Autumn doesn’t only announce it’s arrival in France with colorful leaves, but with a very unique, very young, and slightly bubbly wine called bourru.
Driving on the outskirts of Bordeaux this weekend, I noticed several handwritten signs along the roads. “Le bourru est arrivé,” wine merchants were announcing, inviting clients to purchase the juice from the first pressed grapes of the season.
A festive mix between grape juice and sparkling wine, bourru is an extremely young wine with a small alcohol content. Taken directly out of the barrel at the end of the fermentation process, it’s still full of carbonic gas and dregs. You won’t find it in a traditional glass wine bottle and stopped up with a cork. Instead, it’s sold in old plastic water bottles sporting pin-sized holes in their caps. Since this energetic liquid is just at the end of the fermentation process, the hole in the cap keeps the bottle from bursting- not so easy to carry home!
Drunk cold, bourru is fresh, sweet and quite lively, thanks to the effervescent carbonation.
Bourru is sold at wine shops at this time of the year as a way of celebrating the vendanges (grape harvest) and is traditionally drunk accompanied by roasted chestnuts, another sure sign of autumn.