Beaujolais Nouveau events return to Japan after pandemic hiatus

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A Beaujolais Nouveau event is held at a Vinos Yamazaki wine shop in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, just after midnight Thursday.

Beaujolais Nouveau, red wine made from this year’s just harvested vintage in the Beaujolais area of France and released every year on the third Thursday in November, went on sale at the stroke of midnight Thursday.

Some restaurants and retailers held events for the first time since 2019 as pandemic-related restrictions on serving alcohol have been eased.

Enthusiasts gathered at specialty wine shop Vinos Yamazaki at its new Ginza branch in Tokyo, which had its opening coincide with the wine’s release. Participants counted down to midnight with glasses in hand, before tasting the new wine.

With France’s unseasonable inclement weather this spring, the harvest was smaller compared to the average year. In light of this, the wine has a fruitiness that gives off a rich aroma and flavor, according to wine importers.

Suntory Wine International Ltd. said this year’s import volume is expected to decrease by 2% compared to the previous year to 300,000 cases, each holding a dozen 750-milliliter bottles of wine.

Orders received have been centered on households as more people are choosing to drink at home.