Robert Trout Commentary – Nouveau Beaujolais – December 2, 1974 – ABC Entertainment Network – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Nouveau Beaujolais – you may think it’s been part of the American Epicurean experience since somewhere around Plymouth Rock. Strangely, no. The phenomenon known as Nouveau Beaujolais was a well kept secret in the Burgundy region of France up until just after World War 2. Prior to that, it was a mysterious genre of wine that, as it was officially named Nouveau Beaujolais in 1951, was available only once a year, and not allowed to be sold before December 15th and not allowed outside of the Beaujolais region.
Over the years the popularity of this wine spread and it became something of a cult item among foodies and consumers alike. The dates of its release were moved up to around November 14th and it quickly became a competition among wineries as to who was going to get the goods to market first. It became a national French phenomenon and finally managed to latch on to the American market beginning in the late 1970s and became part of Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities starting in the late 1980s.
This commentary by veteran Journalist and newscaster Robert Trout, who was at the time living in Paris at the time, talks about the Nouveau Beaujolais phenomenon, especially how it was beginning to make its presence know around American Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner tables in 1974. Via Media and marketing campaigns it had already created a stir in Britain and was wildly popular throughout Europe before the reputation spread west. Sights were rapidly being set on Asia as the next likely target for Beaujolais Mania.
So if you ever wondered where some of these customs got started and how old are they, here’s a piece about one that isn’t really that old and whose popularity was pretty much hatched by those clever marketing folks wondering what to do with a bumper crop of wine you could only drink once a year and didn’t age well.
For your curiosity, here’s Robert Trout Commenting on Popular Culture on December 2, 1974.
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