Silly title, I know. But sometimes, when it's getting late in the evening, and you've spent the day convincing folks to talk about what you do (yeah, I'm a flack, among other things), and you're on your second glass of Côtes du Rhône, well, you stretch things a little. But I'm not writing about that. I'm writing about this: The magic is working, and the Moveable Feast I've been wishing for is becoming more commonplace here in La-La Land. Is it the economy? The weather? The fact that, as Salon.com claimed a few days ago, celebrity culture is dead?
I'm not hunting for the reason. I don't really care. I only know that, on Christmas night, several handsome men showed up at my door bearing food, wine and holiday cheer, and all I had to do was crank up the tunes and set the table. (Okay, I did the dishes, but I actually like that part, if you can believe it. Nothing calms me more after a hard night of hostessing than wrestling the chaos back into the cabinets.)
Now, here's the part where I give props to the Veuve. Remember that awful holiday party game I wrote about in my last post? ("It's called 'White Elephant,' said Victor. Well, that's a mystery solved, isn't it?) I guess I have to drop my antipathy towards playing it, because it was a major source of my holiday libations this year. I scored the Fabulous Mr. DeVito's Limoncello. And Jeffy scored the Veuve Clicquot. It was the Brut Carte Jaune -- the famous yellow label, serviceably delicious, perfectly suitable for the evening's festivities.
I have to 'fess up to a bit of a soft spot for the Veuve. We drank it more than a decade ago to celebrate the birth of our daughter, although the occasion was, to us, a little more important than this year's Christmas party. We feted the arrival of our little rose with a bottle of La Grande Dame Rosé. The 1995 vintage will set you back 200+ smackeroos at the moment. (For me, it was worth every penny, and then some.)
I also love Veuve Clicquot because the Champagne house was founded by a woman--a widow, no less--who launched her career after the combination of a disastrous economy and typhoid (let's hope typhoid doesn't creep into our disastrous economy anytime soon) turned her into an 18th-century entrepreneur. "Veuve," BTW, means "widow" in French. Just in case you thought it meant something sexy like "This is wine Diddy would buy at a nightclub," or "If you drink this, George Clooney will kiss you." To this day, Veuve Clicquot is run by a woman. The latest president, Cécile Bonnefond, possesses a typically great French haircut. All French women have great haircuts. It's apparently a modern trait, however -- as you'll quickly determine once you check out the picture of the original Widow Clicquot on the website.
That's another one of my favorite things about Veuve: reading the website. Its fluid French copy just sounds better and better, the more Veuve you consume. Try it. Slurp down a couple of glasses and say this: "Cette année, elle le met une fois de plus au service de Veuve Clicquot, en créant une nouvelle pièce, magnifique : un écrin mystérieux, abritant le champagne La Grande Dame 1998, réinterprété par Andrée Putman avec style, touch & twist."
Hot, isn't it? Maybe George Clooney will kiss you, after all.
There's a new biography out about the Veuve with verve, BTW. It's called The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It. Even though Christmas is pretty much over, and Amazon has declared their season a success, I'm sure they wouldn't mind if you picked up a post-holiday gift. Just remember to read it with a coûpe de Champagne, and thank a certain widow who busied herself turning a crystal ceiling into glasses full of star-laced dreams.
Bonne Année, mes chéries.