Tomorrow is the third Thursday of November and that means it’s time for the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau – the first French wine of the 2008 harvest. The French have managed to turn this yearly event into marketing gold and, as a result, now we have an excuse to celebrate. While most events don’t kick off until Thursday, there are many “Franc-oenophiles” that get a head start as soon as the clock hits 12:01am tonight. Which brings us to our first, and DC’s most popular, Beaujolais Nouveau release party.
Bistrot du Coin: Every year, this Dupont Circle bistro hosts one of DC’s best release parties starting with dinner service on Wednesday night and going late into the evening with a dance party and the corks coming out of the bottles of 2008 Beaujolais Nouveau at 12:01am. The popularity of this event makes it hard to get in, and if you’re looking for a table for dinner you can forget about it cause they’re already booked. But don’t let that stop you, once dinner is over they move aside the tables and let more people in for the dance party and wine. Or if you’re like me, you can wait until Thursday night when it’s not as crowded (but that’s kinda lame)
1905: Another Wednesday night event, this new bistro in the U Street/Shaw neighborhood (and conveniently located around the corner from my house) is hosting A Breathless Beaujolais. The event starts at 9pm and is sponsored by the blog Brightest Young Things. Apparently the RSVP list is already booked but you might be able to get in at the door. $10 cover charge.
Beaujolais-Not-So-Nouveau: This event is sponsored by the French Wine Society, the International Club of DC, and GiraMondo Wine Adventures, and takes place on Thursday night from 6:30-8:30pm. There’s a $19 cover that includes one glass of wine and appetizers and then you’ll have to pay for additional glasses of wine. Or you can pony up for the $59 VIP package. The event is located at the Embassy Suites Hotel.
Cafe du Parc: If you’re looking for more of a relaxing evening and a nice meal, then you might want to consider dinner at Cafe du Parc on Thursday night. The restaurant will be serving a seasonal menu in honor of the Beaujolais release.
Mon Ami Gabi: Another food category highlight, the Bethesda location of Mon Ami Gabi is also serving up a Beaujolais inspired menu starting Thursday night and running through the 26th. And up until the 21st, the restaurant is offering a special Appetite Stimulus Plan featuring a three-course fixed menu for lunch and dinner at $24 and $35 respectively.
Alliance Francaise Beaujolais Nouveau Wine and Cheese Party: The DC French Cultural Society hosts it’s annual release party on Friday from 6:30 to 9:30pm. Tickets are $35 for non-members and $25 for members.