Red wine lovers, prepare to either cringe or cheer.
The boozy bathing ritual, which is taking place at the Yunessun Spa Resort in Hakone, Japan, is part of the festivities surrounding the annual release of the French wine.
As Phil Vettel of the Chicago Tribune writes, the yearly launch of the Beaujolais Nouveau is celebrated around the world "with parties, special menus and festive cries of 'Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrive!'" Under French law, the third Thursday in November is the "earliest permissible release date" for the popular beverage.
Quoting the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Patch reports that the Gamay grapes in France’s Beaujolais region that are used to make the red are "harvested by hand, with no barrel aging, allowing the young wine to retain much of its light, fruity flavor making it a perfect pairing to popular holiday foods."
"As a result of the work of famed négociant Georges Duboeuf, the release of Nouveau has become a world-wide phenomenon with a race to get the first bottles to markets around the globe. More than 60 million bottles will be distributed worldwide," according to the PLCB.
The Washington Post reports that poor spring weather has actually resulted in a low yield of the Beaujolais this year. It is "predicted to be half what it was in 2011," perhaps the lowest production in a decade.
Beaujolais producers have insisted, however, that "small berries mean concentrated flavor, thus more complex 2012 wines."
According to an earlier Huffington Post report, the Yunessun Spa Resort is well known for its bizarre baths. The spa offers hot tubs filled with a whole array of sumptuous liquids -- including green tea and sake -- that one can loll about in.
A huge waste of good alcohol or a wine lover's fantasy? Tell us what you think of the red wine bathing ritual below.
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