27 Co2 -- The Gas of Life! HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2015!
Found throughout the known universe and throughout this planet in most unexpected places, Co2 is truly the gas of life…and the gas that makes Champagne sparkle, it is the gas that brings Champagne’s alcohol to the brain twice as fast - causing the imbibers to break out in laughter and chatter. A room-full of happy people is the loveliest place to be, full of the sounds of life.
Therefore I wish for each of you - in this new year 2015 – a year filled with Champagne and the gas of life.
Madame Bollinger gave her now iconic reply when asked about when best to enjoy her delicious Champagne: “I drink it when I am 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 am thirsty.”
I often advise friends who inquire the best time to consume Champagne to keep a small refrigerator in the bedroom and to stock it with those lovely half-bottles. You never know when some midnight a sudden envie for a half bottle of Rose Champagne might overcome any desire for sleep. It is certain that this small serving of the gas of life will make the sleep that follows one filled with pleasant dreams. By the way, thanks to Beatrice Frapin – when she directed Champagne Gosset - and to Champagne GH Mumm, Champagne’s governing board, the CIVC, directed, some years ago, that the then spreading practice of transferring into half bottles instead of making the Champagne in the bottle, must end. So today any Champagne house that produces half bottles must make them in the time-honored tradition of success, the Methode Champenoise, or in the bottles which the happy consumer will stock a small refrigerator.
So, whether you prefer a Brut non-vintage blended from the three most used grapes, the Pinot Noir, the Pinot Meunier, and the Chardonnay, a Brut vintage perhaps made from a blend of the three but from a single year, a Brut Blanc de Blancs made of only Chardonnay, a Brut Blanc de Noirs, made from black grapes, a brut Sauvage totally dry, or a Demi Sec for dessert, do follow Madame Lily Bollinger’s advice and drink Champagne often.
2014 was a year in which many wonderful things happened to me: Thanks to my new friends at Telemachus Press I published two books, my history of civilization according to wine book,
The Night Julius Caesar Invented Champagne,
and a memoire of my friendship with Julia Child,
Bouter en Avant! Full Speed Ahead with Julia Child, a memoire of friendship; I celebrated happy times with dear friends and have had many friends from the past return into my life; in Las Vegas I toured the Lou Ruvo Center for Keeping the Memory Alive and, over glasses of Perrier Jouet Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru, spoke about wine to an amazing group of fifty women sommeliers. Truly 2014 was a year in which the Gas of Life, Co2, sparkled often.
And in 2014 there were sad events of course: Just as I was publishing my blog on the great and historic wine-maker, dear friend and former colleague, Antonio Mastroberardino, I learned of his death; and just as I was reaching for the phone to continue an on-going conversation with another loved friend and former colleague, Filippo de Belardino, I learned of his death. These men bring the Gas of Life into the universe with themselves, making the stars brighter.