Conventional thinking tends to relegate Champagne and other fine sparkling wines to special occasions, late night parties, and New Year’s Eve celebrations. But I think Champagne deserves better. As a young man, I came to fully appreciate the wonderful unique wine called Champagne while working in Champagne. Champagne, the original and finest sparkling wine from the ancient province of Champagne, may still enjoy a reputation as the “Belle of the Ball,” a wine of conviviality and good cheer, but it also pairs beautifully with many types of foods and truly deserves the reputation as a wine for all seasons and occasions.
So, why not pour a glass of Champagne on a cold, rainy day as well as a warm, sunny day or serve it at a mid-week meal as well as at a party? Isn’t every day meant to be celebrated in some fashion? Why limit the pleasure of good bubbly to a few occasions or just one time of year? Champagne makes glad the heart as it cleanses the palate and enlivens the soul. For these reasons and more I like Champagne at all times of the year, and I especially enjoy it as an aperitif and a prelude to a fun-filled evening. It was Winston Churchill who is said to have remarked, “In the time left to us between the disaster and the catastrophe, there is time for a glass of Champagne.” And to that I add Amen!