Every year, the third Thursday of November is almost a national holiday in France, for it is when the country’s beloved Beaujolais Nouveau is unofficially uncorked.
Light, fruity and young, Beaujolais is one of France's most popular red wines and there is much hoopla surrounding its release. The celebrations mark the end of the harvest, and one of its original purposes was to get rid of excess grapes not used for the other Beaujolais wines.
But in recent times, the wine’s profile has risen with Beaujolais Nouveau Day marked by French wine lovers all over the world.
However, France’s fruity favorite has not been spared its share of problems due to the economic crisis.
This year, growers hope to restore the reputation of their most famous vintage.
Christophe Coquard of Chateau Montmelas has been selling Beaujolais for the past four years, and this time he’s optimistic about the future.
“Everyone who works in this business is focusing on the grapes to ensure the best quality for the future,” he said.
Beaujolais represents only 0.5 percent of world wine production, but its reputation far outweighs its output.
This year’s harvest is being touted as the best vintage in 50 years, something that should give Beaujolais Nouveau fans something to cheer about.