My first experience with a sparkling pink wine took place on a blanket on the lawn at Tanglewood in the company of a girl named Joan Coughlin. The Who were onstage performing "Tommy" and the warm summer air was perfumed with incense and cannabis smoke. The wine in question, Cold Duck, was, I discovered much later, composed of two parts New York State sparkling wine and one part California bulk red wine. I eventually learned to turn up my nose at Cold Duck, but I think my fond memories of that evening may have something to do with my abiding enthusiasm for rosé Champagne.
It goes on. Oh dear god does it go on:
If great Champagne is the vinous equivalent of a white diamond, then rosé Champagne is a pink diamond—rarer and yes, I'm afraid, more expensive.
If this expensive thing is like this other expensive thing, than this other expensive thing is like this other expensive thing, but if you want to fingerbang Joan Coughlin on summer eve's picnic a four-pack of B&J will do just fine, not that gentlemen kiss and tell, or fingerbang and blog.
A recent tasting with Richard Geoffroy, the winemaker of Dom Pérignon, reminded me of just how great rosé Champagne can be.
Real talk: Jay McInerney is a terrible writer. Shit, man, I could have written seven novels by now, too, if I didn't stop to strike out lines like "just how great [x] can be," or "the warm summer air was perfumed with the sweet perfume of perfume" or whatever the fuck.
Holy shit this post is 1,200 words long isn't it. Ok, once more into the breach:
If Dom Pérignon is the Porsche 911 Carrera of the wine world, then DP Rosé is the 911 Turbo... I happened to be present at a rather raucous New York auction in March 2008 when two bottles of the 1959 DP rosé, from the collection of über collector Rob Rosania, went for $84,000, astonishing nearly everyone in the room.
If this expensive thing is like this expensive thing, you can bet I will just "happen" to be around whenever status-conscious rich people are astounded by how astoundingly rich and status-conscious they are.
Dom Pérignon rosé is typically released about a decade after vintage; the 2000 vintage hits American shelves this month, and it's a beauty. As if that weren't reason enough to max out one of your credit card...
It's not. (We're actually currently mired in a once-in-a-generation recession, you colossal douchecock!) But thanks for drinking up all the Dom before it even hits retail, lush. We get it, you have friends who are also rich. Anyway, if you had credit cards that weren't already maxed out, you'd care about the 1990 Dom Pérignon Œnothèque Rosé. Preach it, Jazzy Jay:
The Œnothèque series is a kind of ultra-premium DP, a late release of vintage juice that's been mellowing long after the initial vintage release in the chalk tunnels of the Moët & Chandon cellars deep under the town of Épernay. Until now, there's never been an Œnotheque rosé, and collectors and geeks have been buzzing in anticipation of this one. It really is spectacular, one of the greatest rosés I've ever tasted, richer and more voluptuous than the 2000. Among many pleasant sensations it evoked, I thought of Julianne Moore, a mature pinkish-hued beauty whom I'd seen on the street in the West Village earlier that day—but this is the kind of wine that can call forth a thousand associations.
Now seems as good a time as any to mention that the Wall Street Journal's new wine blog has a budget to commission photo illustrations for individual posts. (Here at The Measure, we usually just tell Ben Sutton we'll buy him a beer, and never do.) Here is a special photo illustration, featuring mature pinkish-hued beauty Julianne Moore and Roger Daltry, soundtrack to Jay McInerney's first-ever fingerbang conquest, in bubbles of pink champagne:
Oh, wait, is that a Porsche in there, too? Yup, yup, there's a Porsche.
Coincidentally enough, 1990 was the first vintage created by Richard Geoffroy, who has been the head winemaker at Dom Pérignon for 20 years... I have to say that the only man I've ever met who seems to enjoy his job as much as he does is Hugh Hefner. Born into a family of Champagne growers in the French town of Vertus, Mr. Geoffroy tried to escape his destiny by studying medicine. He completed his medical degree in 1982, but never practiced. Instead he went to work for Dom Pérignon... I realize there may be those who feel that a doctor ranks higher on the scale of social utility than a wine maker, but I'm pretty sure they've never tasted the 1990 Dom Pérignon Œnothèque Rosé.
That sounds like a joke, but not enough like a joke that I'd advise sending a clipping of it to the surgeon slated to perform Jay McInerney's inevitable liver transplant, ohhowthetableshaveturned.
I'm not going to pretend that either the 2000 or the 1990 Œnothèque is inexpensive, but look at it this way: The former costs about the same as the tasting menu at Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas; the latter the same as the tasting menu for two.
Oh, ok. Anyway, here's closer:
My other favorite grower champers include Egly-Ouriet Brut Rosé, Camille Savès Brut Rosé and Bruno Paillard. I'm not sure if they still make Cold Duck, but the next time I open a bottle of rosé Champagne, I'm going to raise a glass to Joan Coughlin, who is no longer among us.
Wait... what? Joanie's dead?!? This changes everything: I now see that by luxuriating in the luxurious associations called forth by pink champagne, McInerney, like Proust with his madelines, is offering a heartfelt remembrance of things, and people, past. I feel very bad about the fingerbanging jokes now.
Or, no. Wait. Nope, actually it's just pretty crass and embarrassingly abrupt. The fingerbanging jokes stay.