Beaujolais Nouveau Day

By / Food / November 19th, 2009 / 4

Today is Beaujolais nouveau day.

The third Thursday of November is the day that Beaujolais nouveau wine producers and revellers alike await each year. Falling under the heading of “any excuse for a party,” Beaujolais nouveau day started as a way to celebrate the end of the harvest and to thank all those whose sweat contributed to the making of another year of fine wine (not to mention a way to sell lots of wine).

For those of you who have yet to taste this much sought after libation, I’ve included a list of 5 fast facts to help you understand why many of your colleagues have simply not shown up for work today and are instead standing in the cold pressing their noses against the glass windows of their nearest liquor store.

Once you’ve managed to lay your hands on your very own bottle, try pairing a glass or two with some of the recipe suggestions below.

Five Fast Facts

1. Beaujolais nouveau is made from the red Gamay grapes grown throughout the Beaujolais region of France. It’s wine that’s been fermented for just a few weeks before being bottled and released.

2. It’s light purple in colour and vibrant in flavour. The fact that it contains little in the way of tannins makes it very drinkable. It’s fruity, dominated by aromas of banana and pear.

3. Considered to be simply immature by some wine critics, many people love the fact that it’s meant to be enjoyed immediately. Actually, the last thing you want to do with a newly purchased bottle of Beaujolais nouveau wine is to lay it down for aging. Pop the cork and enjoy it tonight!

4. All the grapes throughout the Beaujolais region are, by law, harvested by hand.

5. The wine is pasteurized and is ready to drink between 6 and 8 weeks after being harvested.

Chicken Liver Parfait

Courtesy of Stéphane Reynaud’s French Feasts (Stewart, Tabori & Chang Books).

Makes 4 7-oz parfaits

1 lb chicken livers
3 oz bacon
1/2 onion
2 garlic cloves
5 juniper berries
Pinch cinnamon
7 oz butter
1 Tbsp walnut oil
1/3 cup Port

1. Fry the onion and garlic in the walnut oil until golden. Sear the chicken livers, bacon and juniper berries. Remove the chicken livers.

2. Deglaze the pan with the port, scraping up all the bits on the bottom, and cook until syrupy. Return the livers to the pan and stir. 3. Place the mixture with 3/4 of the butter into a food processor. Purée until mixture has reached desired consistency. Add cinnamon and season with salt.

3. Mould the parfait into small terrine dishes. Melt the remaining butter, drizzle it over the parfaits. Chill well. Eat within 4 days. Enjoy with fresh country bread.

Beef Tenderloin in a Pastry Case with Mushrooms

Courtesy of Stéphane Reynaud’s French Feasts (Stewart, Tabori & Chang Books).

Serves 6

2 lbs whole beef tenderloin
1 lb mushrooms
2 garlic cloves
1 bunch fresh tarragon
1 bunch fresh parsley
4 shallots
1 lb. store-bought Puff Pastry
1 egg yolk, beaten
Olive oil

1. Sauté the tenderloin on all sides for 10 minutes; then let it rest for 30 minutes on a rack.

2. Chop the mushrooms, tarragon and parsley. Peel and chop the garlic and shallots and sauté in olive oil. Add the mushrooms and herbs, and cook until the mixture has a fairly dry consistency. Season generously.

3. Roll out the pastry to a rectangle, prick with a fork and lay the tenderloin on top. Cover the meat with the mushroom mixture, roll it up in the pastry and seal the edges with the beaten egg yolk. Create a vent on top so that steam can escape.

4. Using the pastry trimmings, make strips to decorate the pastry case in a criss-cross pattern. Brush with the egg yolk and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 minutes.


Rosemary Mantini has always loved words. When she isn't working as the Associate Editor at Tidings Magazine, she's helping others achieve their writing dreams, and sometimes she even relaxes with a good book and a glass of wine.

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