Heard it on the Grapevine: Issue 6

‘I drink Champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad.  Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone.  When I have company I consider it obligatory.  I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am.  Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.’ – Madame Lilly Bollinger

Greetings giddy followers, a happy new year to you! Righty ho, so, two big old boozy events have passed us by since my last article: Christmas and New Years Eve. Not sure how your festivities were, but in my household by 5pm Christmas day the house was catatonic, people started cross dressing and the dog (Gimli) got into a fight with our friends dog (coco). By 10pm, a deathly silence ensued, punctuated only by the snores. Don’t peak chaps! Of course, the nectar that so demolished us that evening and so lubricated conversation and heightened sensation was the most imperative part of Christmas and New Year.  The renowned, the celebratory, the hangover from hell inducing: Champagne.

Synonymous with festivities and those special occasions, everyone needs it every now and then. But! It can be the source of some bafflement.  The pronunciation of so many of those intangible illusive labels, the right price, the right one, of the right quality, for the right event, and the right right right … bugger it you know what I mean. It can be a bloody nightmare. For example, though we won’t look at it today, as there isn’t enough room to include (bloody editors)  Moët & Chandon, (well known cracker) is often a pitfall. Most Brits will say ‘Moway’, Thinking that you would be a pleb if you pronounced the ‘T.’ Indeed, I’ve even heard people before in jest pronounce the ‘T’ as a way of supposedly ridiculing those who actually do. Well, those silly bastards were wrong. You do pronounce it. Anyone who is worth their stock will say : “ Mmoowet.” This is the proper way to do it! It has a German Umlaut! So – get it right, impress, and shoot the others down.

Identifying and knowing which one you like, purchasing it and then popping it open at the right occasion and knowing a bit about it, will hold you in great stead and make you feel like a BAU$$.  On a brief side note, I think Prosecco and Cava is great. Prosecco being the very light sparkling Italian wine and Cava, the Spanish equivalent. Do not make the mistake of thinking that because they are fizzy that they are Champagne. Cheaper and sometimes frowned upon by wine snobs, don’t be afraid to buy it, try it and enjoy it, as a wine which is separate to Champagne. If someone frowns upon it, then they are generally a moron and know nothing: fuck them. However, trying to pass it off as Champagne will in turn make you look like a moron. So let’s get it right! I hope in future articles we can have a gander at some Prosecco’s and Cava’s, but for now, as the tastes and memories of Christmas and New Year have yet to die, we shall look at Champagne. Champagne is only Champagne if it has come from the region of Champagne. The grape variety is primarily Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meniere.

Now, the bottle we will have a ponder on is fucking legendary. One of James Bond’s favourite tipples…wait no, that’s a martini, rather, his second favourite tipple: Bollinger. Classy and punchy, the bubbles are aggressive and in your face/nose. In other words, on first tasting, you get a nice hit. This is quite bizarre I find, as on the nose, we are presented with a supple, cold and delicate floral note. Often described as having an almost Brioche like scent to it. Part of which derives from the chalky soil in which the Bollinger grape comes from. The then punch it packs on impact is therefore a great contrast. Plus, as the bubbles subside we get a great sense of the flavours immediately. Walnutty, Brioche, floral hints, and fresh pear, all swirling round in one great big bubbly orgasm. Awwwww yea. Tight. It’s £40 a bottle, but for a Birthday, Summer Ball, Exam overgasm, I think it well worth the purchase. Over and out.

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