Some would say that being in love is like being thirsty; encountering the need to quench a basic human need and something we can’t live without. Plato said “the god of love lives in a constant state of need” and on 14 February, we’ve set aside a day solely dedicated to expressing this need.
More often than not we celebrate this burning need in ourselves and our partners by opening a bottle of Champagne – or Méthode Cap Classique as it is called in South Africa – during special romantic occasions. In earlier cultures people believed that the drink had positive effects on women’s beauty and man’s wit, and although this definitely still rings true in some instances, there are many other reasons why opening a bottle of the ‘good stuff’ on Valentine’s Day is not a random tradition.
The drink of love, and the actual manifestation of the feeling in ourselves, actually share more commonalities than you might be aware of.
True love is ever fresh
Like true love, the kind which is built on the right foundation of respect and care, a good bottle of bubbly doesn’t have an expiry date. The world’s oldest Champagne, found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea in 2010, is estimated to be close to 200 years. A lucky few wine experts had a taste of this rare find and reported that it still tasted remarkably fresh. This is mainly due to the Champagne having been well preserved at low temperatures and in the dark. This goes to show, if you handle your bubbly with respect and care and provide it with the right environment in which to mature, it can last for a very long time – a lesson which is true for romantic relationships too!
A good relationship needs that ‘spark’
As is the case with love, outside factors can impact on the ‘spark’ in sparkling wine too. When drinking Cap Classique always consider the glass shape and temperature. The narrow flute glass will result in a long train of bubbles, while the flat coupe glass will result in your drink having less of a fizz. Some wine lovers even suggest sipping it from a Burgundy glass! For optimal drinking enjoyment Cap Classique must be served at 7 to 9 °C – otherwise you won’t be able to smell and taste the array of flavours of the wine.
The smell of love…
When it comes to wine smell plays a vital role in determining our choice of drink, as off odours would suggest something is wrong with the chemistry of the wine and best be avoided. A similar theory applies to how humans identify possible partners. Studies on compatibility genes suggest that we also apply smell when rating intensity, pleasantness and sexiness in a possible mate. Cap Classique literally carries numerous aromatic molecules of flavour and smell to the surface of your glass, which means drinking causes an olfactory explosion.
Tip: Next time you pour a glass of Cap Classique try to rate it based on the same criteria you apply to your mate: how intense, pleasant and sexy does it smell?
And last, but certainly not least, is the fact that both Cap Classique and love leaves you with an intense intoxicated feeling. When drinking sparkling wine your blood-alcohol levels rise faster than when you drink still wine, and studies suggest that the fine bubbles influence how fast the alcohol is absorb into the digestive system. As with love, a slow but steady approach is best applied when (memorable) enjoyment is sought.
I love myself a pink bubbly at the best of times, but it is especially appropriate for the weekend of love.
The L ‘Ormarins Brut Rosé 2012 is deliciously savoury with a hint of cherry on the palate. I also love the fact that it is such a lively bubbly, brimming with passion! If you still don’t know what you are serving your Valentine tomorrow, try this bubbly matched with duck breast and berry sauce. You can find this bottle of pink from about R185 at specialist bottle stores.
Looking for something a bit more affordable? The Pongracz Rosé is always a good call. It is deep pink in colour with a rose petal sweetness on the nose and palate – and at R130 a bottle you can enjoy at liberty!
Happy toasting, kissing and cuddling!