Used to be that every investment banker worth his salt was buying up cases of the stuff to throw a welcoming party for the wine.
This year, not so much.
WSJ: As dictated by French law, today — the third Thursday of November — is the first day of the year when Beaujolais Nouveau can be sold. The red wine, made from Gamay grapes, is the first wine of the new season, and is released to much marketing fanfare each year.
Though critics long have dismissed Beaujolais Nouveau as unsophisticated, the wine surged in popularity in the 1980s and ’90s. More recently, subtle price increases in the relatively inexpensive wine, along with competition from other cheap wines, have chipped away at sales.
Distributors and wine shops expect sales to drop slightly, maintaining the downward trend that began earlier this decade. Last year, 2.55 million bottles of the wine were shipped to the U.S., according to Inter Beaujolais, a Beaujolais trade union in France. That’s down from 3.9 million bottles sold in 2001.
…The drop in sales coincided with a weaker dollar and higher transportation costs.
“We squeezed margins as much as we could to keep it under $10, but that is no longer close to possible,” Mr. Ryan says. The average price this season will be $12.99 to $14.99. That’s up about a dollar from last year, he says. Sales for the 2007 season were down 12% from 2001, he says.
Not only does it cost more than ever to fly the wine but now that we know about carbon footprints that’s a factor too in not wanting to fly them. Sending them by boat takes longer and allows for much less wine to be shipped, thus the higher prices. And, just wait til Somali pirates get involved!
But look at the wine has evolved with the times!
…Among efforts to reduce shipping weight, and also the wine’s carbon footprint: This year several labels are bottling their Beaujolais Nouveau in recyclable plastic. Labouré-Roi, distributed by Palm Bay International, and Mommessin and Bouchard Aîné & Fils, both distributed by Boisset Family Estates, will come in a plastic bottle for the first time this year. And Georges Duboeuf produced a private label blend of Beaujolais Nouveau for Whole Foods Market Inc. that will come in a plastic bottle.
Whole Foods! Kind of love that…
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