• Reuters

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Wine lovers in Japan toasted the release of this year’s vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau on Nov. 17 by swimming in a hot-spring bath mixed with the renowned French tipple.

A sommelier was on hand to pour wine over the dozens of attendees at the 11th “Beaujolais Nouveau Day” in Hakone, a hot-springs resort southwest of Tokyo, where adults supped and swam in the new, fruity offering and children toasted with grape juice.

“It’s good for my skin and it feels relaxing. I feel very good,” a homemaker from Tokyo, Natsumi Kaizu, said.

The wine is made from Gamay grapes in the Beaujolais region, eastern France, and has a quick fermentation process that doesn’t require barrels.

Every year, the new batch goes on sale at one minute after midnight on the third Thursday in November, with Japan, Germany and United States traditionally the biggest importers.

Organizers of the event in Japan said this year’s edition was particularly fruity owing to good weather before the harvest.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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