While the fourth Thursday of each November conjures up visions of turkey and the trimmings, it's the third Thursday of the same month that rouses wine lovers. Each year, George Duboeuf and his merry men and women pop the corks at midnight and declare "Nouveau Day" in honor of the new vintage of Beaujolais.

Celebrations abound across the world (in Japan, the largest market for the wine, fans participate in elaborate parades). Franck Duboeuf, heir apparent to the global phenomenon his father built, travels to New York City for the uncorking and fanfare.

Made from the Gamay grape, the wine is fizzy, fruity and a little frivolous, thanks in equal parts to carbonic maceration, a fermentation process that gives the wine its characteristic spritz, and clever marketing. The wine goes from vineyard to market in a matter of months, giving it a youthful expression. Full of fresh, happy fruit, "think bananas, mango and bright berries," says Franck, Beaujolais Nouveau is very much a live-in-the-moment kind of wine.

Photo courtesy mondoramas.com