- Title: Japanese wine lovers bathe in this year's Beaujolais Nouveau
- Date: 17th November 2016
- Summary: HAKONE, JAPAN (NOVEMBER 17, 2016) (REUTERS) HOT SPRING BATH MIXED WITH THIS YEAR'S BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU WATER MIXED WITH WINE BEING DRIPPED FROM WINE-BOTTLE-SHAPED OBJECT SOMMELIER, YASUNARI KUWAJIMA, POURING 2016 BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU INTO CUPS CUPS BEING FILLED WITH WINE PEOPLE IN BATH BEING SERVED WITH BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU BOTTLE OF 2016 BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU PLACED NEAR BATH TUB PEOPLE WALKING INTO WINE BATH TODDLER WALKING INTO WINE BATH WITH GLASS OF GRAPE FRUIT JUICE PEOPLE SEATED IN BATH TUB HOLDING WINE CUPS VARIOUS OF PEOPLE TOASTING WITH THEIR CUPS GIRLS TOASTING AND DRINKING WINE MAN DRINKING WINE IN BATH TUB WIND-BOTTLE-SHAPED OBJECT (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) HOUSEWIFE FROM TOKYO, NATSUMI KAIZU, SAYING: "It's good for my skin and it feels relaxing. I feel very good." (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 36-YEAR-OLD BUSINESSMAN FROM TOKYO, KENTA KONISHI, SAYING: "It's weird. But somehow it also makes me feel rich." VARIOUS OF KUWAJIMA POURING BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU INTO BATH (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 38-YEAR-OLD DEPARTMENT STAFF FROM TOKYO, YOSHITAKA YAMAZAKI, SAYING: "I'm dipping myself in a Beaujolais Nouveau bath on the very day it was released - I think I can be boastful about that." VARIOUS OF KUWAJIMA POURING BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU ONTO CUSTOMER'S HANDS (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 58-YEAR-OLD SOMMELIER WITH 20-YEAR CAREER, YASUNARI KUWAJIMA, SAYING: "Customers would be mad at me if I pour wine on them any other day, but today I am thanked for doing just that. What a special day." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE ENJOYING WINE BATH (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH WINE MERCHANT LABOURE-ROI'S ASIA PACIFIC GENERAL MANAGER, MARTIN ROMEIJN, SAYING: "This year's Beaujolais Nouveau, thanks to the great weather we had the last three weeks before the harvest, the Beaujolais Nouveau this year has become a very fruity wine." VARIOUS OF WOMEN TOASTING AND DRINKING WIND IN BATH WOMAN WALKING OUT OF WINE BATH
- Embargoed: 2nd December 2016 07:50
- Keywords: Beaujolais Nouveau wine bath spa Japan
- Location: HAKONE, JAPAN
- City: HAKONE, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA00158U0JFD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Wine lovers in Japan celebrated the release of this year's Beaujolais Nouveau on Thursday (November 17) by bathing themselves in the wine they were tasting.
The resort hotel in Hakone, a hot spring resort town southwest of Tokyo, has been marking "Beaujolais Nouveau Day" for the past 11 years with a wine bath of the latest 2016 Beaujolais Nouveau mixed into their traditional communal baths.
This year, dozens of people flocked to the annual event where they were served all-you-can-drink wine in the bath for 2,900 yen ($26.50). Children and the underaged were allowed to participate with grape juice or any other non-alcoholic drink.
"It's good for my skin and it feels relaxing. I feel very good," a housewife from nearby Tokyo, Natsumi Kaizu, said as she enjoyed the wine bath with her husband.
Asked about the 30 bottles poured in to the hot tub - one bather said it made him feel like royalty
"It's weird. But somehow it also makes me feel rich," said a 36-year-old man from western Japan, Kenta Konishi.
According to the hot spring resort, Queen Cleopatra also enjoyed wine baths.
Organizers even hired a sommelier for the event, whose job included pouring the wine into the bath and even onto the customers' if they so desired.
"Customers would be mad at me if I pour wine on them in any other days, but today I receive thank-you from them when I do so. What a special day," said sommelier Yasunari Kuwajima who's been in the profession for 20 years.
Beaujolais Nouveau is a French wine made from Gamay grapes harvested only months ago and not matured in barrels. It traditionally hits the shelves at midnight ahead of the third Thursday in November, accompanied by a massive marketing fanfare to celebrate the new vintage.
"This year's Beaujolais Nouveau, thanks to the great weather we had the last three weeks before the harvest, the Beaujolais Nouveau this year has become a very fruity wine," co-organizer of the event, General Manager of French wine merchant LaBoure-Roi, Martin Romeijn said.
Made from grapes in the Beaujolais region of France, most vintages of the wine should be consumed by the following May after its release with exceptions for some excellent vintages.
Outside France, where about a fifth of the entire production is consumed, Japan is one of the major markets for the niche wine along with Germany and the United States.
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