It’s Beaujolais Nouveau time!
The pink-red wine made from Gamay grapes that ferment for only a handful of weeks has become incredibly popular in recent years for its fruity, light flavor. It's a red that, shockingly, pairs well with Thanksgiving turkey.
According to tradition, you can’t pop open the Beaujolais until the third Thursday of November, now widely knows as Beaujolais Nouveau Day.
Lucky for all you winos, that day falls this week. Check out some of these sophisticated events around the area to chime in the celebration with fellow enthusiasts. And remember, when in doubt -- pinky out.
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 16
- Enjoy born-yesterday French wine Beaujolais Nouveau and dinner at Get Beaujolaid, hosted by Brightest Young Things at 1905 (1905 9th St. NW). Go early if you can for a seated four-course dinner featuring escargots, apple cider-braised pork, and beignets topped with cocoa, sugar and espresso cream. After they clear the dinner tables, get ready to count down until midnight, when tradition dictates the Beaujolais bottles will start popping. Dinner seatings at 6:30 and 7 p.m.; $50 plus tax, tip and beverages; RSVP ASAP. Party starts at 9:30 pm.; $10 at the door.
THURSDAY, NOV. 17 (& BEYOND)
- Café Dupont (1500 New Hampshire Ave. NW) is dishing up a three-course pairing menu including a bottle of 2011 Beaujolais Nouveau for $90 plus tax per couple, or for $45 with two glasses of wine per person. The pairing dishes are also available individually, with Beaujolais Nouveau $7 per glass and $30 per bottle. The wine will be available at Café Dupont through Dec. 25.
- Two locations of Mon Ami Gabi (11950 Democracy Drive, Reston, Va. and 7239 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda) will feature a new Beaujolais-inspired menu in addition to the classic menu, Nov. 17-23. Menu items include trout rillettes with apple slaw, tartine of smoked trout and pan-seared whitefish with caramelized garlic-beaujolais-bacon sauce. Finish off the French dinner with Beaujolais-complimenting blackcurrant sorbet. Lunch 11:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.; dinner 4:00 p.m.-10 p.m weekdays.) Until 11 p.m. on for dinner on weekends.
- Bastille (1201 N. Royal St., Alexandria) will feature Beaujolais Nouveau with classic French bistro dishes, Nov. 17-20. Bastille's regular menu will be available, along with a three-course prix fixe bistro menu ($39) and a four-course gourmand menu ($55).
FRIDAY, NOV. 18
- Don’t miss out on the Festively Elegant Beaujolais Nouveau celebration, hosted by Alliance Française de Washington. The swanky event will go down at historical and beautiful Washington Club (15 Dupont Circle NW). Besides free-flowing Beaujolais, you can enjoy a live jazz band, silent auction and dinner buffet. Dress to impress. More information and tickets here. 7 p.m.; $50 general admission; $120 VIP tickets include open bar and private buffet.