Right now, on the third Thursday of November, people everywhere are celebrating the release of Beaujolais Nouveau!
Beaujolais Nouveau is an old fashioned, French peasant wine that is derived from an early, unfermented harvest. Why do I care on my Trails West website, you ask?
Well, because D.C., makes a big ordeal out of this event. French restaurants everywhere in town get their shipment of Beaujolais early, even though French law states Beaujolais must not be uncorked until at least midnight of the third Thursday of November.
Each year, I bring a group of no less than 15 to Bistro du Coin (Quwah) in Dupont Circle, D.C. We eat French food at the late seating, mill around for an hour or so, and then party it up for the Beaujolais release at midnight. Inevitably, the mayor of D.C., always kicks off the city's Beaujolais events at our lil' bistro. After he uncorks the first bottle a disco ball drops down, a French DJ starts up, and the bar starts passing out free bottles of Beaujolais for the "peasants" to enjoy.
And boy do we. This year, the lady that takes reservations for the Bistro actually emailed me to let me know her plans for this year. I, shamefully, forgot tonight was the big night until a friend emailed me lamenting my absence at the Bistro this year.
Reminded, I was on a mission: I called two French restaurants in Ft. Collins, Colo., and three liquour stores in Cheyenne to find out if there were any Beaujolais events anywhere. The answer being "no" I decided to put together my own impromptu Beaujolais Nouveau event.
It was rather ghetto in comparison to the pre-drinks at the Russia House and the fancy- schmancy French food we'd get at the Bistro.
I did the best I could: I bought a cheap bottle of French red without even reading the label, made French toast bites, and cut a loaf of French baguette into slices for bread and butter.
But it was something. I celebrated Beaujolais, darn it. And still am - seeing as how it's only half past uncorking time in good ol' Wyo.
Beaujolais c'est arrive!
Annie, my coworker, and her husband Don who I knew in college helped me celebrate. Yes, I know my walls are bare:
French toast for my guests:
What I finally resorted to buying as a cheap French red: