It is the ultimate expression of living in the moment and the art of having a good time: More than 100 Nouveau Expression parties and events are being held within 24 hours around the country – all to celebrate the official arrival of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau. By French law, Beaujolais Nouveau, a fresh, young red wine made from the Gamay grape and bottled at the end of harvest, may be released at one minute past midnight on the third Thursday in November – known as "Nouveau Day." In 2011, that day is November 17.
The biggest celebration started just before midnight on November 16th in New York at a Nouveau Eve Art Party at Manhattan's SIR Stage 37. With his signature dance moves, hip hop artist Pop Master Fabel ushered in a graffiti covered vintage Cadillac delivering Franck Duboeuf, co-proprietor of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf and son of founder Georges, and the first case of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau before an audience of several hundred. Driving the car was Brooklyn graffiti artist Kaves whose one-of-a-kind image graces the 2011 Duboeuf Nouveau label. Once inside the party just after midnight, Franck opened the first bottle, took the first taste, and proclaimed "2011 will be a great millésime in Beaujolais – complex, serious, solid and rich in delicious flavors". He announced that "2011 marks the 60th anniversary of the first Nouveau vintage in 1951- truly a remarkable history!"
The party, which benefited Citymeals-on-Wheels, continued into the wee morning hours with the unveiling of a one-of-kind art exhibit curated by Kaves, which featured a selection of his work and that of the finalists and grand prize winner of the national Nouveau Expression Be Heard Art Contest. On hand was grand prize winner, Becky Suriano of Phillipsburg, N.J., whose exquisite hand-painted art wine glasses were used for the official "first taste."
The party did not stop there. Franck Duboeuf and exclusive U.S. importers Bill and Peter Deutsch, Co-owners of W.J. Deutsch & Sons, hosted an arrival lunch for VIPs on the 17th. Duboeuf continued on to Sherry Lehmann to greet customers.
"Nouveau Day Thursday is a festive celebration much like Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday. Here we celebrate the end of harvest with the release of Nouveau," said Franck Duboeuf. "We also like to think of Nouveau Day as the start of the holiday season when families and friends come together over a festive meal. Beaujolais Nouveau, with its low tannins and fresh ripe red berry taste is the perfect holiday wine to share with friends. It is versatile, food friendly and affordable." Nouveau's suggested retail price is $10.
"This year's theme, Nouveau Expression, celebrates creativity, individuality and self expression. It's a fun, vibrant new way for Duboeuf to connect with its Beaujolais Nouveau consumers through art and for our consumers to connect with each other. Each of the parties held around the country had its own unique expression of the Nouveau spirit," said Peter Deutsch, CEO of W.J. Deutsch & Sons.