Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Champagne manifesto

I'm getting out my beret. And not the old Frenchman-with-the- baguette-under-his-arm-and-a-liter-of-red-wine-in-his-paw beret, but rather the revolutionary El Che beret – cigar and beard and firearms and all. This is my Champagne manifesto.

Listen up!

• Champagne is a wine.
• Champagne is made with craft, skill and devilish deliciousness by passionate vignerons.
• No bubbly from elsewhere comes close to its depth, precision and minerality.
• Heavily spackled big house Champagne with lashings of sugary dosage is anathema.
• Trend snobs who say there is no terroir in Champagne should be deprived of any and all of it for good.

So? What are the Champagne lover's commandments?

• Thou shalt quaff of the bubbles even outside of accepted festive moments (baby showers, weddings, New Year's eve);
• Thou shalt seek out diverse expressions of Champagne: Aÿ ≠ Mareuil! Vertus ≠ Cramant! And 2g/l ≠ 7g/l...;
• Thou shalt not be partisan, that said, of a particular grape. No whining, "I love the powerful Pinot Noir" or "I'm a Blanc de Blancs chick" (all right, I have to say 10,000 hail Dom Pés for that);
• A big Champagne house can make good wine (Henriot! Bollinger!); yet
• Big house Champagnes are not to be patronized except in extremis (Veuve Clicquot?! Mumm?! Moët, for the love of god?!) and the prices! Compare Pierre Moncuit to Canard-Duchêne and weep;
• Thou shalt seek out new and unheard-of producers. Raise a toast to Vouette et Sorbée here, please. And tell me every last underground tip...

Phew. Militantism is exhausting. I think I need something to quench my thirst...


peter said...

Preach it sister! (as I guzzle down the remnants of a 1996 J. Lassalle Cuvee Angeline)

SLAKED! said...

This is brilliant Sharon! My personal motto is, there are too few occassions in life to drink Champagne, so you might as well drink it all the time.

Nancy Deprez said...

I'm going to forward this one to my friend who I think will wholeheartedly agree.

le petit said...

Go forth and champenois. I too am a convert, and now I am a working preacher! Fav at the moment is Debas Comin Vintage 96, Chouilly. Big houses are good but you can't beat the little guys!Going back over to the Champagne in January for a two week taste fest....can't wait!