Scotland has had an alliance with France dating back to the 13th century, and there has since been a great deal of affection between the two nations.
Testament to this are the many fantastic French restaurants in Scotland, or ‘classic French with a Scottish twist’ such as the popular l’escargot blanc.
We all love a reason to drink and be merry, so it seems only right we should join the French in celebrating the long-awaited release of their famous Beaujolais Nouveau.
At the stroke of midnight, on the third Thursday in November each year, the wine is released; this year, that will be November 16th.
Many celebrations take place in towns, villages and restaurants throughout France making it a great time of year to visit.
However, if you’re not lucky enough to be in France, you can still enjoy the festivities (and the wine) as it's shipped early and held in bonded warehouses until 12.01am on the day of release, when you are officially allowed to enjoy it.
L’escargot blanc in Edinburgh is hosting its very own Beaujolais celebration, offering a 3 course meal plus a glass of Beaujolais for £40, with many more ‘crus’ available by the glass or bottle.
Fred Berkmiller, Chef Patron of l’escargot blanc, l’escargot bleu and Bar à Vin, tells us why it’s such an important celebration…
1. Why should we celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau?
Fred said: "Beaujolais Nouveau is the celebration of the first vintage of the year in the Beaujolais area, which is reason enough to crack open a bottle. This year the harvest has been very poor but the quality is exceptional we are told."
2. Why does it stand out against other wines?
"It’s a fresh, young wine and it’s uncomplicated. In France, it’s what we call a wine of friendship, le vin des copains.
"This is the wine we drink during a catch up with friends in a bar whilst eating great charcuterie and cheeses."
3. What are the characteristics of a Beaujolais?
"Fresh, vibrant, light and overall very drinkable."
4. What is it best paired with?
"The lightness of a Beaujolais is perfectly paired with Charcuterie; saucisson, cured meat, ham, rillettes and pig brawn, alongside creamy cheeses like St. Marcelin or camembert."
5. What should we look for when buying a Beaujolais?
"Look out for ‘crus du Beaujolais’. You need to know it’s from a good grower and wine makers, so ask your local wine merchant. Remember, a wine ‘des amis’ should be recommended by the said ‘amis’."
6. Where can we enjoy a Beaujolais celebration in Edinburgh?
"We are hosting our own Beaujolais celebration at l’escargot blanc and Bar à Vin, but I hear our friend Roy Brett at Ondine also has a few bottles for the evening, so head along there if you can.
"It’s also available at Ian J Mellis stores throughout Edinburgh, Glasgow and St. Andrews."
• For more information about the event at l’escargot blanc visit www.lescargotblanc.co.uk