En fin! Something to celebrate in France

The wine is flowing on this Parisian street.

As locals raise a glass to the Beaujolais Nouveau - the first wine of the harvest from France's Beaujolais region.

And after almost two years of on-and-off again health crisis restrictions, it's giving locals something to celebrate.

"It's quite lively. It's fruity, light, pleasant - that's what we need today to cheer up."

In France, it's a tradition to drink Beaujolais Nouveau on the third Thursday of November.

So the owner of Le Mesturet Restaurant in the capital, Alain Fontaine has been serving free glasses of the wine to passersby.

And he says sharing this tradition is even more important this year.

"If one day we had to tell ourselves that after all the crises we have lived through, there would be a renaissance, that's today. We can talk about the intrinsic qualities of this wine later, but this is a wine of conviviality, of sharing, of community, and we have missed all that during several long months. And so today is the day of the true rebirth in bistros and cafes."

Beyond the pandemic, adverse weather has made it a difficult year for winegrowers.

France is set to produce its lowest output since records began.

But winemaker Julien Revillon says that's not going to stop them from celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau.

"In this quite difficult period, people hang onto traditions. Even if there's a war, we want to celebrate Christmas. Even during a pandemic, we want to celebrate the Beaujolais Nouveau. People didn't stop feeling that way, only that we, the winemakers, weren't able to produce as much as we wanted to. But I think that people are even more attached to this tradition now."

But of course, with grapes just a few weeks old, the wine isn't the best quality... and it's not for everyone.

"It's strong! I don't like Beaujolais Nouveau! It's strong!"

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