Birthday Bubbles: NV Veuve Clicquot Rose

As a follow-up to bubbles off the beaten path: What would you do if you came across this bottle of Champagne?

Would you buy a bottle of bubbles with the foil like this, the cage open, the cork escaping?

What if you could get this Champagne for $35 when the regular price is $80?

What if your birthday was coming up? And you wanted some nice bubbles to celebrate your birthday?

This is what happened to me: I was snooping around my local grocery store and saw this bottle of NV Veuve Clicquot Rose with the foil torn, the cage ajar, and the cork escaping a wee bit. With a regular retail of $82, it was marked down 50%. Carrying the bottle, I found the liquor department expert to hear the back story: some kids she said had taken a match to the plastic cap on the bottle that’s there to keep it from being stolen. In trying to remove the cap, they damaged the cage and the foil –and set off the fire alarm. Hence the mark down price which sounded good to me.

When I got in line, the checkout clerk rang it in. It came up $35. Then she refused to sell it to me: “That’s a lawsuit waiting to happen,” she said.

“You’re kidding!” I exclaimed.

She called a manager over who agreed that the bottle with its jagged cage was too dangerous to sell.

“Really?” I asked. “You’re not going to sell this to me?”

A line was forming behind me. They called over anothbirthdaybubbleser manager; this one said if I wanted to buy it, they would sell it to me “as is, no returns.”

I handed over the money, and keeping her warnings in mind, I gathered my groceries, zipped closed the bag, and handled the bottle with care when I got home.

On my birthday, Saturday January 11, I popped the cork, and I’m happy to say that everything was just fine.

In fact, the NV Veuve Clicquot Rose is excellent.

A beautiful coral color in the glass, the NV Veuve Clicquot Rose has a delicate aroma of wild strawberries followed by fresh apricots and warm bread, and it offers delightfully delicious but subtle fruit on the palate, and foamy, festive bubbles. It paired fabulously with the oysters bringing out the richness and the sea there and highlighting the strawberry and red fruit in the bubbles. You could enjoy this wine alone, or pair it with appetizers or other seafood or white or pink meats. Like most dry high end sparklers from Champagne or Franciacorta, it is quite versatile so don’t be afraid to enjoy sparkling wine with food!. birthdaybubblesend

I was very happy to be able to enjoy and share with my friends such a special wine on my birthday without breaking my bank! Often, with an expensive wine, I’m not always willing to share it with just anybody, but in this case I was generous–and there were lots of other bubbles around to drink too which meant , using the “spoon trick” I was able to save some for the next day to savor in quiet with some oysters after I’d finishing washing up a million wine glasses!

One last note: Today at Vons the clerk who wouldn’t sell me the Champagne asked me how it was, and I told her it was great. The store was quiet so she explained to me why she was so concerned: one of her best friends is blind in one eye because a bottle of sparkling wine exploded in her car. She was very glad to know that my birthday bubbles were not quite so explosive….

Now if I could just get my hands on some “Farmer Fizz” aka “grower’s champagne”! In the meantime, I’ll keep an eye out for bottle of the VINTAGE Veuve Clicquot ofr 50% off  Vons!

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