Beaujolais here but samples will stay corked up

Kyodo News

This year’s first shipment of Beaujolais Nouveau, the young red wine used by the industry to fete the latest harvest, arrived from France at Narita airport Friday for sale starting next Thursday.

The wine, produced using gamay grapes from the Beaujolais region north of Lyon, is traditionally released for consumption worldwide on the third Thursday of November. This year’s batch strikes a good balance between fruitiness and acidity because the weather in France alternated regularly from hot to cool between June and August, said an official at Asahi Breweries Ltd. Although imports have set record highs each year since the mid-1990s, they are likely to drop for the first time in more than a decade this year because supermarkets plan to stop offering samples to combat drunken driving.