I have a soft spot for Beaujolais nouveau that goes back to college, when it was the first wine I learned to drink (if you don't count the bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill that my high school friends and I found along the railroad tracks on one of our overnight country hikes).
One of my college roommates was from a family of Italians who lived in France and much more worldly than the rest of us at the time. He worked as a maitre d' at a local hotel restaurant, and he often managed to come home with the kind of treats we didn't know and certainly couldn't afford to buy -- New York strip steaks, baguettes and bottles of Georges Duboeuf Beajoulais.
The nouveau, or new wine -- released soon after the Gamay grapes are made into wine -- is especially light and fruity and drinkable, which worked for our young palates. Lots of people still love and look forward to the annual release, which occurs on the third Thursday of November.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is marking the occasion, having proclaimed today as Beaujolais Nouveau Day here, too. The PLCB is doing complimentary tastings at restaurants in Philadelphia, Hershey and, here in Pittsburgh, at Spoon, 134 S. Highland Ave. in East Liberty. That event runs from 6 to 8 p.m.
There are additional tastings happening at Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores across the state, where the 2013 vintage is on sale for $10.99, a $3 discount, today through Nov. 24.
The stuff will go well with your Thanksgiving meal.
I'm going to try to get a couple of bottles, and raise a glass to my old roommate.