On Friday nights, we often entertain. Getting through the week is an accomplishment, and one we like to celebrate with friends. And when we have people over for dinner, I like to put out a little cheese and start the night off with a flute of sparkling wine. I was turned on to this by a friend of mine, a historian who spent more than a decade in Italy, who begins his dinner parties with some light bubbles, Prosecco of course. It allows people to get settled in, snack if they’re feeling famished, and for conversation and catching up to commence. It also, in the case of yesterday evening, affords me time to finish setting the table if I’m a bit behind schedule.
Sometimes, if I’m lucky, there’s a bit of the bubbly left over. When this is the case, I put a cap on it and put it in the fridge, where it won’t have to wait long to be reunited with my fine company. Though I don’t do this during the work week, when my days begin around 4:45AM, on the more laid-back weekends I enjoy a bit of bubbly with breakfast; “breakfast bubbles” if you will. It pairs beautifully with black coffee, and even better with fatty bacon or, in the case of this morning, some homemade yogurt with fruit. It also pairs, perhaps ingloriously, with feeding my toddler breakfast, cleaning up the kitchen after hosting, and preparing to bathe a kid who has both yogurt and potatoes in his hair. Sometimes, you just need a glass of sparkling wine, right?
I know that American sensibilities might suggest that “day drinking” is problematic. This morning, I’m enjoying half a flute of a 12% wine, and while I wouldn’t do it before going to work, I’d be rather offended by someone claiming that there was something inherently wrong with enjoying a small luxury simply because it isn’t technically afternoon, or because the presence of alcohol is somehow evil. Prohibition ended a long time ago — get over it. I’d be interested in the thoughts of readers on this point, but only if you agree with me. (Just kidding.)
The Faire la Fete brut is a really nice sparkling wine, that’s showing as well this morning as it did 14 hours ago. Boasting yeasty notes, also lemon, baked apple, bread, a hint of pineapple (mostly on the nose), and mouthwatering acidity, in the under $20 range this is a solid buy. I’ve been developing a liking both for Cremant (style) and for Limoux (village/location), and this wine only reinforces that preference. If not Champagne, it boasts a lot of the complexities that I relish in a good bottle of bubbly, regardless of origin. I recommend this wine for breakfast or as an aperitif, always in moderation of course. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a squirmy kid whose hair needs yogurt washed out of it.