Of Bubbles and Guilt

Posted by Keith Wallace

As the holidays recede ever further into the distance, and as the Thanksgiving-to-New Years need to dull, the pain of all that happy-happy family time subsides, Champagne and other sparklers begin to fade from the collective radar. After all, the logic goes, bubbly is for festive occasions, so why would you ever want to pop the cork of a bottle during these depressingly short sled-dog days of winter?

Simple: Because you should. Because bubbly goes really well with more foods than you imagine. And because claiming that sparkling wine is just for special occasions is just as ridiculous as saying that red wine only pairs well with meat.

It is, I think, a two-fold problem. First, popular culture and the Madison Avenue ad executives have painted bubbly into a bit of a corner: We’re told that a celebration doesn’t count as such unless a bottle of it is popped. So does that mean that it’s gauche to open one when it’s just, say, an ordinary Tuesday night?

Second, most people tend to believe that all sparkling wine is expensive, especially Champagne. So it may feel a bit ostentatious to show up at a BYOB with a bottle of bubbles. After all, how would the Yellow Tail guy at the next table feel?

The truth, however, is that you don’t need to feel this way. A $10 or $12 bottle of Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco is perfectly appropriate to open at home, at your favorite sushi house, wherever. It’s both delicious and inexpensive.

And as for Champagne, there’s more to that glorious chunk of France than $45 bottles Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label. Personally, I’ll take a bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte Brut over the Widow (“veuve” in French) any day. And at around $25, you don’t have to feel ostentatious about anything.

Life’s too short not to drink what you like. And when it comes to bubbly, you have the right to pop a bottle whenever you darn well please.

And you don’t even have to break the bank to do it.

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