Beaujolais Nouveau, baby!

On the third Thursday of November each year, at exactly midnight, Beaujolais Nouveau is welcomed into wine cellars and glasses across France and the rest of the world gets in on the Beaujolais bandwagon with nearly 54 million bottles being exported to over 110 countries.


This year’s release was particularly significant – after the events in Paris last weekend it was decided by the winemakers that in showing their condolences and solidarity to Paris they would proceed with the release and maintain a French tradition that has been celebrated for over 60 years.

Yesterday, 50 winemakers converged on Paris in iconic 2CV’s stopping at the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, The Louvre and Place de la Concorde with accordions, balloons and bottles of Beaujolais to share in a true show of French culture at its proudest.


The 38 Beaujolais villages situated between Lyon and Burgundy welcome the release with varied events including:

  • Fête des Saveurs in Gleizé with music and a shared meal
  • In Beaujeu, the Beaujolais region’s historic capital, 20,000 people flock to the town for light shows, music and tastings. This is followed by a local food and wine fair for the whole weekend.
  • Fête du Beaujolais gourmand in Tarare, brings together the best of the region’s chefs to cook up a gastronomic menu, using the local specialities cooked… in wine!

French Riviera celebrations

Every supermarket will be selling Beaujolais if you fancy a soiree at home. Most bars and certainly all wine bars will also host tastings.  If you missed the main release parties last night, here are a few places that are definitely stocked up with Beaujolais:


La Noche – 10 rue Sade – 06600 Antibes

Latinos, 24 boulevard d’Aiguillon – 06600 Antibes

L’Enoteca – 6 rue Aubernon – 06600 Antibes

Vin des Stars, 18 rue du Docteur Dautheville, 06160 Juan les Pins


Le Bouche à Oreille, 7 rue des Gabres – 06400 Cannes

Le Comptoir a Vins, 13 boulevard de la République – 06400 Cannes


Joseph, 6 route de la Piscine, MC 98000


Les Epicuriens, 6 Place Wilson 06000 Nice


One grape variety only

Beaujolais is a light red wine made from just one grape variety Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc and there are optimum tasting temperatures depending on the appellation or cru:

Beaujolais Nouveau and Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau are best enjoyed at 12°C, the optimal temperature for a perfect tasting.

Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Villages should be served, after nouveau wines, at 13/14°C, a degree that pays tribute to the aromatic wealth of the Gamay grape.

The Beaujolais Crus are suited to serving at an average of 16°C, this may be lowered slightly, to around 15°C, for a one or two year old Cru, or conversely served slightly higher for a wine that is three to five years old (17°C is perfectly acceptable).

Food & Wine matching

You’ll see a lot of cheap Nouveau on the supermarket shelves and rightly so as it is intended for instant quaffing. Better value are the Villages, and best of all are the 10 Crus.   Don’t worry too much if you buy a bad bottle – there’s always sangria to be made!

Beaujolais Nouveau = as an apéritif, or try with potato gratin, delicatessen meats, cold cut pork

Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau = try with andouillette and saveloy sausages

Beaujolais = try with barbeque food, vegetable terrine

Beaujolais-Villages = try with escargots, goat’s cheese, Bresse chicken

Beaujolais Crus = try with stews, lamb, grilled beef


The Beaujolais Wine Route is a wine tourism trail that details over 160 cellar doors. For more information, click this link



Why Travel Still Matters After Paris

I avoid political blog posts as much as possible because I don’t believe my own views should validate someone else’s debate.

First and foremost, my blog is a source of information and a resource for visitors to the French Riviera – I have no desire to join a public forum about a country’s political policies, security processes or religious stance.

Until Paris was attacked last weekend.

A cruel, unnecessary horror inflicted on Parisian residents enjoying a Friday night dinner or concert.  There has been much debate around the world about media showing solidarity for Paris, but not for Beirut or Kenya or other locations besieged by atrocities.  Not true – France24 had extensive coverage of Beirut, Kenya and the ongoing turmoils in Syria, we all see these events and feel pain of war whether we are directly involved or not.

The vultures of journalism

Over the course of the last few days, I have been helping with media statements for a client (a governmental organisation) about the situation in Paris.  With limited and conflicting information it has been emotionally tiring and I have seen the global vultures of journalism come out of the shadows for the next ‘Breaking News’ story.

Journalists from the other side of the world harassing victims for hours in the middle of the night for a press statement. Reporters creating fake Facebook profiles to gain access to support groups.   Expats having their opinions used in the media without their permission.

Yes, sensationalist headlines sell but I believe more in honesty and integrity, and allowing truthful reporting to leave a legacy to those that are lost.

Why travel still matters

On Saturday, intra-European flight passenger numbers were halved partly due to flight restrictions and partly due to fear.

Any major event such as this creates an uncertain environment for travel, and tourist unease is heightened.  However, I want this blog post to focus on why travel still matters,  why our yearning to discover different places can override our fear.  I am cautious but I am not scared.


Travel still matters.   From the days when dusty old maps inspired intrepid voyages into wild lands and undiscovered cultures, from enticing travel posters that promoted the glory of going ‘somewhere exotic’ to modern day trips where it’s not uncommon to fly for hours for a weekend getaway.

I hope people continue to come to the French Riviera, and to France so they can fulfil their dream journeys in a beautiful country.

Whether you cross the nation, borders or the globe we must keep travelling and seeking out personal connections with people and places.  Travel narrows the distance between us, and in doing so we will come to understand each other better.


Ciné Récré – Kids Film Festival in Nice

For the seventh year, cinemas in Nice are hosting a kids film festival on the dates of 14, 15, 18, 21 and 22 November.

The programme includes old classics such as Pinocchio, Bambi and Sleeping Beauty as well as newer films such as Paddington, Minions and Frozen and is aimed at children 3-12 years with a special admission price of just €3 (or €2 at Cinématheque).  For 3D films, you can purchase 3D glasses for €1 at the participating cinemas.

Ciné Récré 2015 in Nice

Ciné Récré 2015 in Nice

On the opening day (14 November), there is a special ‘Concertoon’ at the Cinémathèque at 2pm where cartoons from the 1930’s to the 1970’s will be screened to live music from an orchestra of Roberto Tricarri.

Participating Cinemas are:

Acropolis – 3, espl. Kennedy 06300 Nice

16, place Garibaldi 06300 Nice

Pathé Lingostière (604, route de Grenoble 06200 Nice) and Pathé Massena (31, avenue Jean Médecin 06000 Nice)


4 rue de Rivoli 06000 Nice

5, bd Victor Hugo 06000 Nice

For the festival schedule with screening times, click on this link Ciné Récré

9 French Riviera Drone Videos Worth Watching

My contribution to this month’s #AllaboutFrance blog link up hosted by Lou Messugo features some great drone videos of locations across the French Riviera.

I have a small obsession with drone videos for tourism as I believe they can really enhance a destination’s appeal and I’m the first to admit I have lost far too many hours watching various global footage on Travel by Drone.

Drones in Tourism

A while ago I wrote a dedicated blog post about Drones in Tourism and since then I have seen a huge increase in destinational videos from both amateurs and certified drone pilots, and the drone sector is now taking the marketing efforts away from the sole direction of tourism boards and into the hands – or controls – of the public.

Drone videos have the ability to take a vertical and horizontal snapshot of a location, festival or event and I have a particular interest in the usefulness of them for persons who have restricted mobility because they often show the topography and layout of a location or city (e.g. geographical slope, placement of stairs, etc) which is so often omitted from tourist brochures or websites.

Drone videos have had a solid uptake across many other industries (such as construction, real estate and military) and adventure sports have seen a colossal regeneration in interest with the likes of Red Bull quickly capturing viewer’s attention with adrenaline-racing footage of mountain biking, extreme skiing and surfing. It is an easy way for companies to spread their brand with expertly filmed videos being shared across social media.

My main gripe with drone videos is the accompanying soundtracks – many videos are accompanied with terrible music!

Here are 9 French Riviera Drone Videos Worth Watching:

1. This superb drone video highlights Menton and the beautiful Basilique Saint-Michel with the bell tower and you can see the parvis made of pebbles based on the design of the Grimaldi coat of arms (Video credit: Drone de regard / Vincent Jacques)

2.  This video includes some of my favourite places on the French Riviera including Lac St Cassien, the Esterel coastline and Antibes Old Town (Video credit: Jamie White):

3. This video offers a superb virtual tour of the gardens and surrounds at the beautiful Villa Ephrussi de Rothchild on the Saint Jean Cap Ferrat peninsula. If you want to visit the Villa, read my blog post with tips for visiting Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild (Video credit: Drone in Nice)

4. This video showcases some of the lovely villages and picturesque scenery in the Roya Valley including the Fort Central and La Brigue (Video credit: Drone de regard / Vincent Jacques)

5.   Monaco highlights slotted into 5 minutes 51 seconds of drone footage including the Monaco Cathedral, Palais Square, Monaco Oceanarium, fly-over of Larvotto beach, Casino Square, Grand Prix highlights, Jardin Exotique, Monte-Carlo Golf Club and more. (Video credit: Team Nanopirate)

6. Turn down the volume (personally I find the soundtrack distracting), then enjoy this excellent drone video with highlights of Cannes, Mandelieu La Napoule and the Esterels including Cap du Dramont and L’île d’Or (Video credit: Team Nanopirate)

7. This video is a nice overview of Tende and surrounds including the Chapelle Saint-Saveur (Video credit: Drone de regard / Vincent Jacques)

8.  A superb drone video by the Droning Dutchman with aerial shots of the Ésterels, Île d’Or, Fréjus and Saint Raphael.

9.   This is one of my favourite drone videos of our beautiful region, mainly because it includes footage of many locations near where I live and I love the choice of soundtrack.  No explanation needed, just enjoy it and understand why I feel lucky to live here (Video credit:  Thomas Hubener/UBNR)

Which drone video above is your favourite? And why?

Lou Messugo