The release of nouveau wines on the third Thursday of every November celebrates the first wines of the new vintage each year and marks the end of the harvest.

The nouveau wine tradition began in the vineyards of France’s Beaujolais region more than 100 years ago when winemakers developed a quick maturing wine to celebrate the end of the harvest with their workers. The result was a fresh, fruity wine that they dubbed Beaujolais Nouveau or Beaujolais Primeur. News of this tradition spread and the annual release of nouveau wines eventually evolved into an international celebration.

In the 1980s, Italy began exporting nouveau-style wines called vino novello and Ontario has, in some years, produced gamay nouveau wines.

For the first time in Ontario, a nouveau wine will be available in a lightweight, eco-friendly PET plastic bottle as eight nouveau wines go on sale at some 400 LCBO stores on November 20.

The nouveau wines are being offered in a range of prices to suit different budgets.

“Nouveau wines are to be enjoyed in the spirit of celebration,” notes Susan Chee, LCBO Product Manager for European Wines. “They are best served slightly chilled and matched with lighter foods or appetizers. To enjoy their fresh, fruity flavour, it is best to consume them young, although they will still hold their flavour to complement a holiday turkey or ham.”

The eight nouveau wines will be available on November 20 at 9:30 or 10 a.m., depending on store opening hours. Each LCBO store receives a limited quantity of these popular wines, so customers are encouraged to shop early for best selection.

The complete list of the 2008 nouveau wines is as follows:


NEW to LCBO – Bichot Beaujolais Nouveau, 750 ml, $13.45
Mommessin Beaujolais Nouveau, 750 ml NEW PET bottle, $13.45
Duboeuf Gamay Nouveau, 750 ml, $8.95
Jeanjean Syrah Nouveau VDP d’OC, 750 ml, $9.95


Mezzacorona Novio Novello, 750 ml, $9.95
Novello del Veneto IGT, 750 ml, $9.95


NEW to LCBO- Drouhin Beaujolais Villages Nouveau, 750 ml, $14.95
Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau, 750 ml, $15.95

For more information on the 2008 nouveau wines and participating LCBO stores, call the toll-free LCBO Infoline: 1-800-ONT-LCBO (668-5226). In Toronto, call (416) 365-5900 or visit your nearest LCBO store. The TTY number for the deaf and hearing impaired is 416 864-6898 or 1-800-361-3291. You can also access the LCBO website.

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