November 19, 2005 - #51
This year's Beaujolais Nouveau is here!
An annual tradition in France is the uncorking of Beaujolais Nouveau on the third Thursday of November. In Beaujeu (a department in the Rhone Valley), the capital of Beaujolais wine, the first barrels were officially opened at midnight on November 17. In Japan, the largest importer of this wine, over Germany and the United States, the wine began to flow on Wednesday, November 16, with the time change making it midnight in France. According to connoisseurs, the 2005 vintage is characterized by the aromas of blackberries and currants. „Structured and mature,‰ as well as „satisfying in taste and high in color,‰ it‚s garnet red hue is considered to be a little darker than the usual ruby red. „A bit heartier and less sweet than previous years, this wine has the potential to age for several months or even years,‰ explains Frederic Schaff, secretary of the sommeliers association of the Rhône-Alpes region. Between Macon and Lyon, 72 towns produce Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais Village, and the ten individual Beaujolais appellations: Brouilly, Chenas, Côte de Brouilly, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin à Vent, Régnié, and St-Amour. These age nicely after several years in the bottle. The locals wait until the next spring after the hand-picking of the grapes in the fall to taste that year‚s wine. They are patient until „the wines of Beaujolais have celebrated their first Easter,‰ say the vintners, or in other words the wines are mature enough to drink. In Saint Barth, wine shops and restaurants hosted Beaujolais Nouveau wine tastings on Wednesday evening, with many local connoisseurs in attendance.
Since summer, island residents have been surprises to see numerous red lights controlling single lane traffic, and long lines of cars, as repair work continues on the local roads. In St. Jean, a light that was installed at the intersection of the Eden Rock and the St. Jean Carenage pond since July has been moved several times and is now in front of the Vaval shopping center. The work entails the laying of larger diameter pipes to carry city water. In front of the Villa Creole, the road bed was made higher and leveled. Those familiar with that spot will remember that its former, lower level had a tendency to flood with any serious rainfall, causing problems for pedestrians as well as low cars that had to wait for
water to run off. In order to complete this phase of the work, the municipal technical services department closed to road in the direction of the Terrasses de St. Jean, forcing cars to drive through the Vaval parking lot or make a detour by way of St. Jean Carénage, Lurin and Saline.
After roadwork caused the closing the road to Anse des Cayes, with a detour by way of Public, Corossol and Colombier, was completed, the Conseil Général decided to build a retaining wall along the road that leads to the beach in Anse des Cayes. The result, another red light installed for over two months. Once that work was finished, the same traffic light was moved to the road in Flamands where the technical services department decided to repave and fix the shoulder of the road.
Another place currently under construction is in Colombier where a section of the road is being widened. Several landowners agreed to give a small piece of land so that the width would be five meters, the width of most of the roads on the island. In Lorient, traffic was slowed down on the stretch of road from the Oasis shopping center and the bakery. The goal of this work was the creation of a sidewalk and the placement of underground telephone and electric lines. The streets of Gustavia were also torn up as drainage pipes were laid. In spite of the inconvenience caused by all these improvements, that should be finished by the end of the month, the residents of the island proved they could be patient. Everyone understands that the goal is a better road system where we can all drive more safely.
More to come