Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Last of the Tomatoes with the Widow


Cooler nights are creeping in. But there's still time for porch sitting and a fresh, cool repast. This is when something sparkling alongside simple fare is the perfect usher into fall. Veuve Clicquot goes back a long way in this family. It was the wedding wine, the honeymoon wine in France, many years ago. It's often been a celebratory toast since. But it's seldom been for no reason. But then, can't you always come up with a reason?

This is the non-vintage orange-label Veuve so easily found. It tastes and smells of fresh biscuits and mock orange. It's clean, crisp, savory with almost a hint of sesame. And it's what was needed for this evening's farewell to the tomatoes. Tomatoes and champagne? Odd perhaps but yes.

A stack of heirloom tomatoes graciously bestowed by a colleague, three ripe avocados, jalapenos from another friend's garden, a fine dice of red onion, a side plate of Stilton, smoked trout, toasted baguette, and the Widow. This is a fine September evening in the South.

Veuve Clicquot, The Widow Clicquot was an innovator. After the death of her husband in the 18th Century she went on to globalize his Champagne business and became a stalwart of the Champagne brand and region. She is credited with inventing the riddling table, the pupitre, on which bottles were gradually turned by hand to produce clear, clean, bubbly perfection. The prestige wine from Veuve Clicquot is called La Grande Dame, after Madame. A Steel Magnolia perhaps?

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