Sunday, January 4, 2009
The first drink of 2009. I am off to a good start!
In case I haven't mentioned this yet, I am very head-over-heels for Champagne. Take me out to dinner, chances are if I have a drink it will sparkle. Level-headed working girl that I am, I often opt for Prosecco or a lovely Cremant. However, more often then I'd care to admit, if I'm buying a bottle of bubbles, I'll take Champagne. No substitutes thank you very much.
Nothing compares to the excitement of tasting a new Champagne, or popping a known favorite. It could be in my head. In fact, that's likely. But isn't that the magic of a favorite food or drink? Full sensory immersion, the chance to taste a moment, taste earth, nature, even a person.
Champagne is something we covet, that we deny ourselves when things are tight as they are now. In my eyes, that is absolutely wrong wrong wrong. Shame on you, Eric Asimov! Suggesting that this is not the year of champagne?! This is exactly when we NEED Champagne! We've been slapped in the face by the transient nature of our lives as we know them. Comforts were fewer and farther between in 2008 and we're supposed to welcome a New Year, and all the hopes and fears it brings, with a glass of CAVA!?! Have we learned nothing from the hardships of late 2008? 2009 would no doubt hold a grudge at such a shabby welcome (and who could blame it!?) and that's the last thing we need.
Sheesh. Live a little.
I decided to live a lot this past New Years eve, drinking a delicious bottle that I've been sitting on for more than a year now. Left over from last Christmas, this particular bottle has been put on ice more then once over the course of the year. I always intended to drink it, getting my hopes up and it's temperature down, but something always got in the way.
New Years was it, I decided. Champagne or bust. Thanks to a pre-party bet with some of my fellow New Years revellers, I knew that though I'd be waiting until at least 1 am to drink it, drink it I would!
New Years eve arrived and I nursed a bright little flute of Prosecco, waiting patiently for midnight and then 1, the sparkling hour, to roll around. The party was a smash, a glitzy treat with everyone dolled up for the new year, toasting over and over from 10pm on, bubbles of all kinds flowing freely.
Of course, what is a New Years Eve bash with out a few sparks and dramatics? Ours certainly was no exception, meaning that 1am came and went without my knowledge as I was quite busy alternately reasoning with a locked bathroom door and yelling at he-whose-fault-it-was-that-said-door-was-locked.
3am rolled around and as the party dwindled the dramatics settles themselves-- or at least took a taxi back to their hotel. I was left to watch the candles flicker their last flecks and reflect on what was--Prosecco-- and what was yet to be-- Champagne.
"So. . . I'm still game if you are." said he with whom I had the bet, my fellow bubble believer. I glanced over at my lovely other half where he sat fading fast, as he had already partaken of his share of beverages. But because he is wonderful and nice like that, he nodded 'sure, go ahead. I'll have a sip'.
There it was, patiently hiding in the back of the fridge. Stark and thrilling, the label stared back at our greedy little eyes --
C H A M P A G N E
Jacques Lassaigne~ Millesime
Without hesitation, we popped the precious bottle. Softly golden, its candlelit glow fizzed into our glasses. A million ferocious bubbles rush to our lips us as we toast. It is divine, at once rich, clean and totally captivating. Hesitant, curious sips become deep luxuriant pulls. Optimism reigns and we welcome the new year.