L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

16 November 2006 Blog Home : November 2006 : Permalink

Le Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrivée et Ouvert

In our kitchen stand three varieties of this marketing success.

Although we have sampled but one variety of this year's edition, going on experience with previous versions (one hesitates to use the word vintage since it implies quality) this wine will be drinkable but forgetable. Were it not for the hype I sincerely doubt that sales of this wine would be anything close to what they are currently and the prices (outside France at least) would be far far lower. The genius behind the worldwide event that is the day the Beaujolais Nouveau is launched made an absolute fortune, and his successors continue to take the suckers for as much as they can by creating ever more enticing stories about a wine that in a blind taste would be marked down as "plonk - young, practically infancticide"

The taste of the one bottle we have opened (see picture to the right) is pleasant and fruity. It is a taste that is, in my opinion, worth approximately what we paid for it. I say approximately partly because I'm not quite sure which one cost which, it is either €2.95 or €3.80 - the till receipt is unclear - although I'm sure that the predominately white label bottle was definitely the low price leader at €2.50. As someone who has blogged about €1 wines in the past and not given tasting notes for Chateau Petrus 1994 (if anyone wants to give me a bot of it I'll be pleased to write up a review), it should be clear that I'm not a wine snob. For general everyday drinking with dinner I'm entirely happy with whatever flotsam and jetsam of the French wine lake washes up at Auchan on special offer and the Beaujolais Nouveau fits right in to that category.

In Japan on the other hand similar Beaujolais Nouveau is given a great spin about 100 year old vines and traditional family practices and retails for ¥2,499 or €16.52 at today's exchange rates. Now granted there are some shipping and tax issues that make that price hard to compare directly, but given that the same site has another (nouveau) wine retailing for ¥1,029 (€6.80) and that price point , from my recollection of trips there, is a standard low end price - roughly  equivalent to €3 threshold here in France - the phrase "nice margins" springs to mind, as does the phrase "rip off". Mind you just possibly the Japanese get some added value. In the Rakuten Beaujolais page (with its range of wines from ¥1,869 to ¥4,200 before tax) is a link to a special "Hello Kitty" Beaujolais Nouveau which I bet is unavailable to customers in Europe at any price, let alone the bargain one of ¥2,680 (or ¥2,750 depending on where you look)....

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin