Valentine’s Day and Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin
In a week, it will be time for Valentine’s Day. It’s actually
one of my favorite days of the year, as it affords me the
opportunity to let my loved ones know how I feel about them, and
it’s also a great excuse to drink champagne.
The perfect beverage for Valentine’s Day is champagne. It is
literally a bottled celebration. I refer to my favorite champagne
simply as Yellow Label, but it is more commonly known as Veuve
Clicquot Ponsardin. It is comprised of mostly pinot noir, and
includes a smattering of pinot meunier and chardonnay. It is
referred to as a brut non-vintage champagne, and is, therefore, the
most reasonably priced champagne in the Veuve Clicquot lineup. It
is widely available in grocery stores around the country, and
typically retails for about $40, but what a way to spend $40! Every
bottle of Yellow Label signals a party, with its steady and strong
flow of perfectly round bubbles, its unforgettable nose displaying
seductive notes of baking bread and fresh green apples, and its
luminescent straw color.
The Veuve (French for widow) in Veuve Clicquot represents Madame
Clicquot, a widow who ran Veuve Clicquot with ample business acumen
and an iron fist. She led her champagne house to world-renowned
notoriety, and, though she died in the late 1800s, her imprimatur
of quality reigns to this day. It’s hard to conceive of a champagne
house more successful and consistent than Veuve Clicquot.
I’m also quite partial to the Grande Dame Veuve Clicquot, a
vintage champagne that is priced higher and is more difficult to
find than Yellow Label. It is breathtaking in its beauty, strength,
and bouquet. The perfect marriage of minerality, floral notes
(especially star jasmine), fruit notes, and yeastiness combine to
make this a truly enjoyable and sexy champagne.
If you want a color-coordinated Valentine’s Day, you’d be well
served to buy the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Rosé. This champagne
house was the first to produce a champagne rosé in 1775, and to
this day, they do it the best. This is also a non-vintage champagne
and is, therefore, more affordable than the Grande Dame. It comes
in a lovely pink bottle and goes perfectly with that bouquet of red
roses. I like to give unpredictable Valentine’s Day gifts and so
pair the Ponsardin Rosé with a pink African Violet instead of the
more common bouquet of red roses, but both work just as well.
It’s easy to pair champagne with food; it tends to go with just
about anything. I don’t mean to undermine champagne’s gorgeousness,
but it really does pair as well with Thai or Mexican food as it
does with caviar. If you want to bring a bottle to dinner with your
sweetheart, there’s no need to be intimidated by a potential food
and wine pairing fiasco. I’ve yet to find a food that doesn’t go
well with champagne. Yet, there are some foods that pair so
perfectly with bubbly that they almost seem meant for one another.
I would add oysters on ice, caviar, or freshly picked raspberries
to that list.
However you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, try to make
some time for at least one glass of Veuve. It’s a beverage that was
made for lovers.