons into small propeller planes, corporate jets, a vintage DC-3. Soon the planes are climbing into the blackness, speeding toward Paris, Brussels, London, eventually New York, as silence descends. It is the start of the annual Beaujolais nouveau race at the Macon airport just a few kilometers from the Beaujolais vineyards, when the new wine is released for sale at 12:01 A.M. on the third Thursday of November."

...Terry Robards, November 1982, New York Times

The Rest of the Story

So what's new? The 1999 Beaujolais Nouveau, for today is the third Thursday of November.

The one I'll try first is the most popular French nouveau in the U.S.A...by Georges Duboeuf, (pictured), the "King of Beaujolais." He sent his first nouveau to America in 1982. A little over a decade later, he was sending more than TWO MILLION bottles. His version of the new wine will give you a good idea of the quality of this year's vintage.

For Beginners

For those just starting to learn about wine, this is your ideal introduction to the reds. It is all cherry-berry, nothing harsh or shocking. Cool it 40 to 60 minutes in the frig before serving. It's a very versatile beverage, that is enjoyable with anything from a chicken salad to a Big Mac...and it's only half the price of a good Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon.

For outlets, phone (847) 679-0121, FAX (847) 679-2017 (Midwest) or (212) 675-5525, FAX (212) 627-8458 (NYC).


After Terry Robards wrote that graphic description of a nouveau launching, the French wine law was changed to permit shipping six days before the Thursday release date. This means some lucky shoppers should be able to find the Duboeuf this very day in the U.S.A.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


WineDay Annex

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