I can't imagine anything more French than a national holiday for wine.

Beaujolais Nouveau: An Annual Celebration of One of France’s Most Famed Wines

While back in the States everyone is gearing up for Thanksgiving, here in France we are celebrating a November tradition of our own — Beaujolais Nouveau Day! I can’t imagine anything more French than a national holiday for wine. On the third Thursday of every November, bottles across France are uncorked to celebrate the annual release of this celebrated wine.

Paris Rendezvous

In Paris, signs are up in the windows of every cafe announcing “The Beaujolais 2016 has arrived!” with special displays and tapped barrels serving up glasses for those taking part. But what’s so special about Beaujolais Nouveau? Beaujolais Nouveau is a very young wine. In fact, the grapes that make this wine were picked just six to nine weeks ago during the late summer harvest period each year. Most wines distill much longer, even years, but the Beaujolais Nouveau is fermented in a flash for just several weeks to produce a light and fruity young wine with a very specific taste. Such wines are called primeur wines and the Beaujolais is the most famous of its kind. It’s intended to be enjoyed quickly, within a few months of its release versus wines that are better kept for years on end.

Some wine snobs won’t go near the stuff, but most love taking part in the release of the Beaujolais, certainly because there is always hype and celebration around it. As a result it’s a hugely popular wine, not just here in France but abroad as well, as France exports millions of bottles of it each year at this time for it to be enjoyed by Beaujolais fans around the world. If you're curious to try, a good Beaujolais Nouveau should arrive soon to a good wine vendor near you.

There are very serious rules for when one can enjoy the Beaujolais Nouveau. Even if the bottles have arrived, it is strictly forbidden to sell or open them before the Beaujolais holiday on the third Thursday of November. But at 12:01AM on that very day, the corks can be popped and the festival begins. The displays go up at all the wine vendors who invite you to pop in for a tasting of the various Beaujolais Nouveau wines they picked to stock this year.

While it’s not quite a Thanksgiving feast, the release of the Beaujolais Nouveau each November is something I really look forward to here in France. I always rendez-vous at a cafe with a friend, or a few, on this third Thursday to try this year’s Beaujolais and take part in this fun French tradition. I had my first glass last Thursday. Fittingly, this year I wore my new L'Absolu Rouge lipstick in Lie de Vin, which literally translates to “of wine” or “burgundy” when referring to colors, in honor of the Beaujolais Nouveau. Burgundy is also the region where the grapes for this wine come from. It was the perfect creamy shade for a gorgeous wine stained lip worthy of the Beaujolais holiday!

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