Today is a big day in France! After a 1-0 win at Croke Park Saturday, Les Bleus take on Ireland at the Stade de France tonight for part deux of a face-off that will determine which of the two countries gets to go to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. In the first leg of the qualifying play-off, there was no luck for the Irish at all and tonight is make or break for Trapattoni’s men. Domenech’s team on the other hand, only needs a nil all draw to qualify for the World Cup, a score les bleus have specialized in recently. All of France is abuzz with the match and football is drowning out the other big event taking place tonight: the official release of Beaujolais Nouveau!
Celebrating l’arrivée du Beaujolais Nouveau has lost some its popularity in France though I suspect it might pick-up tonight. See, by law, Beaujolais Nouveau cannot be sold until the third Thursday in November, which happens to be tonight at midnight… potentially a few minutes after the football match ends. I can really only forsee 2 case scenarios here: 1) Les Bleus lose, the French need to drown out their defeat with massive amounts of wine or 2) Les Bleus win and the French need to celebrate their victory with massive amounts of wins. In either scenarios, Beaujolais wins!
In Washington D.C., it’s certainly easier to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau than to catch the match! The usual suspects will be ringing in the new wine year starting at midnight tonight and throughout the weekend. 1905 & Bistro du Coin are opening up the festivities tonight with a countdown and free flowing gamay. If staying up ’til 3 am on a weekday, dancing on the zinc bar and cheeky puns about getting Beajoulaid aren’t your thing, Mon Ami Gabi, La Maison Française at the French Embassy and Café du Parc are offering more low-key (or grown up?) celebrations on Thursday evening. Rounding up the Beaujolais Nouveau parties is the annual wine and cheese at l’Alliance Française where my friend DJ Herve of Planete Chic will be spinning his usual mix of electro-French tunes while the francophile crowd sips on Beaujolais. Allez Les Bleus et allez le beaujolais!