In our post on Miss Suzannah James, over on Venus Observations, we talked a little about Beaujolais Nouveau and the Beaujolais Run. Although popular in the US and, especially, Japan (the biggest foreign market for the stuff - they buy about 25% of the annual output), the tradition of drinking it on or shortly after Beaujolais Nouveau Day (the third Thursday in November) has rather lapsed in the UK compared with the eighties and nineties when Triple P and his friends endured the (largely) tooth enamel destroying stuff.
However, yesterday we spotted some in Waitrose and as it was from the usually reliable (if controversial - the company was fined in 2006 for mixing grapes from other regions into their Beaujolais) Georges Duboeuf we picked up a bottle to take to our particular friend A's, yesterday. Having been in decline since the end of the eighties (1985 saw the peak production of 67 million bottles - the annual total is less than half that today with the French drinking over 50% of the total output)) there are signs of something of a comeback for the wine. The Beaujolais region has been trying to improve the quality of the wine over the last decade and has reduced the number of vineyards producing it by over a third to help in this.
Anyway, this year's vintage was much better than all of the ones I remember from the past; much more full bodied and fruity but with that typical gamay whiff. In fact it pretty much tasted like a completely different wine, compared with the stuff from twenty or thirty years ago, The mouth-puckering acidity had gone and so had the nail polish smell. Not bad at all! Probably not worth £7.99 a bottle though!