And so 2022 comes to a close. Father Time with his scythe gives way to Baby New Year 2023. So what do we do? We do what we do best: we drink Champagne! The lavish tradition of celebrating the dawn of a new year with drinking Champagne dates back to the 16th century when European aristocrats were popping the bubbly bottles at their royal parties, making the drink an “elite” item to have and to drink. It was even the drink of choice for Louis XIV. It was truly a status symbol. Today we're not so different!
If we fast forward through history a little bit from the 16th century to the 1800's in the United States, we'll come upon another tradition involving sparkling wine. At the time, the popular custom for people on New Years Eve was for folks to wander around town until after midnight. The concept was to make rounds, meaning they would wander the neighborhood and knock on someone’s door and expect they would invited in for drinks.It didn't matter who you were, you would go round … all day, in the evening, and then into New Year’s Day, and it was about visiting, and it was also about indulging, so everyone was expected to have treats and drinks available. Perhaps the most popular cocktail of the time, and especially for this ritual of merry-making meandering, was the Champagne Cocktail; the first published recipe of which was in the mid 1800's in Bon Vivant's Companion. Classically, a Champagne Cocktail is a sugar cube dashed with bitters, a little Cognac, topped off with Champagne and garnished with a maraschino cherry.
To help us get ready to ring in the new year and a toast of thanks to all of you who come to the Shop and hang out with us and support us week after week, we're going to be pouring some Champagne in the form of Philippe Gonet. Mr. Gonet may no longer be with us, but his House is in the very capable hands of his daughter Chantal who brings feminine elegance and viticulture expertise to the bubbles she creates. Working side by side with Chantal is her brother Pierre, who also makes wine. We'll be offering two expressions of the brother and sister team of Champagne Gonet.The first will be the Philippe Gonet Brut Reserve Champagne in a large format (because go BIG or go home). The second is the Philippe Gonet Pierre Cellier Prestige Brut Champagne. The Prestige wines were started by the late Philippe Gonet, crafted specifically for a friend and restaurateur back in the 70's in Paris. The wine is named after his son, Pierre who now makes this wine, and Cellier, his wife's maiden name.
To finish the evening, we're taking a page out of our ancestor's book and will be serving a riff on a Champagne Cocktail. We're calling it the Stevie Nicks (because whose star sparkles brighter than hers?) and instead of Champagne we'll be using Zingara Prosecco; translated from Italian, Zingara means Gypsy (see what we did there?). So our Stevie Nicks will have the original base of a sugar cube and bitters, bur rather than Cognac we'll be using whiskey and then finishing off with the aforementioned Prosecco rather than Champagne proper. And because Stevie is the star, there will be no cherry garnish.
Come out and join us one last time in 2022 for a great Tasting before we start them back up again in the second week of January. Champagne and Champagne Cocktails to close the chapter 2022 and give you the opportunity to stock up with plenty of bubbles for when that ball drops on Saturday night!
We'll see you there!
The Wine Shop Team