Wineries all over the world make a “nouveau” or young wine: a quickly-fermented, immediately bottled (sometimes not even bottled!) juicy, uncomplicated beverage that goes down so easily that some caution is recommended. (Market Street co-owner Thadd McQuade had some revelatory run-ins with a nouveau-type wine called Federweisser when he was a young impetuous lad growing up in West Germany!) These wines have an unwarranted reputation for giving hangovers - studies have shown it’s the amount and speed at which they are enjoyed that is the real culprit.

At its traditional best, Beaujolais Nouveau is a wine of pure, tanninless pleasure, designed to be quaffed within a few months of release. It is the wine that your non-drinking granny will swig at the Thanksgiving table, and the perfect drink to chill and sip while you cook any holiday meal. This version of Beaujolais Nouveau has no better representative than Manoir du Carra, a fifth-generation producer of both nouveau and “real” Beaujolais, whose wines we have been selling for several decades. The grapes for the Nouveau are sustainably farmed and, by law, hand-harvested. Very unusually, no sulfur is used in the winery, so these wines must be consumed young.

Despite all this care, the wine remains an incredible value at $9.99/bottle.

There is also a more adventurous side to Beaujolais Nouveau, and the leader of this approach is Christophe Pacalet. If you feel that the nouveau belongs to the 80s and 90s, we invite you to try the astoundingly delicious offerings from the nephew of Marcel Lapierre, the king of high-quality, naturally vinified Beaujolais. Christophe buys his grapes, but harvests them himself, pressing on an ancient wooden vertical press, and vinifying according to his strict, character-focused principles, coaxing amazing nuance and depth out of his wines. This is the new nouveau, with one foot in tradition, and the other in a new attention to complexity and natural wine-making. And we love it!

$20.99/bottle and worth every penny.

Here’s a recent Post article with a nice history of Beaujolais Nouveau.

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