Today is Beaujolais Nouveau day – you know, that annual running-of-the-reds release of the young, unadulterated (well, presumably) gamine Gamay sipper from France. It happens the third Thursday of November ever year, when at 12:01 a.m. the laws of France deem that this fresh, young, juicy, recently harvested and pressed wine can be released to the world at large. It’s really kind of a fun symbol of the harvest and, unless you’ve never, ever darkened the door of a wine shop in November, you know it is celebrated with much retail aplomb here in the U.S., too.
But here’s the thing – while I love me some fresh, juicy fun-fun Beaujolais Nouveau, I’d like to propose celebrating our own damned harvest, as most winemaking regions do to some effect the world over. I know of no other awesome way to do that than with Macari Vineyard’s Early Wine, the fresh, cold-off-the-presses, thoroughly delicious and bright chardonnay that Joe and Alexandra Macari send into the world around this time every year.
I got a bottle in the mail last night (I love my job, I love my job, I love my job), and the notes for this year’s version from kick-ass winemaker Kelly Urbanik tell me the following: The grapes were handpicked in early September, it was bottled the day after Halloween and, not even three weeks later is in my happy little hands. The tasting notes fit my memories of this wine in the past – pear, lemon peel, grapefruit and herbs. It’s also under 12 percent alcohol, which makes it a great sipper for an epic meal like the one coming up. It’s cheerful and refreshing and, oh, I look forward to drinking this every year.
I’m in a no-better-time-like-the-present mood today, so I’m not waiting for Thanksgiving – I’m having this tonight with this great dish from Nigella Lawson’s larder of sage, English mustard, chicken and sausage (that I get from Herondale Farm upstate – they make killer sausage!), which seems totally apropos: Lawson, after all, is a bubbly, cool broad. I think she’d dig this wine, too.
Celebrate your own harvest, people – I declare today Early Wine Day. Viva la New York wine!