Saturday, November 03, 2007

Vino Novello – Italian 2007 New Wine available Tonight!

At 1 minute past midnight the Novello season begins. Novello is new wine. At one time it was the farmer’s opportunity to try his latest harvest with food and refine the aging process. Vino Novello traditionally makes it debut in the first week in November in order to get a jump on its more famous French cousin, Beaujolais Nouveau. Beaujolais cannot be opened until the third Thursday of November, this year November 15.

Novello, like Beaujolais Nouveau, is a light, fruity red wine which by law must be bottled within a year of the harvest, but in practice is bottled within a few weeks. The fruity flavour of new wine is in part due to the fact that the juice of the grapes is not left with the grape skins that contain the chemical tannin.

One of the main differences between Novello and Beaujolais is that several of the Italian wines retain some of the carbonation used to accelerate the fermentation process while the French Nouveau is traditionally flat. The Italians call a fizzy wine “moved”. Moved wines are a favourite with the younger crowds and women as a daily table wine.

The unusual weather in Italy this past summer resulted in a reduction of total wine production. The exception is Friuli-Venezia-Giulia that saw both an increase in quantity and quality. Novello will also suffer reductions in quantity so when you find it you may want to pick up a bottle. Tradition has it that Vino Novello should be consumed before the first extreme cold (sometime in late December) but current production methods will make this wine available through March.


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