Friday, November 23, 2007

Beaujolais Nouveau

Thorin Beaujolais Nouveau 2007
Burgundy, France.
16,000won GS Mart

Ahem. One, two. One two. Is this thing on?

November came and November has pretty much gone with Wine Korea neglecting his duties terribly. I apologise unreservedly.

November, the third Thursday in November to be exact, sees the release of Beaujolais Nouveau(BN from now on), a wine made from Burgundy's third grape, Gamay. Japan and Germany are the two biggest markets but Korea is a real growth area and the posters are up in all the convenience stores and wine bars are doing their promotions.

I had never tried BN before. I have tasted Grand Cru Beaujolais and found them OK in a 'I am not really bothered if I try this again' sort of way. They lack a bit of depth but perhaps I have never tried a great one. However, when your local Family Mart owner excitedly tells you about his new wine you have to ask yourself two questions, do I drink too much and should I be trying this exciting new(NOUVEAU!) drink. Yes to both questions and so I bought from GS Mart in order to hide any alcoholic tendencies from Mr Kim. I baulked at the 16,000 won price tag but figured it was the equivalent of three pitchers of Prime Max and can you put a price on new experiences?

It comes in a very exciting bottle, it seems very festive and has explosions of fireworks or flowers or something. It felt like an occasion! In the glass it is very pale, as you would expect. Beaujolais is produced using a process called carbonic maceration(I won't go into the details here) which essentially means there is little colour and tannin extraction going on. It looks like pop.

It has a bubblegum nose with bananas that are just about to be inedible. It is fruity as well with typical red fruit smells, confected strawberry and cherry. Also smelling like old skool alcopops (before they had worked out how to make alcohol taste good for kids) and swimming pools, it is not the most appealing bouquet.

Drinking is not much better I am afraid. Thin and sharp with no body to speak of you get cranberry juice and a follow through of strawberries and cherries but I couldn't get past the vomit like quality. I don't like my wines to taste of sick. Apparently 2007 was a reasonable vintage and I know it is a simple wine that is meant to be short of body and length but I just can't help thinking you could spend your money in so many better ways. I saw a bottle of Chilean Pinot Noir for 20,000won in Jamsil and though I haven't tasted it I am almost certain it will be another light, fruity red but with bags more character than BN.

I picked up a sherry! 20,000 won(ish) for a half bottle of Fino. I thought it was quite over priced until I checked the internet and saw that this is actually a very fair price. I have my almonds ready and will do a tasting this weekend. I know you are all very excited.

Oh! Also check out SeoulSteves for a Pieroth wine deal. They have put together a monthly wine club at Kabinett and a half case offer. It reminds me I must check out the bar and put together my own Christmas wine list.


seoulgirl said...

Did you know the wine shop in the B2 level of Seoul Finance Center in Gwanghwamun is having a significant sale? I mean, the prices are still high but they're more like double what you pay in the US, as opposed to triple or quadruple. I think the sale goes on through the weekend. I picked up a couple of bottles of Undurraga sparkling wine for 13,000 won, which isn't bad for sparkling wine here, even if it's from Chile. I plan to mix it with orange juice for mimosas anyway.

Thanks for the blog, by the way. It's really been helpful.

TPB, Esq. said...

God bless you, from a fellow wine lover wearing the US green over here that misses the vino. This place is hell for the oenophile. I'll gladly beg you for recommendations for good wine shops, if you'll indulge.

squirrelandgman said...

Thanks for the info seoulgirl. I will try to check it out though I am having a lazy one so far.

tpb, I will do a post on where I am getting the wine soon. As a heads up Les Vins Maeil in the Lotte Castle building(across from Lotte Dept store) at Jamsil has a great selection. Some of the prices are a bit scary though.

Skinny Steve said...

Thanks for the plug! Umm... can you fix the link for our site though? Right now it goes to "Bum Wine." Are you on Cork'd? I've been reviewing some phenomenally bad Korea-produced wines on there, even though my palate's not developed at all.

PS New layout looks great.

Big Bliss said...

I've changed my mind. Please disregard what I said earlier. The new layout, particularly after several hours of Howard's finest, makes my head itch.

squirrelandgman said...

Steve, I am not on Cork'd. I suspect I am a little dense but I couldn't really work out what its prpose was. I think it is going to be updated soon though so I will have a look.
Sorry about the link. Is fixed now.

Meson Decay said...

Hi again, glad to see your blog has updated, and really glad to read your view on the Thorin Beaujolais Nouveau. As you mentioned, the advertising has been pretty hardcore, and I was tempted to pick a bottle up just to try it out - saw loads of it in E-Mart down here in Daegu. I think I'll be spending the moolah on something different now - cheers for that!

SkinnySteve said...

Ah, I just use cork'd to start recording my tasting notes, which I've never done before. It adds them to a database, which is helpful for me because I can find a wine (a big 'if'... about 50% of the wines I try seem to be in it) and look at someone elses notes and try to pick out the flavors in an effort to train my palate. I thought if you're on there too I'd add you to my 'drinking buddies,'

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The Burgundy soil is mainly based on oolitic limestone, upon which both the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes flourish. The red wines, made with the Pinot Noir, are more difficult to grow because these grapes are more sensitive to disease or to being badly handled. Towards the south of the region, from around Macon, the soil changes to a reddish granite schist and sand of the Beaujolais. Here, the Gamay grape flourishes, making excellent red wines, many of which are drunk while they are young.

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