Morning After: Veuve Cliquot Dinner at XIV

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When Veuve Cliquot mentions there is a wine dinner at XIV, your only response should be: What time and what do I wear? The French champagne maker was getting the word out that the bubbly ain’t just for New Year’s Eve – it is a blend of wines after all (okay, I didn’t know that either – my party-girl talent up until now has been being able to tell if the bottle is under $50 after one sip. Well, and that cherry stem thing). For example: their signature Yellow label (you’ve seen it) is 60% Pinot Noir, 33% chardonnay and 7% Pinot Meunier. Winemaker Floriane Eznack was there to explain each blend and how it paired with the food.

Naturally, I sat by the Frenchwoman and had to stay on my toes as “mmm good” and “more please” wasn’t going to cut it. “We use very, very old wines. Older wines give complexity,” she explained – rather excitedly – it’s obvious she likes her job. After each course it began to make sense to me even as everything else got a little bit fuzzy: Yellow label Veuve with heirloom beets (matching acidities); Veuve Clicquot Rose (a crunchy, fresh beverage) with Tai snapper; creamy Veuve Rare Vintage 1988 with filet mignon. In this economy everyone is getting a different perspective on things. Champagne with each course – if you’ve got the money, honey – give them the time.

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