Thursday, November 15, 2012

So it's Beaujolais Day. Should we care?

It's the third Thursday in November--you knew that, right? Every year on this day, the new harvest from the Beaujolais region is uncorked all over the place, giving people their first chance to taste the new vintage.

Thing is, seems like it's mostly a marketing ploy, but one that's been successful. I'm hardly a wine expert--seriously. I mean, if you stick a pinot noir and a pinot grigio in front of me, I can (probably) figure out which one is which pretty quickly, but it'll take me a hot minute.

I'm kidding, of course. Learning about wine goes hand in hand with learning about what makes food real and what makes food...something else. Honestly it probably has as much to do with growing into an adult as anything. Everyone starts off drinking all the vodka from the parents' liquor cabinet in high school because it mixes easily with sweet, fruity stuff and doesn't really taste like much at all. It isn't until later that we figure out that gin is awesome. Gin is where it's at, but when you're a kid you think it smells weird and gross. And why would you mix it with olive juice, anyway?! GROSS, MOM! (BRB, need a scandalously dirty martini.)

It's the same thing with wine. We start off thinking that we're the badasses on the block because we're down to drink jug wine out of a jelly jar. (Well, I mean. That's how we did a while ago. These days I think it's more about putting a bag of box wine in your Camelbak and going to a generic, over-marketed EDM festival in a football stadium where the DJs all have really, really bad hair. MAN I'm glad I've grown up.) Then, unless you actually had reasonably cool parents with a certain degree of taste, some time after your 21st birthday you actually taste wine that came from a bottle with a cork. And you think, "Hey. This doesn't taste so bad that I want to drink it on ice! Wine can taste like this? Who knew?!"

I think that's about when most of us discover Beaujolais--that's when my friends and I did, anyway. We were all waiting tables together and having far more fun than was called for after we closed our restaurant every day. And for one reason or another I ended up hosting the <restaurant name redacted> family Thanksgiving. It was a notoriously good time. SO MUCH Louis Jadot Beaujolais was drunk that day--for one thing, beaujolais does really go well with turkey. For another, it was the first real wine we knew and liked. It was a great time, and my clearest lasting memory (not a lot of them are that clear, really) is of my girlfriend reaching across the table, yanking off one of the turkey breasts with her bare hand, and gnawing contentedly away. This didn't strike any of us as at all odd. On one hand, we all knew Jess, and this was totally within her character. On the other hand...did I mention there was a lot of beaujolais?

Well. Now I've gone and made myself pretty nostalgic. Wine and telling stories will do that to you! I think I actually would go out tonight to one of my favorite wino-friendly establishments and have a couple of glasses, but my achilles tendon is ferociously angry with me. (Sarah says that running is the devil's work. Maybe she's right, man. Maybe she's right.) But I'm pretty sure that any beaujolais will be just as good tomorrow, or even sometime in December. And we're coming up to Thanksgiving, which is THE time to drink wine with your family, slip a little wine to your nieces and nephews, make new stories.

Who knew? Even writing about wine can make you a little wistful.

No comments:

Post a Comment