I will be the first to admit that I am not the one who should be reviewing champagne. Or really any alcohol, for that matter. Something about reviews should be done by people who enjoy the sort of thing they’re reviewing. Like movies. I love movies. I should do movie reviews. Not this. But I had to say something, so it may as well be here. Oh, and as to why I’m drinking it at all: Someone very kindly bought me the bottle for my birthday, back in September, and since I promptly lost my job, I didn’t have much to celebrate. I was going to open it when I was offered a new job, but that hasn’t happened, and with the move to Pine I’m not really on the job market any more. So I may as well drink it now, while I’m cleaning the kitchen anyway.
I don’t typically drink. When I do drink, it is not typically wine. I’ve only tried a few different wines in my time, and I don’t recall liking any of them. Two champagnes, three not, but seriously, they’re all bad grape juice as far as I’m concerned. Oh, and I don’t like things to be fizzy, so champagne is like taking something I don’t like and adding a feature that I feel takes away from the likability of the thing.
When I take a normal mouthful of this … stuff … even the air preceding it into my mouth offends me. Little warning bells and alarms start going off in my head. See, I know what bad food smells like. I live alone and can’t possibly finish every package of food I buy; not enough things come in single serving containers. Also, I’ve recently been cleaning out my fidginator in expectation of moving out of here soon, and coming across the most interesting things I forgot I bought. And in order to get them from the fidginator to the trash, they have to pass by my nose. So I know what bad food smells like. I know what a dozen types of mold and rot smell like. The smell of this champagne falls neatly into the category of some sort of fruit or vegetable that’s gone bad. Probably something sweet, like grapes or cherries rather than something dull like celery or something rancid like meats.
The first couple of sips were interesting, if not a little misleading. You see, since my body is sure this stuff is some sort of bad food that I ought not be consuming, it let me take the first mouthful, alerted me to possible danger, and assumed I would stop consuming the stuff. The second mouthful, I think my body was too shocked that I hadn’t heeded its first warning that it didn’t know what to do with me and let me just swallow, no problem. I was able to note that it was tart and sweet at the same time, and that the bubbles were annoying.
I paused for a moment, doing other things, running some hot water for more dishes, hiding the soul-eating monster in the fidginator’s crisper for the next unsuspecting residents… When I took the next mouthful, it occurred to me that perhaps I was not properly appreciating it, so I drew air across the surface of the champagne before allowing it to gently cascade into my mouth. I then held the champagne in my mouth, swishing a bit to be sure that I experienced the full flavour experience of the wine, and finally swallowed it.
I then noticed that my face had managed to contort itself into so tight and awful a constriction of muscles that I could not prevent drool from escaping the downturned corners of my mouth. My eyes were squeezed tight, as though the vapors from the champagne might somehow rise up and blind me, and the rest of my face was reacting as though I had just swallowed a concentrated liquid nerve gas. I proceeded to ask Iain via IM why anyone would drink wine, let alone champagne, (which is like wine gone bad via bubbles) and he was little help. He suggested that champagnes tended to be sweeter than wines. I almost want to go try some of the not-sweet wines he’s referring to, see if they don’t cause my facial muscles to actually tear away from the inside of my face.
Every subsequent mouthful is proving to be a challenge. After the first three, I seriously considered just dumping the stuff, and going down to the store to buy some soda or something to drink while I work. Then it occured to me to take a deep breath away from the scent of the champagne and then to not allow air to pass through or to my nose while drinking. This would allow me to seperate the tragedy of the actual taste from the offensiveness of the odor of the champagne. This actually makes it easier to drink. The tart, biting (still screaming that something has gone bad therein, but not as loudly) taste of it actually does have two or three layers of different types of sweet hiding within it. In order to accurately judge the flavour of a thing, it is easiest to separate the flavour from the rest of the experience. To say, “Would I like to be able to get this flavour as a cream ice at the local Brooklyn Italian Ice place down on Mill?” Which, in this case, I would not. (Speaking of which, as soon as I finish this review I’m going to go see if they’re still open.)
Oooop. There goes the last mouthful of the bottle (after not eating for four or five hours, even when I don’t like it I get a good buzz) and the champagne glass I was drinking it out of into the dishwater. (Yes, I have a couple of champagne glasses. Don’t ask me why.) Overall, I would say that I am not a suitable judge of this product. Then I’ll go ahead and say that it is sweet and tart at the same time, and that if you like drinking things that smell and taste like they’ve gone so far bad they’re trying to kill you, you may like this. I’ll also ask someone else (presumably someone who likes drinking wine and/or champagne – yes, I’m talking to you, Zoe) to go get a bottle of the same stuff and write a better review as a comment to this one.
Thank you, and good night.