Each year, in France, at one minute past midnight on the third Thursday of each November, millions of bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau start their journey to all four corners of the world under the heading of “Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrive” (The new Beaujolais has arrived). Well actually the powers to be changed that in 2005 to “It’s Beaujolais Nouveau time” but I still prefer the old saying.

Anyway, the third Thursday (today) is the official release date each year of this young red wine and due to some clever marketing promotions, popularity and consumption grew massively, especially in the 1980’s. Crazy stunts were performed to transport cases of the new wine across the world, these stunts included transporting the wine on motorbikes, classic and vintage cars, lorries, coaches, busses, hot air balloons, planes, Concorde on one occasion, and even an elephant. I myself have fond memories of being part of a convoy of cars organised by the local radio station that drove to the wine region to collect a case of wine, my car covered in sponsors stickers.

The thing is, it was all good fun, a great way to promote the product, and a lot of the time as it was entertaining news, the radio and TV stations covered it for free – now that’s clever marketing!