Fri, Nov 21, 2003 - Page 19 News List

An atypical night of typical pinot

By Jules Quartly  /  STAFF REPORTER

Bottles of wine, ripe for the tasting, at Le Somellier in Tienmu.

PHOTO COURTESY OF LE SOMELLIER

One of the best tricks of business is to increase revenue without providing anything more in terms of product or production. The keenly awaited arrival of this year's Beaujolais Nouveau is a case in point.

Actually, the wine is not a classy number. It's bottled less than two months after being harvested and is then shipped out of France as quickly as possible.

There are hundreds of wines equally quaffable that are bottled every year in France, but ingenious marketing of the gamay grape by the "King of Beaujolais" Georges Duboeuf, has turned an average glass of plonk into an international must-have drink.

The wine is released on the third Thursday of November each year and delivered to celebratory parties around the world, where the new vintage is unbottled with due ceremony. Japan, South Korea and more recently Taiwan, in Asia, have been taking up much of the demand.

Europe's record-breaking temperatures in the summer are said to have produced a sweet and juicy grape that was picked weeks earlier than usual and should produce a classic among its class. This year, "It's a delicacy," according to Hubert Laverriere, president of AOC Beaujolais, the wine certification board.

Greg de Boisse and his local partners at Le Sommelier in Tienmu will be passing their judgment on the new wine tonight, at one of their regular tasting parties. The sum of NT$750 will allow you to drink and eat European food -- salad, pizza, cheese and continental delicacies -- to your stomach's content from 7pm to 12pm.

"We have done this for a couple of years, but this Friday [today] is just for Beaujolais, many kinds of Beaujolais actually. It should be good for socializing" and your taste buds, de Boisse said.

Clearly a connoisseur, the Frenchman said that unfortunately wine is often badly treated in this country and that is why it's often indistinguishable from vinegar at some supermarkets.

"Some people lack knowledge. Wine is alive in the bottle and if you don't store it in a good place, then because of the temperature and humidity, it can be destroyed."

The event is limited to 120 guests, so get your tickets early, at the shop, which is at 1F, 3 Tienmu W Road, Tienmu, Taipei (underneath the back door of the Wellcome store) (台北市天母西路31). Call 2872 3531.

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