WARREN (WWJ) –  This is a big day for wine lovers, as the new crop of Beaujolais Nouveau officially goes on sale. It’s French wine that’s not fermented very long, and its release on Thursday has been eagerly anticipated.

Dean Champane of Champane Wine Cellars in Warren tells WWJ’s Sandra McNeil when wine lovers pop the cork on the new Beaujolais Nouveau, it’s a worldwide celebration.

“In France, you might end up just walking to the Beaujolais … the region and, on the way there, have several taverns that pull you in and say here, try Beaujolais Nouveau, and people will just be having a great time,” said Champane.

“You might ride your bicycle over there, you might drive. It’s just a huge party that starts in France and just ends up going throughout the whole world in a very short period of time,” he said.

It’s French law that the vintage cannot go on sale before this day, but Champane got an early taste.

“We immedialty picked up ripe red fruit, hints of wild strawberry, blueberry, and, just on the finish, a slight tone of peach,” he said.

Champane said it’s a good year, but doesn’t quite match 2005 when a warm spell made the fruit particulary flavorful.

Champane’s store opens at 7:30 a.m. to a line-up of people waiting to buy.  He’s also holding a special tasting Thursday night. The event, from 6 – 7:30 p.m., includes tasting of eight Beaujolais Nouveau wines, plus 17 other wines from the Beaujolais region in France, and hors d’oeuvres. Admission is $15.

Get the details at: www.champanes.com.

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