Today’s The Day!

This is it, obsessive wine fans! Today’s the day the insanely popular and fleeting Beaujolais Nouveau hits town. While the annual celebration for the wine characterized by it’s quick fermentation and liberal annual production has taken on a slightly more upscale course than the original bacchanalian bash, many restaurants celebrating its arrival are putting on a more lighthearted show than usual.

Zagat’s has a pretty good roundup of Prix Fixe meals and other nods to the seasonal red throughout San Francisco’s, um, “French Quarter” and beyond. The biggest soiree takes place Sunday at the Hyatt Regency, put on by, who else? The French Chamber of Commerce.

People go crazy for this young, not-too fancy wine, mostly, it seems, because of its well-choreographed annual release. Each year’s vintage, which is only good for a few months, cannot be released until 12:01 a.m. on the third Thursday in November. At that time, the trucks fire up their engines and race from the Beaujolais region to Paris, where the wine is flown all over the world. According to Zagat’s some estimate that half the entire production is distributed and drunk in one day.

The wine is light, for a red, and fruity, described by oenophile Brad Prescott, of IntoWine, as, “about as close to white wine as a red wine can get.” Doesn’t seem to square with the weather in most of the Northern Hemisphere at this time, but here in California, we get special treatment. With highs in the 60s predicted for today and tomorrow, you might just be able to enjoy an afternoon on the patio with this cult classic.

Beaujolais Nouveau Arrives Tomorrow! [Zagat’s]

Today’s The Day!