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Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Bar Crawl, Paris-Style

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The Beaujolais Nouveau arrived last Thursday. For oenophiles, this is about as exciting as news that Wonderbread has a new variety of white sandwich loaf. The stuff tastes like fermented rasberry fruit punch, in its best years. So I caught some grief when I told friends and colleagues that I'd used up one of my eight nights in Paris last week going from wine bar to wine bar celebrating its release. But between the excellent Beaujolais accordion music at Au Vin des Rues, to the impromptu brass band playing outside La Cave des Papilles around the corner, the crawl was a blast. And what's more, led to some of the best food of the trip. Granted, the national strike kept me from having lunch at Le Comptoir du Relais, but I wonder if even Yves Camdeborde could have made a better sandwich of jambon à l'os, beurre salé and cornichons on baguette as the one Au Vin des Rues was serving. The ham was so meaty, the butter so sweet, the baguette so perfectly crunchy yet soft, it almost made the nouveau taste delicious.

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