The international phenomenon of Beaujolais Nouveau day is a marketing scheme that the Union Interprofessionnelle des Vins du Beaujolais cooked up in the 70s. Their goal: get people frothy about drinking boring wine. I think that the UIVB probably wanted to do something to raise the profile of Beaujolais—but they haven’t, and now just help promote an industrially made, boring wine to consumers that will never get to taste a drop of the good stuff, conditioned as they are to think that all Beaujolais must be this industrially made crap. Beaujolais Nouveau has so poisoned the brand of Beaujolais that when I offer a good bottle of it (which is every day—I love good Beaujolais, and even though the good stuff is not as inexpensive as it once was, I still consider it very well priced), my customers rarely think to order it: “you can’t serve Beaujolais in July—it’s out of season!” So, most of the time I pour cru Beaujolais and only list the name of the cru, e.g., a Morgon is listed on my wine list simply as Morgon, and never Beaujolais. I pour a fair amount of Morgon that way (and Moulin-à-Vent, and Fleurie, and Chiroubles, and etc.—I have poured over 50 cases of various forms of Beaujolais over the course of 2011).
This invitation to a Beaujolais Soirée at the Beverly Hills Country Club sums up the problem: it is a soirée to celebrate Beaujolais in which precious little Beaujolais is available. There will be food and wine from Normandie and Alsace, but just one wine from Beaujolais: an industrially made wine from Georges Dubœuf.
I have nothing against primeur wine—it is fun, fresh stuff. I do have something against industrial wine, and so I will be administering an antidote this November by pouring the good stuff—three or four Beaujolais wines, including two wines from Foillard (possibly my favorite grower in the region), including his 2011 Nouveau (gasp!), and a fancy 2008 Fleurie.