Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Best Wine for the Moment

I'm a snob.  Particularly when it comes to sparkling wine.

Not much of a secret, really.  I write ranting posts like this one.  I've yelled at family members.  Things like, "it's not Champagne, dammit!" have burst from my lips... words before thoughts, it seems.  Never do I intend to come off like a pretentious jerk-ass.  It's sort of a bubbly version of Tourette's.

Furthermore, I find myself- inadvertently- turning my nose at most big California producers.  For no good reason.  I guess I just want to put my dollars towards something obscure, with little financial backing or marketing.  Maybe I'm just cheering for the underdog.  The small market team.

To summarize, when it comes to bubbly, I have no verbal filter, and an animosity towards capitalism.  Guess that makes me the sparkling wine equivalent of Steve Heimoff talking politics on Facebook.

So, why did I find myself purchasing, opening, and drinking this bottle on Saturday?

Domaine Chandon is a Napa Valley-based (Yountville) sparkling wine producer owned by Champagne giant Moët & Chandon.  They produce nice, serviceable sparkling wines that retail around $15-20.  That is to say, wines that- due to my hubris- I tend to avoid like half-priced sushi.

But sometimes, the bottles we would normally never choose are the absolutely perfect selections for the occasion. My wife and I drank this Saturday morning in some mimosas (sans the orange juice) to kick off our five year anniversary.  Chandon was one of the wineries we visited on our honeymoon in Napa.  The pink-tinged bubbly, a Blanc de Noirs (meaning "white from blacks", indicating it's a wine made entirely from "black" grapes:  Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier), was rich, satisfying, and a spectacular way to remind us of the joy of the simpler times.  Back then, we didn't carry the obligations we carry now, and I certainly didn't give nearly as much a damn about what we were drinking.  

At that particular moment in time, there was no wine more appropriate than a Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs.  It will always share an emotional connection with me.  Basking in the afterglow on a pleasant April evening in the Napa Valley, I sipped with my new best friend for life... completely oblivious to how much of a snob I would become.

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