ボジョレー・ヌーヴォー Beaujolais Noveau in katakana.
In 2017, Beaujolais Nouveau Day was November 16th. It is a red wine made from Gamay grapes in the Beaujolais region of France. It is the most popular “vin de primeur,” being fermented for only a few weeks before being released for sale on the third Thursday of November.
Beaujolais Nouveau is an extremely popular wine in Japan. Perhaps it is due to its “exclusive” release date? I really don’t know, because I consider it typically not a very good wine… and this year my husband was swayed by the colorful marketing of ボジョパ Bo-jo-pa (translation: it is a shortening of “Beaujolais Party”) in stores, forgetting past attempts to drink this years ago and my admonishments regarding drinking this wine. So he ended up bringing home a half size bottle, and was reminded why we never purchase it. If you would like to find it, just go to any grocery or liquor store in Japan.
In Hakone, the Yunessun onsen (hot springs) has a special wine bath, possibly inspired by the Japanese obsession with this wine… errrr, interesting, right?
Well, anyway, you will see this wine being marketed heavily in Japan during November near its release date. Some people even pre-order it. I have seen event flyers for “midnight release” parties. I fail to understand, as most of it seems to come in the plastic bottles with screw tops. And not to be judge-y, but that typically does not signal a fine quality wine. The labels are often very floral and colorful, kind of reminding me of girly shampoo bottles. But, to each their own… if you like it, enjoy it, and maybe check out Yunessun in Hakone?