The Francophilic wine world’s biggest holiday is quickly approaching, and Portland wine lovers are ready to party. When the clock strikes midnight on November 21, the French government will lift its annual ban on sales of Beaujolais Nouveau, and bars and restaurants around the world will scramble to obtain the first bottles of this year’s fresh, fruity vintage.
• St. Jack & Division Wine Company will kick off the festivities with their second annual Oregon Nouveau block party, breaking in the restaurant's new Northwest Portland location. Any wines harvested and released in the same year are considered “nouveau,” and the Oregon Nouveau block party will celebrate this with 2013 releases of both Oregon winemakers and French imports. Featured winemakers will include Bow and Arrow, Grochau Cellars, Brandborg, and special guest Terroir Originels all the way from Beaujolais, France. Guests will also enjoy complimentary food from an all-star lineup of Portland restaurants, including Ox, Gruner, Nostrana, Nedd Ludd, Clyde Common, and Salt & Straw. Proceeds will benefit the Oregon Food Bank—details below!
• Mere blocks away, St. Honoré Boulangerie will be serving a flight of nouveau-style beverages, accompanied by a sneak peek of the Alsatian-inspired menu set to launch at the bakery's soon-to-debut Southeast Division location. The $9 flight & bite trio features Cidre Nouveau with pork rillets, Oregon Gamay Nouveau with chevre chaud, and country pate with Beaujolais Nouveau.
• The festivities continue at Multnomah Athletic Club, where Chef Philippe Boulot and Deutsch Family Wine will present a traditional feast honoring the year’s Gamay harvest. Guests will wine & dine on Duboeuf Nouveau Beaujolais a 24-hour roasted pig from Carlton Farms, and a variety of other delicious food.
• The revelry wraps up on Friday with one of Portland’s longest-running Beaujolais celebrations. The Heathman Restaurant and Bar will once again team up with the French-American Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance Française of Portland to feature nouveau wines imported from French vineyards (think Duboeuf, Drouhin, and Terroirs Originels) as well as regional wineries (WillaKenzie Estate and Pacific Rim). Guests will feast on grass-fed beef, roast pig, Hardy cognacs, Pernod absinthe, Virtue cider, and much more. Sally Ramirez of KGW News Channel 8 will serve as master of ceremonies, and live music, games and raffles will be featured throughout the festival.
Don’t know which party to pick? Here are more freshly harvested details:
• Flight and Bite Trio of Nouveau Beverages
Thursday, November 21 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.
St. Honoré Boulangerie, 2335 NW Thurman St.
Tickets: $9 per flight.
• 2nd Annual Oregon Nouveau Block Party
Thursday, November 21 from 6 to 10 pm.
St. Jack NW, 1610 NW 23rd Ave.
Tickets: $25 at the door.
• Beaujolais Nouveau Party at the MAC
Thursday, November 21 at 6 pm.
Multnomah Athletic Club, 1849 SW Salmon St.
Tickets: $45 — call 503-517-6601 to reserve a spot.
• 12th Annual Beaujolais Nouveau Festival
Friday, November 22 at 6 pm.
The Heathman Restaurant & Bar, 1001 SW Broadway St.
Tickets: $70 — purchase here.