Where to Celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau Day in Westchester

November 15 marks the 67th celebration of Beaujolais Nouveau and Francophiles across the world are taking the opportunity to pop some corks — including here in Westchester.

Not familiar with the celebration? Every year since 1951, the new vintage of Beaujolais has been celebrated on the third Thursday in November as Beaujolais Nouveau Day. Like regular Beaujolais, Beaujolais Nouveau is Gamay. However, where other Beaujolais may age for more extended periods, Beaujolais Nouveau is picked, fermented, bottled and released. That release typically occurs seven to nine weeks after harvest and the wine is meant to be consumed immediately. It’s a good excuse to drink some young wine, and to pick up some more sophisticated Gamays (say a Cru, for example) while you’re at it.

If you’re planning to pick up a bottle and celebrate at home, know that Beaujolais comes in three categories: Beaujolais, Beaujolais-Villages, and Beaujolais Cru. Beaujolais is the most basic category. Wines labeled Beaujolais-Villages tend to be a step up in quality and come from 39 villages in the region’s hilly midsection. Beaujolais Crus, the top quality here, come from 10 different villages located on steep granite hills in the northern part of the region. Beaujolais Nouveau may come from the general region or from Beaujolais-Villages, but it never comes from Cru.

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But part of the fun is Beaujolais Nouveau is getting out to share with other oenophiles. Here’s how to celebrate the release in Westchester.


With a Full-Blown Fête du Beaujolais Nouveau

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Alliance Française de Westchester’s annual party — held at their White Plains headquarters — features hors d’œuvres, mingling with other Francophiles, and often an appearance by representatives from Beaujolais. Plus, of course, baby Gamays as well as some other wines. Tickets are available through the website and cost $40 for non-members and $30 for members.


With Another Frenchman

At Best Wine Purveyors in Pleasantville, Thierry Pradines is bringing in Beaujolais Nouveau from two producers, Domaine de la Madone and Jean-Paul Brun’s “L’ancien.” Domaine de la Madone will be on the tasting bar starting on Thursday, so customers can sample the new wine. In addition to the nouveau, Best Wine will be offering a Beaujolais Village wine from Lucien Lardy of Fleurie and a Morgon Vieilles Vignes from Michel Guignier.


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With A Tasting in Tarrytown

At Grape Expectations on Broadway in Tarrytown, the staff will be offering a small tasting of one or two Beaujolais Nouveaus that have just arrived. In addition to new Gamays, the shop will also be promoting some of the Beaujolais they carry from Morgon and other regions.


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