Beaujolais Nouveau is almost here! Where to sip and celebrate

Le Pichet, Cafe Campagne and Bastille Cafe & Bar offer tastings, prix fixe and more
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A few minutes past midnight on Nov. 19 - the third Thursday of the month - tiny villages all over the Beaujolais region of eastern France will move thousands of cases of Beaujolais Nouveau to Paris for the yearly celebration of the young fruity wine made from the gamay grape.

It will be going off in Seattle, too.

For many, the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau signifies the start of the holiday season since the gamay grape goes so well with Thanksgiving turkey and all of its sweet and fatty side dishes. From tastings to prix fixe dinners, here’s a roundup of bars and restaurants where you can sip and celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau on Nov. 19 - and throughout the season:

Bastille Cafe & Bar, Ballard

A tradition since the restaurant’s opening in 2009, Bastille’s party begins at 5:30 p.m. and will feature 2015 Beaujolais Nouveau by the taste ($3), glass ($6) and carafe ($20) as well as older wines from the region that provide a lens into the diversity and aging capabilities of Beaujolais. Bastille will also offer pours from producers of Cru Beaujolais inlcuding Jean Foillard, Marcel Lapierre, Jean-Paul Thevenet, Domaine Diochon, and more. Small plates menu will include steak tartare with truffle chips, butternut squash and leek croustillant, and stuffed gougeres with chanterelle mushrooms and aged Comte cheese.

 

Le Pichet, Pike Place

Le Pichet’s annual Fete de Beaujolais Nouveau is a right of passage for any local Francophile. This year’s party starts at 6 p.m. on Nov. 19 and goes...late. Beaujolais Nouveau will be available by the glass, jug or bottle. Menu will feature traditional French street food yummies. La Foule will start playing live music at 7 p.m.; The Djangomatics come on at 10 p.m. No reservations or cover charge.

 

Cafe Campagne, Pike Place

Cafe Campagne is eschewing party plans this year in favor of a civilized, three-course prix fixe the weekend available of Nov. 19 through Nov. 21 to showcase the young gamay with fatty Southern Burgundian foods such as charcuterie and savory cheeses to bring out the best of Beaujolais. Cost is $35 per person

 

Le Caviste, Downtown

If you live or work downtown near Le Caviste, you should check out the charming French wine bar, which Time Out named one of the best wine bars in America. They’ll have wines from all 10 crus of Beaujolais at hand in addition to their signature scrumptious charcuterie plates, AOC fromage, and poisson aux papillote. That’s a party in itself.