THE BACHELORETTE PARTY The most obvious label likely to grace the tables of any bachelorette party is the distinctive yellow of Veuve Clicquot. This champagne is like a bottled version of its namesake, Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin Clicquot, who, when her husband died, inherited his meager and failing wine investment, and through cunning and business acumen turned it into a champagne empire. The Widow (“Veuve” in French) Clicquot practically invented the modern champagne industry. She was a smuggler, a hard-knuckled businesswoman a century ahead of her time and the creator of the riddling rack (used to this day to free yeast from champagne bottles, leaving them crystal clear), and she somehow still found time to invent, as legend has it, rosé champagne. Her dalliances with handsome male employees were infamous (if very quietly so), and of course she never remarried — she would have had to give up her dynasty. Veuve Clicquot is what you think of when you imagine an excellent, consistent champagne. Described in one word: vivacious. Make no mistake, however — Veuve Clicquot is perfect for the bachelor party as well! (The men should be so lucky!) Another option worth careful consideration is G.H. Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut. (Racing fans will recognize the label from the podium celebrations after Formula 1 races; it was until very recently the traditional champagne sprayed wildly by the winner. It is also
the Official Champagne of the Kentucky Derby.) The company was founded in Reims, France in 1827. The flagship label of G.H. Mumm, Cordon Rouge, is like springtime on the nose — it is fresh and lemony — easing into fall on the palate as green apples. The wine has a lovely, dry finish. THE BIG DAY Weddings can be exhausting, and these days they are heavily documentedd — photographed, Facebooked, Instagrammed, Tweeted and Snapchatted, so a refreshing glass of chilled sparkling wine might be just the ticket for getting in the mood on the big day. And if the bride is hosting a private breakfast for her bridesmaids, Cava and Prosecco are perfect ways to start the big day. Cava, a Spanish sparkler named for the caves (cavas, in Catalan) in which it ages, is proving to be the trendiest beverage at breakfast places in New Orleans. Morning staples like eggs, bacon and toast tend toward the salty side, so Cava’s slight sweetness makes for a balanced breakfast flavor profile.Prosecco is likewise a fine breakfast choice—as beverage or entrée — and the point of departure for a million mimosas the world over (just add orange juice). But don’t feel beholden to the ubiquitous, well-trodden mimosa! Santa Margherita Prosecco and peach juice will give you a bellini. Add mint, lightly expressed into the glass, and a teaspoon of sugar make a sparkling julep. Prosecco is one wine simply begging to party with other ingredients.
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