Beaujolais nouveau is a festive event , as you know . Ritually happening the 3rd thursday of november all over the world , this is the occasion to drink the just released beaujolais of the year . Going in bars and cafes is the best way to take advantage of this ritual , even if you technically also can buy bottles this very day and drink them home with family and friends . 56 million bottles are available all over the world , nearly half for export , notably in Japan ( 27 % of all beaujolais nouveau exports ) .
Outside wine stores , any bar , even ordinary bars ,can become a special place that day , because people really go there to drink and enjoy : People who otherwise would go home after work join co-workers or friends for social interaction and pleasure at a bar counter . This is noisy and you may get crushed just to reach the counter , but this is fun . Not that the Beaujolais is something exceptional . I frankly was never really overwhelmed by a divine surprise , but this has to be taken for what it is : A joyous ritual wich is the opportunity to enjoy wine with total strangers in a place down the street .
Beaujolais Nouveau was in the past a tradition wich was institutionalized in 1951 by law (to allow Beaujolais wine producers to begin sell their new wine on the 3rd thursday of november ) . But the thing reached the full blown activity we see today after a specific appellation was added in 1967 . This was at a time bars and cafes ( and the wine industry ) were immune to the ills of today . Today it is also a way to bring people back at the counter ...
So , after getting my bike from annual overhaul , I went to the rue Montorgueuil , a nice pedestrian street that still has this street market flavour and appearance of what could look like ( at least from our gentrified era perspective ) the Halles central market district .The street is a pleasant place to stroll on and buy vegetables , meat , bread and everything . Plus it has its share of cafes and bistrots . Traffic is restricted and usually there are only pedestrians and bicycles , although some cars do venture there sometimes . I am familiar with the place as I worked some time nearby .
I first went to "le Repaire de Bacchus" , a neighbourhood wine store that offered several wines for tasting on the sidewalk . I tasted Domaine des Treilles . Non aromatized , natural , non chaptalized . There is a trend toward natural wines , but the very fact that Beaujolais Nouveau is to be sold and consumed right now (and not kept for months or years) allows for the absence of sulphur and other additives .
I then stopped at a nice little bar : "the "bar Montorgueuil" , 41 rue Montorgueuil , right in front of a butcher's shop and a flower shop . Lots of people in this small place . That's where I bought my first glass of the day , a Domaine des Gônes , served in a "ballon" glass , full . 2,5 Euro . The waiter was excited and was running back and forth to the tables to bring glasses and bottles ( pictures above ) . Tiny place but very much like it was in the 1960's , I think .