Monday, April 13, 2009

Worthy of a Celebration

We all celebrate in our own little ways. In 1999 an old friend, Conner, jumped off the King Edward VIII Pier in Douglas on The Isle of Man screaming, ‘Free at last’; he had just got his divorce through. Again in 1999, Tihab, a mad Manchester United fan celebrated the treble by shouting the punters at ‘The Cow’ in Westbourne Grove, London, Guinness and oysters for a half an hour – he later said it cost him about £600, and in hindsight shouldn’t of bought everyone oysters that would later have many of us hugging the porcelain in our respective bathrooms.
Yes, we all love a celebration. So my mode of celebrating you may be asking - Champagne; real Champagne, not sparkling wine. This is not to say I do not like sparkling wine, on the contrary – Australia producers some great fizz like Bay of Fires Arras and Bindi from the Macedon Ranges. But I digress; this is about Champagne.
Ever since the friar Dom Perignon discovered bubbles in the wine at the Hautvilliers abbey and shouted to his brothers, ‘... come quick my brothers, there are stars in the wine’, Champagne has been the most sought after wine coming out of France.
Since the eighteenth century, with the exception of Napoleon Bonaparte who was a mad Bordeaux fan, every head of state for France, be it Emperor or President, has celebrated their coming to power with Champagne. The most famous being Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte where he celebrated becoming the first President of the Republic of France in 1848 with a four day Champagne fest which included an impressive 400 bottles of the then fledgling winery, Krug.
I couldn’t imagine drinking anything else to mark a celebration. When Erin gave birth to Imogen in 2005, we celebrated with Dom Perignon 1990 in the hospital. This was a great wine that displayed lovely biscuity leesy notes on the nose with a gorgeous citrus explosion in the mouth. You see, this is what I got out of the wine; Erin was still a bit knackered from the whole birthing experience. This child we did it right; we waited till we got home, shipped child number 1 off to the grandparents, settled in and breathed in the quiet; that’s when we opened the Krug 1998.
This was a great moment. I love opening up great wines and this was one of them. The colour was straw yellow. On the nose there was a real freshness of toast, roasted nuts and a great hit of bready yeasty characteristics coming through. In the mouth there was gorgeous lemon, almost like a preserved/dried lemon feel – it was long with gentle acid washing the middle palate and finally more of that preserved/dried lemon taste.
Just an amazing wine really. Drink with tuna sashimi or freshly shucked oysters.
Drink till 2028+

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