Paris and I have been through a lot this past autumn. The city that is usually filled with life and is home of that invigorating je ne sais quoi came to a full stop one deeply sad night in November. At that very moment, I was working, in safety, in Stockholm. Three days after the atrocities, I arrived to Paris. The city had seen three days of national mourning, whereas I had been waiting five weeks to be there and eat at Restaurant Septime* only 30 meters away from the epicentre of the tragic attack.
The waiter at Septime greeted us with a warm welcome and kindly presented us with the evening’s menu, “At 9 pm Chef will ring a bell and we’ll all have a moment of silence to honour the victims that are no longer with us”, he ended his presentation humbly.
In the very second the bell rang, a total silence followed. A total silence in a restaurant otherwise known for its joyful ambiance and vivid excitement. Such a minute of silence has the power to transform and unite people, at the same time as it may as well create an uncomfortable and deeply moving reactions totally out of the ordinary.
For me, it’s important to go on in life, no matter what. The day after my dinner at Septime I grabbed my camera and wondered all over Paris. I documented what I saw. After all an even bigger reason for me being there was to discover whether or not the Beaujolais Nouveau still was a festivity of the people like it used to be.
The third Thursday in November is a special occasion highly celebrated in all the hippest wine bars in Paris. These joints are all packed with people, plats fly across the room, and wine bottles are glided over the bar counter to the tables. It’s crowded. And noisy. Joyful jazz sounds from a corner and people are seriously having a blast.
“Vin de Primeur” is wine made with grapes harvested the same year; newly produced wine. It’s all Gamay from the Beaujolais region. Beaujolais Nouveau has gained a lot of attention all over the world over the past few years, and rightfully so. It’s an ode and celebration for the year’s hard work. The grape juice has only started to become alcoholic and it tastes more like fruity juice than wine and has this enchanting freshness and hardly any tannins at all.
In Sweden, we’ve opened our eyes and taste buds for this lovely wine style only in recent years. Much of it is thanks to Wine Trade, the local wine importer who’s become somewhat of a pioneer in getting the good stuff over to our northern country just in time for the third Thursday in November.
My experience in Paris this year, and this special Thursday in celebration of Beaujolais Nouveau was intense to say the least. I glided from one wine bar to another, from south to north over the river, slurping the juicy delights served to me. I experienced the feeling of love between people working hard year after the year, the feeling of appreciation for the drink that barely makes into the bottles in time to be poured in glasses and lifted high in the air for santé in the wee hours of the autumn night in Paris.
By: Palle / Viniologi Translated: Edith