Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Drinking Someday's Wine Today

Champagne is largely considered by ordinary folks to be a "special occasion" wine. Usually, Champagne is rather costly. Finances unfortunately play into the notion that a pricey bottle should be saved for another time. Get something under a screw cap for today. After all, we have to drink tomorrow, too.

This fine bottle of bubbly was given to me as a birthday present several years ago. We were holding on to it for a very special occasion. We asked ourselves recently, "What is more special than today? How many more tomorrows can we count on?" Instead of holding it back for some special day that - truthfully - might never come, we popped the cork and enjoyed the moment that is now. We think it was a wise decision.

Moët et Chandon is the biggest Champagne house in France, founded in 1743 by Claude Moët. Best known for their top-shelf brand, Dom Pérignon, Moët made White Star as a non-vintage Champagne. It was discontinued in 2012, replaced by the Imperial label which has been around since the 19th century. I understand that White Star was a bit sweeter than the super-dry Imperial, which sees a more restrained dosage - the introduction of sugar into the fermentation process.

The nose is yeasty and a little bit funky, with the smell of a wet sidewalk after a rain wafting in late. Flavors of peaches and apples strain to be noticed above the minerals and toasty notes. It is not bone dry, but the sweetness is quite restrained and the acidity is a notch right over "zippy." This is how - for me, anyway - Champagne is supposed to taste.

Pair what you like with it - rare tuna, potato chips, wedding cake, the dessert tower - or light up a big fat Cuban cigar with a hundred dollar bill and blow smoke onto the poor folks. Or, just pour, toast and sip. Cheers.