I had to take precious time from my Thursday afternoon in order to make it first-hand-official for loyal readers of Short Order (and I mean both of you): The 2008 Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived.
First I had to mill about, just outside the gates of Casa Casuarina (on what was, I must say, a lovely day), with a chilled glass of Georges Duboeuf Pouilly Fuissé 2007 in hand, until the cavalcade of chefs-on-motorcycles finally varoomed up to the mansion. They carried with them the cases of Beaujolais, which didn’t strike me as being the surest means of transport. Then a series of photo-ops of the participants, including the guy in the Beaujolais bottle suit.
After being ushered into another time and place -- also known as the courtyard -- we of the privileged, pampered, yet underpaid media, along with some privileged, pampered, and very well paid people, took seats at our assigned tables and politely applauded the rather formal uncorking ceremony. Festivities such as this were coordinated to take place in Las Vegas and New York (where they were expecting snow flurries) -- and, indeed, all over the world. Of course it all begins in France, where each year, at one minute past midnight on the third Thursday of November, a million-plus cases of new Beaujolais begin their shipping journey to all points wineward. And the parties begin.
Time ticked by like a series of slow, sumptuous courses. The cuisine was prepared by Chef Dale Ray, of Casa Casuarina’s spanking new Loftin's 1116. If this meal was any indication, the restaurant should make a big splash. First course was a carpaccio of scallop with a sauce culled from sea urchin, Meyer lemon, and chives. Main course, pictured below, was composed of veal tenderloin, goat cheese ravioli, chanterelle and hedgehog mushrooms, peeled grapes and Serrano ham in a natural jus. Wine: Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau 2008.
So there. It is official. The fresh, sprightly, easygoing wine is now available in stores (at around ten dollars per bottle). Chill slightly. Hint for the holidays: Goes very well with turkey. Satisfied? I hope so, because by the time the plates of petite French cheeses were passed, and the last of our glasses of Georges Duboeuf Château Juliénas Des Capitans 2007 were quaffed, and little espresso cups were emptied, my day was pretty much shot.
-- Lee Klein