Every year on the third Thursday of November the French celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau. This juicy, fruity and fresh wine has a long history in France. This is officially the first wine of the season and it is celebrated with music, parties and street festivals throughout the country. By French law this wine must be released after 12:00 am on the third Thursday of November. By an expeditious harvest, a rapid fermentation, and a speedy bottling, all is ready at the midnight hour.
About 100 years ago, the locals produced this cheap and festive wine to celebrate the end of harvest. It goes the rapid fermentation known is carbonic maceration. This process maintains the grapes whole during fermentation to maintain the juiciness of the grapes without all the bitterness of the skins.
This wine is about celebration and this year, you too, should celebrate. Wine shops should already have this stocked and you should be able to get your hands on this juicy festive wine. Keep some on hand to last you through Thanksgiving. The cherry-like juicy flavors and light body of this wine is a wonderful complement to your Thanksgiving dinner. But before that Thanksgiving dinner, celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau with friends, french music and a delicious and beautiful French cheese table. Have areal French soiree.
Here is the perfect recipe for your 2015 French Beaujolais Nouveau Soiree
The best of French Music link on YouTube should be a nice backdrop of French pop music sounds for your your party.
For your cheese table you want to make sure you cover all your bases for French party food.
Start with a minimum of three cheeses. For optimum flavors that will complement and contrast each other as well as the wine, pick one cheese from each of the milks (goat, sheep, cow).
For your cheese tray you can use a cutting board or a serving platter. Don’t fret if you don’t have one of those fancy cheese serving platters. Cheese is beautiful and it will dress up any table regardless of what you serve it on. Find yourself a good cheesemonger that you can talk to about all things cheese, from how to serve it to what to serve on. You should be able to find these selections at most cheese counters. If you don’t, ask the cheesemonger to make similar suggestions…..but remember your theme is French. Try to keep your cheeses French (or as I’m always willing to promote American Artisan cheeses, an American version works just as well)
Let’s start with the deliciously creamy Valencay. This cheese should be available from September to December and is a perfect seasonal addition to a soiree that celebrates the harvest. Soft-ripened, creamy and ash-covered. Flavors are citrusy and sweet with a rich creaminess that will contrast the light fruitiness of the wine
You can’t get any more French than Roquefort. Roquefort is sweet, salty, spicy, and rich in complexity and may overpower your wine. However, in small amounts with a little cherry spread it will be in perfect harmony with the juicy fruitiness of the wine. This cheese is available EVERYWHERE!!
This next cheese may be a little harder to find. But it actually be found year round at the cheese counter at most Whole Foods Markets. This Reblochon style cheese Prefere de Fromi is brothy and packed with earthiness. It is a washed rind cheese which means you will get a little of that funk. But don’t let that keep you from enjoying it. It's a deliciously creamy and mildly beefy cheese. You want to serve this alongside olives and cornichons and ,of course, a crusty baguette. If you can’t find this cheese, a St Nectaire or a Tomme de Savoie should be easier to find and just as good.
Always serve fresh fruit with your cheese. Fresh berries, grapes and cherries complement the juicy fruity Beaujolais and contrast the cheese perfectly. Serve some pate, slice up some cured meats, cut up slices of French baguette and serve it all on one or two trays.
So call up your friends this weekend, turn on YouTube or Spotify to the French music station, set up your deliciously fancy French cheese table and have a soiree in the name of Beaujolais Nouveau.