Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Campaign Promise Fulfilled

I promised that I would drink the 2002 Huët Vouvray Petillant Brut on election night. In fact, I'd been saving it for a year for just that night. But I didn't follow through. Instead, capital-H History called, and I celebrated with 150,000 of my fellow Chicagoans at the Barack Obama rally in Grant Park.

I opened the Huët the following night instead. So let's just call the promise fulfilled.

This is an uncommon wine of uncommon beauty, an expression of chenin blanc I've never quite had. I could spend a lot more time with many more bottles to fathom its depths. That night, and the next, I found an aroma that reminds me of mustard seeds sauteed in clarified butter. The nose also showed deep honey wax and spiced apples. The mousse was fine and luscious, the yin to the precise acidity's yang. An astonishing depth unfolded over the long finish: the round texture gave way first to subtle bready notes and then to layers of salty minerals, zingy ginger, and at its core, a platonic ideal of green apple.

The Petillant Brut was everything I wanted it to be and everything I expected it would be. But until I actually experienced it, I couldn't really know it or feel it.

It's like the moment when Obama officially won Virginia. Yes, I expected the victory, but only when he had actually won the former capital of the Confederacy did the full weight of history press down upon me. Days later, it is still pressing.


David McDuff said...

Great wine, Mike, and a great moment (even if delayed by a day) at which to enjoy it.

Wicker Parker said...

Both experiences had to be savored completely, so in retrospect the timing working out perfectly. Cheers to a new world.