A Perfect Time For Champagne

Roberto Viernes
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Wednesday - November 03, 2006
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My brother and his beautiful bride were married this past Saturday, and since I am “the wine guy” I was in charge of libations for some of the festivities. I love these types of opportunities to show people some new wines, and wines that are just stunning that I know they will love. It helps that I know exactly what they like best.

Or does it? He likes dry and intense, she likes light and sweet. But what do I bring to make them both happy?

In my mind I automatically eliminated red wine for any of the daytime activities since it was a daytime wedding. I also didn’t want to be the one blamed for staining the bride’s dress or responsible for any dry cleaning bills. Champagne was at the top of my list.

I’ll say it again, there is no other beverage more associated with celebration than Champagne. I didn’t think about it when I chose it, but opening and pouring Champagne in a moving limousine is no easy task, especially when the road is the Kalanianaole Highway, leading out to Sandy Beach from Hawaii Kai. But as a good sommelier, I didn’t drip a drop of the good stuff. In this case it was a bottle of NV Moet et Chandon Brut Imperial. It was a great start.

As if we were in a nightclub, the limousine had a terrific sound system, mirrors everywhere and even flashing lights. The Champagne instantly relaxed everyone, bringing out the cheers and joyous faces that accompanied the couple’s first kiss at the altar. Beautifully chilled, it was so refreshing, graceful on the lips, especially on those of the beautiful bridesmaids. It had beautiful aromas of toast, nuts and flowers. It gained in strength as the aromas intermingled with the rose bouquets the ladies had let go of in order to hold onto the Champagne. It made it so much easier to smile in the hot afternoon sun on the beach in a black tuxedo while the photographers snapped away. I felt like jumping into the water, but instead I jumped into the second bottle of Champagne, NV Louis Roederer Brut Premier. The chauffeur was holding it for us to help replenish while we were taking photos. My friend took a sip of it and said “Wow, this tastes so good, even when it’s warm!” I felt the same way. The Roederer was even deeper and more complex than the Brut Imperial.

Watching the couple strike poses of love with the blue ocean as a backdrop, the Champagne in hand and its flavor on my lips, I knew I had made the right choice with Champagne. But then again, you can’t really go wrong with good Champagne.

But that’s not all. I knew those bottles would be dry before the trip to the hotel. So I brought something new that I knew would lift the bride off her feet and help to relax from all the stress in planning and preparation. The Martin & Weyrich Moscato Allegro has an appropriate label showing only two people’s feet as they are levitating above the ground, and that’s how this wine affected everyone in the limousine. “Ooh, aah, mmmm” were all I needed to hear. Exotically perfumed with lychee, rambutan, apricots, pikake and roses (it could have been the bouquets again), it is sweet, but light as a cloud with just a light spritz to tickle the tongue before it glides down. Even my brother liked it. In a short half-hour’s drive we managed to polish off the two bottles that I stowed away onboard.

At the end of the drive everyone thanked me for bringing the wines. No one will forget what we drank that day in the limo. And to cap it all off, at the reception we had 1998 Dom Perignon to wish the best of everything for the bride and groom. It was the epitome of class and indulgence, lovely in every way. I was more than happy to share and help to make an already wonderful and blessed occasion even happier.

And by doing so, I felt like I was blessed too.

Cheers to you, Thad and Shirley!

Roberto Viernes is a master sommelier. E-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
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