Oh no, for me the holiday season officially kicks off each year on the third Thursday in November when the Beaujolais Nouveau bottles of wine arrive from France. I look forward to this event with such giddy consistency: few things about the holidays are as guaranteed as the arrival of this wine.
It shows up without fail in the company of festive persimmons and unshelled pecans, prepared to usher you into the holidays, like it or not. (If you’re in the latter camp, I suggest you buy a few extra bottles, because the holidays are coming.)
It’s been said that Beaujolais Nouveau is boring, but I like to think that it’s a wine that breaks all rules. It’s meant to be drunk young, as in within 6 months, and once it’s gone, it’s gone until the following fall: which—I admit—makes it a little precious.
It’s fruity, best served slightly chilled, and would be a great counterpart to something like mushroom pizza. As for the non-Beaujolais believers out there, I recently heard that mushrooms make “cheaper” red wines taste better. I’m just sayin’.
Though that is not why I’m planning on pairing this wine with some leftover mushroom flatbread come Thursday. I recently found a fabulous thin crust recipe, made even crispier through a generous donation of olive oil. I’m nuts over this dough.
What’s more is that I was able to find some local shiitake mushrooms at the Siena Farms stand at the farmers’ market. Nevermind that they were 20 dollars a pound. They served their purpose brilliantly sautéed with some herbs and sauced with cognac atop my crispy flatbread, scattered among a trio of cheese. I really can’t think of a better welcome party for the 2010 Beaujolais Nouveau.
Though, there are plenty of Beaujolais-themed parties happening in Boston this Thursday, should you feel so inclined. The South End Formaggio is offering a free tasting of an organic Beaujolais Nouveau from a tiny farm. Even more locally for me, Pierrot Bistrot Francais is hosting an all you can drink event (could spell trouble) and 75 Chestnut is tapping their first keg of the season. The Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé, as the French say.
Be forewarned: you could be entering the beginnings of a dark, downward spiral if you start using wine as a touchstone for consistency in your life. Though if this does prove to be the case, saddle up next to me at the bar. I’ll be the one drinking the Beaujolais Nouveau.