I can’t think of a more polarizing style of wine than Beaujolais Nouveau. Made from quickly pressed gamay grape juice in France’s Beaujolais region; it’s the first liquid released from the northern hemisphere’s 2009 harvest. Air freighted to wine shops the world over — who promise not to sell any until the third Thursday of November (which is this Thursday) — it’s either revered or reviled by wine fans.

While there’s no denying that its arrival brings some much needed attention to the floundering French wine industry; the hype — that convinced folks to line up for a bottle back in the ’70s — has been diluted considerably by wet blanket snobs who can’t see the fun past the marketing plan.

Though always light and super fruity; Georges Duboeuf, the undisputed king of Beaujolais, claims that thanks to some great weather Nouveau version 2009 will be one of the best in the last 50 years.

Selection across the country will vary with wines from producers like Duboeuf, Pierre André, Mommessin and Albert Bichot averaging around $13 to $16. Be sure to serve them chilled.