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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in France series at FrenchPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind French holidays and observances. I’m Matt, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 12- The Release Date of Beaujolais Nouveau.
Do you know about the wine called Beaujolais Nouveau? It’s a wine from the region of Beaujolais that has existed since 1951, and the name is trademarked.
Every year, it’s made from Gamay grapes, or cépage Gamay, and sold immediately after it turns into wine. Its sale is a real event in France, just as it is all over the world. In this lesson, we’re going to learn how the release of Beaujolais Nouveau is celebrated.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?
What other country really appreciates Beaujolais Nouveau?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Every year, on the third Thursday of the month of November, Beaujolais Nouveau starts being sold. This date corresponds to the end of the wine-making process. In the past, no wine could be sold before December 15, but several wine-making unions pushed so that some could be sold before December. This is how the appellation Beaujolais Nouveau started in 1951. In 1985, the date for the release of Beaujolais Nouveau was set on every third Thursday of November.
This wine gets its name from the region called Beaujolais where it is produced. It’s an area fifty-five kilometers long and located between Mâcon and L’Arbresle, which is near Lyon, to the south. This wine-producing region is known for its typical red wines, of which 99% are of the Gamay grape variety. Every year, the region of Beaujolais produces an average of 50 million bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau.
Despite all the interest in its sales, Beaujolais Nouveau doesn’t actually have a very good reputation with French people. It’s a young wine and isn’t considered a vin de dégustation, meaning “tasting wine,” as in a wine appreciated for its flavor. This doesn’t, however, keep French people from consuming it as a vin de table, meaning “table wine.”
Every year its sale coincides with events and commercial festivals all over France. All French people know and have had the opportunity to taste this wine.
Beaujolais Nouveau is a young wine, so it doesn't keep very long. After six months it’s no longer drinkable, so you need to hurry up and finish it!
Now it's time to answer our quiz question!
Do you know what other country really appreciates Beaujolais Nouveau?
Japan, or in French, Japon, is a country where Beaujolais Nouveau is very appreciated. Every year about 8 million bottles are exported from France to Japan.
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Have ever tried Beaujolais Nouveau? What’s your favorite wine?
Please leave a comment telling us at FrenchPod101.com, and we’ll see you next time!