Rack up enough time at enough newspapers in enough places and you rack up freebies. Dance clubs and live jazz bars (Manchester, England); tabloid groupies (South Florida); wine tastings, movie tickets, theater (Atlanta, Georgia); title fights (Las Vegas). But one thing you rarely find is free booze in the office. From the eclectic array on the drinks table by the editor's door at Weekly World Headquarters, you are very kindly offered a bottle of 2011 Beaujolais Nouveau from good ol' George Duboeuf. You say, "Gracias, señor."
Nouveau is released at 12:01 a.m. the third Thursday of every November with the intention of being swigged in a timely manner. Six months ago, you downed more than one bottle from Henry Fessy and Joseph Drouhin. It's all about freshness. Sitting on your balcony with a Partagas Black Label Maximo cigar, you crack the Duboeuf. You're not expecting too much.
Sacre bleu! C'est si baise bon! C'est formidable! Last year's Nouveau was hailed on release as the best in recent years. Made from handpicked Gamay grapes in France's Beaujolais region, unusual weather led to earlier harvests and a higher quality wine. You discover the sweetly fruity Duboeuf has kept its strawberry flavors superbly, with a discreet layer of soft tannins adding a pleasing, slightly dry edge. One glass in and you're already pacing yourself. It even makes the Partagas taste better. Two glasses and you're Googling local wine stores for the best deal on a case. Three, and you've decided ... that new honcho, the Mexican? He can stay.