It's been going on for many years now, originally thought up as a publicity gag, it has been underlined in many peoples diaries as a party time!
and - why not......? The facts of the matter are really quite simple. The tradition of tasting that year's wine is old....it probably all starts with a thing called "Federweisser" - a German/Austrian tradition, often very useful as a laxative cure, where the first pressings of the year are tasted just hours after starting the fermentation process. They are logically weak in alcohol content, but heavy in laxative quality. The first few pressings are bottled and sold commercially....as wine! Traditionally the dish which goes best with this invention is the modest "onion quiche" or onion tart, or - if you must, then go up a step in Societie's ladder and use an Alsatian/Lorraine dish called "Flammkuchen" (it's really a sort of posh pizza!) Federweisser is celebrated in Alsace-Lorraine in France as well, less so than in the truly Germanic countries, but "verstopfung" (constipation) is International and must be relieved!
|a roll of WC paper could be offered free of charge.|
As you can see from the colour, it is not quite as enticing as certain other products representing the same thing - "Nouveau - Primeurs".
There are all kinds of competitions nowadays with large cash prizes for the first servings of Primeurs, notably from Beaujolais, but I know, because I have seen and touched them, that cartons and cartons of the new Beaujolais lie ready in depots all around France, well before the official date. Not allowed to be sold until the 3rd Thursday in November, I doubt that there are not a number of "tricks" going on, yearly, to win the prize.
In any case, my personal favourite is always the "primeur" - "Beaujolais Villages"
Even at this age, it is a polished product, smooth to the taste and very distinguished.
Yes - it does cost a little more, but in quality one understands why.
With time, a number of other traditions have sprung up around the festival of "Primeur". Many offers are made in the shape of the bottles