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Fans brace for Beaujolais Nouveau

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A totally innocent and curious question, if most people and the French themselves know that beaujolais nouveau wine is horrendous, why do the Japanese celebrate it? The Japanese themselves make some delicious wine and world-class whiskey. They're astute drinkers, so why the love affair with this disgusting wine?

11 ( +13 / -2 )

'“And this year’s pizza—what taste will that have?” fires back Chasselay when asked.'

Ummm... wine is not pizza, and any GOOD pizza isn't a one-shot, seasonal deal that you can't recreate. And while a variety of ingredients may be used in making wine, they are not comparable (especially not with pizza flavors in Japan!, unless Beaujolais is thinking of a bulgogi with mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce and cheese nightmare).

In any case, there's good reason why the nearest competition to what Japan imports is the US, and why even then it's not even close; the stuff is no more than glorified vinegar, and likely sells next to Baby Duck in the US in convenience stores. The ONLY reason it's popular in Japan is because people here like to pat themselves on the back over being the first to get it, and being known as the first to get it. That's all. No serious wine connoisseur here or otherwise would give it a second thought, if even a first.

But of course, to each their own. If people are happy to be able to say they got the first of the 1000 yen PET bottles of wine, so be it, and let them drink and be merry.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

The ONLY reason it's popular in Japan is because people here like to pat themselves on the back over being the first to get it, and being known as the first to get it. That's all.

No. Japanese people like "hatsumono," or "shunnomono," the first of the season or fresh, seasonal foods / drinks. This is true for things such as potatoes, onions, rice, fish, you name it. I prefer a full-bodied red myself, but I'm all for an excuse to get drunk with friends.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I always brace myself if I have to drink the stuff. However Beaujolais do make other decent wines.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

if most people and the French themselves know that beaujolais nouveau wine is horrendous, why do the Japanese celebrate it?

Three reasons: It's light and fruity. It's seasonal. It appeals to women, who tend to be the ones who dine at wine-oriented restaurants.

Fans brace for Beaujolais Nouveau

Any wine I have to brace for will be going into my cooking or my bath, and not into my glass, thank you very much.

“And this year’s pizza—what taste will that have?” fires back Chasselay when asked.

If it's a good year for mushrooms, it will have a mushroom taste. Any other questions?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This bilge is filthy stuff. It makes me laugh to see poseurs pretending they're sophisticates pouring the stuff down their pretentious necks. They deserve the hangovers this garbage is guaranteed to bring.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

if most people and the French themselves know that beaujolais nouveau wine is horrendous, why do the Japanese celebrate it?

I'm not sure anyone loves it, but Beaujolais parties are everywhere, and not just Japan.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/going-out-guide/wp/2014/11/18/beaujolais-nouveau-parties-or-a-great-excuse-to-celebrate-not-great-wine/

3 ( +3 / -0 )

agreed, its horrible. how good can it be if konbi sell it ?!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

My first year here, the Japanese went crazy at this time of year, and when I heard for WHAT, I thought this would be the Dom Perignon of wines. I have to agree with the other posters, it's over-hyped, commercialized bilge swill. If I get a bottle as a gift, I usually have a glass of it, while using the rest in my cooking. My food comes out pretty well, though!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

We got a bottle last year and it was just...not...drinkable. Very astringent (rather than acidic, as it's often described), it was like eating an unripe persimmon, and the alcohol taste was very raw and strong. I used it in stews all winter. There may be years it's better, but I won't be buying it again to see.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

kickboard: "No. Japanese people like "hatsumono," or "shunnomono," the first of the season or fresh, seasonal foods / drinks."

Which is different from what I said how, exactly? I said they like to pat themselves on the back for being the first to get it. Do you honestly think the first melons that go on sale and sell for 200,000 yen or more taste any different from those sold a week later after many others have bought them? No, they don't, but whomever buys those first two will most certainly have bragging rights at being the first to taste them, and that's the only reason he or she will do so. It has absolutely nothing to do with being fresh, since it's wine, unless fermenting for the absolute minimal amount of time has become a plus for alcohol connoisseurs (I doubt scotch makers, and Japan is now top at the moment, would agree, for example), although I can see how the seasonal thing would play a part in the popularity of the aforementioned wine.

I get a bottle or two every year as a gift. I use it for cooking, and it works very well as such. For drinking, though, only if I'm desperate. I'm still thankful for the gifts though, btw.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Most definitely loathe the stuff. I would call it "over-hyped grape juice for total amateurs".

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@smithinjapan

Why on earth would you cook with a wine you don't see fit to drink???

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Fans brace for Beaujolais Nouveau

Brace indeed! That includes critics as well

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is ridiculous. A Japanese company( and media) promoting something higher than it deserves, while we have DIVINE WINE being produced right in the heart of the Japanese Alps, the wine from SHIOJIRI city in Nagano ken.

From all the expensive bottles I've tasted (I used to have it for free at work in the UK) I learned that with 500 yen I can have SAME pleasure drinking SHIOJIRI wine (yes, the name is 塩尻)

So stop "aggrandizing" something just because is made in France.

For a long time Chile, Argentine, Uruguay, Brazil, Australia and US have been delivering a great product. Japan is the new guy in that list.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Every yea rwe have this conversation but in previous years there have been quite a few defenders of Beaujolais Nouveau with some even saying the loved it. But this year, i don't see even one fan. Maybe some of the posters of yesteryear have actually tasted it now and find it hard to defend.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I suggest to shift the market to Italian novello!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Again, the posers (or should I say poseurs?) come out. Maybe 1 out of 10 people (at best) who claim they know something about wine actually do. Ask any owner of any winery. They are happy people enjoy their wine and don't pass judgement. Meanwhile, the debate rages among the proletariat.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

hokkaidoguy: "Why on earth would you cook with a wine you don't see fit to drink???"

Are you saying you drink cooking wine? Wine you use to cook with need not be some rare Bourdeaux, my friend.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@ hokkaidoguy, I'm only guessing that they treat it as a 'cooking sherry' more than anything else. You can still drink a cooking sherry (if you are desperate), but the average person doesn't. @techall, it's possible those posters of yesteryear are no longer with us.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why on earth would you cook with a wine you don't see fit to drink???

The alcohol cooks off, and it's not bad, in a stew or spaghetti sauce.

Maybe 1 out of 10 people (at best) who claim they know something about wine actually do.

If it tastes bad, it tastes bad...I know something that doesn't taste good w/o an expert to tell me.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@smithinjapan

No, I'm saying that I wont cook with wine that I don't want to drink. Why would I put a flavor I don't like into something I want to eat? Makes no sense.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"Beaujolais Nouveau has a reputation for a very fruity aroma."

Yes, so does Boone's, but nobody pretends it's anything other than cheap swill. Beaujolais is okay for cooking.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hokkaidoguy: do you drink vinegrette? No, but it's suitable for salad. Do you tend to drink cooking sake? No, but it's perfectly fine for making Asian dishes, is it not? No, I don't drink Beaujolais, but guess what... It is fine for cooking as it is much like vinegar. Now, ge back to inking your salad dressing, bud.

Commanteer: You don't have to be able to say, "im in a meadow... I sense pine cones that have rested in mulberries, and a bouquet of morning dew" or something equally pretentious to low something tastes bad. Likewise, something that doesn't please critics might make the 'layman' happy. To each their own.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I can't stand the wine snobs that Beaujolais Nouveau inevitably brings out of the woodwork.

I also can't stand the way they sneer at the Japanese about harmless Beaujolais Nouveau fun.

Would love to have these snobs doing a blind-tasting of a range of wines from 500 yen to 10,000 yen and see who's laughing then.

Much better to meet friends for a glass of light fruity BN with it's beautiful pink-purplish color then paste vitriol here.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

choiwaruoyaji: "Would love to have these snobs doing a blind-tasting of a range of wines from 500 yen to 10,000 yen and see who's laughing then."

Well, it wouldn't be you, because even people who's taste buds are shot can tell the difference between a 500 yen wine and that that's 10,000. And who's sneering at the Japanese for having fun, anyway? Most have said "to each their own" or otherwise, stating that they themselves don't like Beaujolais Nouveau. They're sneering at the wine, for sure, and in many cases asking why it's such a big deal. The only "wine snobs" I've seen so far on this thread are those that say "1 in 10 don't know anything about wine" or that no one could tell the difference between a bottle of convenience store swill for one coin or a relatively expensive wine and suggesting that therefore their opinions on the wine in question are irrelevant.

"Much better to meet friends for a glass of light fruity BN with it's beautiful pink-purplish color then paste vitriol here."

And yet here you are doing just that. But I guess the BN isn't out yet, so you have time to do both. If you like the wine, good on you. I'll save mine, if I am given it, for a ragu sauce or some chicken cacciatore.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Wine: expensive fermented grape juice.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And yet here you are doing just that.

no... I'm doing my best to counteract the vitriol... and oppose the killjoy wine snobs...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

BN: Eprensive cooking Wine

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Would love to have these snobs doing a blind-tasting of a range of wines from 500 yen to 10,000 yen and see who's laughing then.

That's not the point. If something tastes bad to you, why say otherwise? Last years' BN tasted harsh to me, and a couple of Swiss and a French woman I know also gave it the thumbs down, saying it was going directly into the stew pot. On the other hand there were a lot of people who did like last years's, it's all one's own taste.

'killjoy wine snobs'? I suppose we should all lie and say 'It's the nectar of the gods'. Plenty of people like it, but I am not one of them. The bottle we got was 4500 in Japan, $9 in the US. That it's $9 in the US should tell you how good a wine it was, as well as how much dealers jack up the price because the Japanese like it. It's impossible to tell just from the price tag here because they inflate it so.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

how good can it be if konbi sell it ?

Seicomart has some good deals on wine. I found a decent Barolo there for 2000 yen, and the bottom-end G7 Cab from Chile is probably the most innocuous 500-yen wine on offer in Japan. Nothing to write Parker about, but miles better than the Merician cooking wine at the same price point. Whoever is the buyer for Seicomart, he or she does a lot with a little. Most BN is a scam, though if you like thin, uncomplicated wine, go for it. Costco wines are also pretty reliable, and great value for money.

As for not cooking with any wine you wouldn't drink, style and grape make more difference than price. For example, in the pot, the difference between a 500-yen Cab Sav and a 500-yen Pinot Noir is bigger than the difference between a 500-yen Cab Sav and a 5000-yen Cab Sav. I would never cook with a truly nasty wine, but there are some wines I would cook with but not drink. If you think you can tell the difference, do a blind tasting. You may be surprised.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"A totally innocent and curious question, if most people and the French themselves know that beaujolais nouveau wine is horrendous, why do the Japanese celebrate it?"

Two reasons. One the media tells them to. This begins getting hyped in the media by newspapers and train ads about the first part of September. From Hokkaido to Kyushu you see the ads everywhere. I do not know about Okinawa, I have only been there in Spring the three times I went. I assume it is the same there.

Two, the "tarento" on TV push it. Akiko Watanabe especially along with Etsukochan do nothing but blab about the special quality of this wine. It is nothing more than another fashion statement here, just like when Rei Kawakubo was seen with a Vuitton bag in the early 90's all of a sudden all of the housewives, OLs, and girls needed to have one.

Few are actual wine experts, its just another fashion accesory begun by Akiko Watanabe about 10 years ago when she went to France at the right time and brought back another fad that Japan Inc can profit off of. The sheep will do anything they see other sheep do.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I taste tested some BN today, and I must say it was horrid! I don't mind drinking inexpensive wines, and often do, but this is literally the WORST wine I've ever tasted, far worse than even boxed wine(such as college kids use to play "slap the bag").

Yes, brace yourself if you plan to taste it. Have something available to quickly remove the awful taste from your mouth.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I've got the perfect solution for all the haters here, on how to deal with this situation:

Don't drink it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The term 'haters' really rubs me the wrong way. Adults should be able to have a conversation and not be threatened by differences in opinion. When someone disagrees with you (general you), coming back with 'You're just a hater' is just a lazy way of putting an end to the discussion, as it says NOTHING about the actual discussion, but is instead a dig at someone else's character.

/rant :-D

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I simply chose the most appropriate word. With the amount of hatred shown in this thread towards someone else's choice of drink, hater is the most appropriate.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Beaujolais is not even table wine in France. They use it to sterilize wounds or to tart up a boeuf bourgion stew. I may have mis-spelled some of those moits francais naze nara boku wa Ima chotu yoppari desu.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

towards someone else's choice of drink

Do you always take things so personally? I love root beer, but I would never categorize all the Japanese that tell me that they hate root beer and think it tastes like cold medicine as 'haters' even it's my choice of drink, to use your phrasing. Because someone else likes it, it's forbidden to criticize it?

'hater' is a word that denotes a personality type, and you are labeling anyone who doesn't like beaujolais nouveau as a 'hater'...it just doesn't seem proportional to the issue at hand.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Do you always take things so personally?

Why would I take it personally? I don't even drink wine.

I would never categorize all the Japanese that tell me that they hate root beer and think it tastes like cold medicine as 'haters' even it's my choice of drink

There's a difference between saying 'I hate root beer', and the following:

It makes me laugh to see poseurs pretending they're sophisticates pouring the stuff down their pretentious necks.

it's over-hyped, commercialized bilge swill

Again, the posers (or should I say poseurs?) come out.

I can't stand the wine snobs that Beaujolais Nouveau inevitably brings out of the woodwork.

its just another fashion accesory begun by Akiko Watanabe about 10 years ago when she went to France at the right time and brought back another fad that Japan Inc can profit off of

...and more...

This isn't an expression of dislike of the wine itself (I left those comments out), this is criticizing the people who drink it. If you said 'I like root beer', and I said 'you're a self-pretentious a-hole who is a lemming following the crowd', I'd be a hater.

'hater' is a word that denotes a personality type, and you are labeling anyone who doesn't like beaujolais nouveau as a 'hater'

Yes, it is a personality type, and no, I'm not labeling anyone who doesn't like BN as a hater.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Strangerland sums it up well. It's not a Japanese thing. Wine brings out the worst in Americans. Americans are intimidated by it, and often feel that being anything less than an amateur wine expert marks them as trailer trash or worse. So they fake it, and even fool themselves. Maybe things have changed, it has been a while, but I haven't noticed it.

I am fine with "to each his own." The problem is when people try to cover their own insecurities by attacking another for their taste in wine - when their own taste in wine is determined by what the Wine Spectator (or the price) tells them.

The suggestions for blind taste testing are spot on. Most people would be surprised at how unrefined their taste buds actually are.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Himajin, spot on!

Hawkeye, well-said . Even if you're a bit durnk .

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I love root beer

Nobody loves root beer. Be honest... you quite like it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Guess any tactic to make the Japanese part with their hard earned yen is a good thing for the country's economy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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