Friday, September 10, 2010

Wine from my collection: Veuve Clicquot

Okay, Veuve is not a part of my usual collection. $40+ bottles of champagne are, alas, generally out of my price range. But my boss gave me a bottle as a going-away present, so I'm happy to pass along my thoughts to you.

Here's the thing about champagne: I used to hate it. It always gave me a terrible headache. Then one day I realized that was because I'd only ever had bad champagne. Bad champagne is too sweet, gives you a headache, and leaves a weird metallic aftertaste. Because it's bad. And probably cheap. The day I had a taste of good champagne was a revelation. Good champagne is crisp, refreshing, well-balanced, and tastes like a spring day when the sun is warm, the weather is perfect, and you can go barefoot for the first time after a long, cold winter.

The problem is that good champagne is usually expensive. I say usually because it is possible to find decent bubbly under $20 a bottle. Champagne is sparkling wine that comes from France; sparkling wine from anywhere else is called sparkling white wine, also known as prosecco (from Italy) or cava (from Spain). A glass of good prosecco with brunch is a fine way to start the day, and it's often easier to find quaffable prosecco or cava or American bubbly in the $20 price range than it is to find actual French champagne.

So, because I don't usually get French champagne, I'm going to enjoy the hell out of this bottle of Veuve (yellow label, non-vintage, retails around $45). We'll spend one night with my sister-in-law during our cross-country drive, and we'll bust it out then, and drink to new jobs in new states. It'll be fruity, with a hint of vanilla and pastry, with a long finish, and it will remind us all that better days are ahead. (Massachusetts winters notwithstanding.)

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