Beaujolais Nouveau: Wimpy or Wonderful?

Categories: Ladd, Wine

Beaujolais Nouveau. While some Francophiles (and others) laud the fruitiness of this light young novelty wine -- released annually on the third Thursday of November -- haters find it seriously weenie. San Franciscan Lionel Lafite is a proponent. His La Provence Restaurant (1001 Guerrero at 22nd St.) plans to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau this Saturday, Nov. 21, with live music, prix fixe and regular dinner options, and complimentary vino for the first 20 folks who reserve a table.

Arlequin Wine Merchant is an anti-Nouveau zone.
​At the other extreme is Arlequin Wine Merchant (384 Hayes at Gough), which is organizing a "No More Nouveau" tasting on Thursday (Nouveau's release date), 6-8 p.m. Arguing that Beaujolais Nouveau "almost ruined one of the world's best regions," Arlequin will roll out what it calls "real" Beaujolais crus (growths) from 10 French producers who create more mature wines from the Gamay grape, with results far more layered and nuanced than Kool-Aid-fresh Nouveau. Sample Jean Paul Brun, Pierre Chermette, Marcel Lapierre, and more. Tickts ($15) available at the door.

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