The Release of the 2011 Beaujolais Nouveau

What did you do this weekend? We, here at Haute Living, had the pleasure to travel to the wine-making countryside of France, all while staying within the comforts of the Beverly Hills Country Club this past Friday, November 18th.

The occasion?

“Beaujolais Passions,” a fabulous food and wine tasting affair hosted by the Club Culinaire of French Cuisine, Passions Productions and French Beaujolais winemaker Georges Duboeuf to celebrate the arrival of the 2011 Beaujolais Nouveau wine.

Upon arriving, after snapping a few photos at the Step and Repeat banner and checking in, we were greeted with glistening glasses of the star of the night. As this was our first Beaujolais Nouveau experience, my friend and I looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and took a sip.

The verdict?

It was rather unrivaled! As a wine made from the Gamay grape that’s only fermented for several weeks before traditionally hitting the market after midnight the third Thursday of November each year, there was an undeniable – and intentional – immaturity that defined it. It was light. Slightly acidic and somewhat bitter. I’m not sure I could drink a whole bottle of it, but a glass or two were quite refreshing.

With glasses in hand, we joined hundreds of patrons, ranging from all ages and all origins, in the country club’s main dining room and two outdoor patios. Not surprisingly, we caught countless whiffs of conversations spoken in French, which added to the feeling of being far, far away from Los Angeles.

We walked around, captivated by the many sights to behold. In the General Admissions section on the main outdoor patio area, exhibitors and vendors packed the aisles in a marketplace of sorts. There were vinaigrettes and oils to be sampled; silent auction items to be bid on; French products to buy; vacations to plan. Street artist Evan Skrederstu meditatively created a large work of art on the spot, bringing to life the stunning image of a beautiful young woman.

We moseyed along into the VIP section, guests could have the chance to win a trip to Paris by entering an innovative raffle. We were given a card and instructed to visit six food stations strategically set up throughout the entire space. Upon visiting each one, the chef would affix a star onto our card, which once filled with stars, was turned in to a large raffle bowl. Unfortunately, my friend and I didn’t win, but it was fun to get a taste of the different French-inspired foods, such as pâtés, a Haricot Vert & Parmesan Sald with a Tarragon & Champagne Vinaigrette, Butter Poached Sole with Sea Salt and Fresh Herbs, Ratatouille Niçoise and Assorted French Cheeses.

Of course the night wouldn’t be complete without live entertainment. French guitarist and singer Nathalie Alice sett a subtly sexy mood for guests to mingle and enjoy their glasses of Beaujolais Nouveau with her mellow songs and sultry voice.

We stayed for a couple of hours, mingling, sipping and enjoying the lively French atmosphere that had washed over the Westside, even if only for the night.

Overall, it was a charming way to spend a crisp, autumn Friday evening.

We’ll see where the next weekend takes us as well!

About the Author: Amber D. Wilson is a native Angeleno with a penchant for all things revolving around eating, drinking and being absolutely and incredibly merry. She  shares her passion with others through her own weekly blog, Wilson’s “Where To” Guide . When she’s not out exploring the wonderful new hangout spots that Los Angeles has to offer, Amber can be found traveling, running 5K races and reading books by the beach.

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