Jan 13 2011
My translation is a little rough, but someone once said to me that a European man will work for three weeks to spend one week on his row boat, while an American man will work for an entire year in anticipation for one week on his yacht. It is a little silly; we don’t all have row boats or yachts, or even a week of vacation time. But then I gave this saying some thought and realized it holds some truth. To give a very loose explanation from the wine-drinkers perspective, look at the way we treat sparkling wine and Champagne; as if it’s the wild and exhilarating boyfriend that we “can’t really take home to mom and dad.” We feel that it is a wine only for celebration, or to be mixed with orange juice so it is OK to have on a Sunday afternoon. But sparkling wine is delightful, sprightly, vivacious, and most importantly, versatile. It can pair with any dish, whether it’s chicken and waffles (yes, I did), or extravagant sushi and sashimi. It can excite and quench the thirst of a sweet wine or dry wine drinker; there is even sparkling Shiraz and Pinot Noir out there to tickle the fancy of red wine drinkers.
Every Sunday I take a sparkling wine to a small BYOB brunch café two blocks from my house, and my fellow customers often look at me as if I am nuts! Or they are envious, in which case I pour another glass and send it over- usually it is a couple with their young children who probably have more of a hankering for a heavenly chilled glass of sparkling wine than I do. But why not celebrate another week passed, and the fact that sparkling wine goes perfectly with my extra bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich with hashed browns? You did an extra ten minutes on the treadmill or in the pool this morning? Have a glass of Cava with lunch or dinner. Your child is in the school musical? Have a sparkling Chardonnay from Washington with the macaroni and cheese your child chose for dinner. You’ve finally cleaned and organized your basement or attic? It’s definitely time to run to Just Grapes and grab that bottle of Prosecco you’ve been walking past in previous visits, then order a pizza with the mountains of toppings that sparkling wine would never argue with.
Sparkling wine is obviously appropriate for celebrations such as birthdays, weddings, or holidays, but let us not forget about the could-be celebrations in between. Even the wineries know you’re ready to celebrate; they’ve prepared and aged their bottle for you so the celebration can begin as soon as bottle is in hand. So stop whining about your winter blues and your kid-after-Christmas sentiment. For celebration, or just the simple need of something to pair with dinner, sparkling wine is always a Just Grapes visit, or 15-minutes-in-the-freezer away from adding a little effervescence to your day. Cheers!