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Booze of the Day: Veuve Clicquot

Back on the fizz tonight. We turned up an ancient bottle of Veuve Clicquot what B here was given for a long-ago birthday. Some sites will tell you not to hold champagne for more than six months or a year; a woman at a local winery told us you can hold non-vintage champagne for several years and it will improve (and vintage even longer). This stuff? Not vintage and could be as old as a decade. No way to know. But Veuve Clicquot is a decent brand, so we had to give it a sample.

Nicole-Barbe Ponsardin married François Clicquot (dabbler in champagne, banking and wool) in 1798, but he died seven years later, leaving her in control of the company. “Veuve” means “widow.” She guided everything toward champagne production. In fact, the factory production methods she pioneered went a long way toward establishing champagne as the preferred tipple of European royalty.

Today, it’s…top end of average. Just below vintage. In the £30 range.

This bottle? A little worse for wear. A little flat. A little dark. Eminenly drinkable. I give it

  three and a half drunken weasels, even past its best.

At the Wikipedia article on Veuve Clicquot, I found this neat picture of the various sizes of champagne bottle, which I nicked and captioned. For your boozing edification:



Comment from Lokki
Time: May 23, 2007, 7:54 am

The things we learn because not knowing bugs us:

I knew who Methuselah was, and I’d guess that that bottle size gets the name because it lasts about forever.

Now as for the others, I really don’t know enough history to speculate without resorting to Google – so I did. I share this with you because I assume that thirsty minds want to know. Right boys and girls?

Jeroboam – Wiki says “he became distinguished as the man “who made Israel to sin.”

OK. I can relate to that… even if the real story had to do with the whole golden calf thing and not getting young girls drunk. Maybe the golden calf thing has been mistranslated and it was really supposed to be the golden thigh?

Shalmaneser I (Shulmanu-asharidu), king of Assyria. (1274 BC – 1245 BC or 1263 BC – 1233 BC)

Shalmaneser I also claimed to have blinded 14,400 enemy prisoners in one eye.

Well, that’s happened to me too, although it’s usually been on Tequila and not Veuve clicquot. Still, given a big enough bottle…..

Next we have Balthazar which appears to be a variant spelling of Belshazzar (these things happen when you’ve been drinking). This seems to translate as PARTY TIME!

King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them. While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. So they brought in the gold goblets that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.”

The story also turns out to be the one about “the handwriting is on the wall”, but that’s the next morning, so we won’t worry about that.

Finally we turn to the Magnum which needs no translation – it’s simply one BIG shot.

Now, you’ve learned something for the day and you may return to watching YouTube videos.

Comment from Gnus
Time: May 23, 2007, 9:10 am

The only time I remember handwriting on the wall was when waking up in the men’s room after too much tequila. I still have her number somewhere.

Tequila – Quetzalcoatal’s hammer.

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: May 23, 2007, 1:46 pm

Whatsup with all the bubbly these days? I thought you’d be stocking up on all those fancy single malts you couldn’t get here.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 23, 2007, 1:55 pm

Well, well. How interesting. Our grandparents considered a certain amount of Biblical knowledge a necessary part of a proper education. If I’m not much mistook, one of the Harvard commencement addresses was traditionally in Hebrew. So they would’ve found those descriptions both more explicable and more evocative.

Sounds classier than “fucking huge bottles of plonk,” at any rate.

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