School night schmool night. If you’re a dedicated socialite, you’ll make it out past midnight to taste the release of this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau. The French wine is released on the third Thursday of November, and 12:00 a.m. marks the signal to start popping bottles. Because everyone loves a good countdown, this somewhat nondescript wine is always the most anticipated vintage of the year.
There are two main parties tonight to celebrate the release. Bistrot du Coin puts on the biggest show, and as a result, is very popular. If you’re willing to brave the lines, you can get all sorts of Bacchian with DJs, a dance floor and unlimited free Beaujolais at midnight. Even better: free admission. For a slightly more intimate scene, pony up the $10 and head over to BYT’s party at 1905 to drink as much Beaujolais as your booze-loving heart desires. Pre-midnight drink specials will ensure you’re not actually sober enough to taste the wine once the bottles are finally opened. Doors open at 9:30 p.m.
If you can’t handle work with a hangover, then you might want to try one of tomorrow’s more civilized affairs. The French Embassy is hosting a swank little fête from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. with a gourmet menu, silent auction, live jazz and a DJ. Tickets are $70. Bistro Bistro is also serving up a four-course dinner paired with Beaujolais, which is a great deal at $39.95. Seatings are available from 4:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. and reservations are required.
For those who strictly save their drinking for the weekends, Alliance Française comes to the rescue with a very French wine and cheese party on Friday from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Admission is $35, or $25 for Alliance members.