This wine Wednesday is a tip of the hat to my very favorite champagne, Veuve Clicquot. I thought it was fitting that it be before New Year’s Eve, as this is celebratory bubbly of the highest order. A celebration in a glass. Yes, there are other lovely champagnes out there, but there is just something about the sight of a Veuve bottle that speaks of a special time. Always.
The signature non-vintage brut is a crisp champagne with full flavors. The predominance of Pinot Noir provides the structure that is unmistakably Veuve. This is also the best time of year to buy bottles, as December is always when it is at its best price. Or the champagne gods shine down brightest at this time. You decide. Either way, now is the time to snatch it up and enjoy every last bubble.
If you have ever been to my shop on First Avenue, you know I have a great love of Veuve Clicquot. The rows and rows of bottles used in displays along with all the Veuve vintage finds speak to that great fondness. It only seemed fitting that we would say good-bye to rosé season this week-end, starting with a bottle of Vueve Rosé champagne.
I pulled the below text from the VCP website, which I thought was incredibly interesting. “Just three years following its foundation, the House of Clicquot began illustrating its innovative spirit in 1775 by signing the very first bottle of rosé in the history of Champagne. In 1818, the House broke away from other rosés produced by macerating black grapes in white wine, and created the Rosé Veuve Clicquot by blending red wines with white wines. Elegant and fruity, this wine frees the senses, charms the eye and ravishes the palate. Proudly bearing the imperial red signature of Madame Clicquot, it promises moments of sheer pleasure.”
Frees the senses, charms the eye and ravishes the palate. Indeed it does. It is a real treat to experience. Put it on your list, if you have not tried it already, for when you want to treat yourself or celebrate something special. I think you will adore it.
Inspired by a visit to the Veuve Clicquot vineyard in Reims, France’s Champagne region, Alina Roytberg returned from her trip and shared every sensory detail with her husband, Lev Glazman. Normally that would just make for a great shared story between spouses with a glass of bubbly in hand. But as co-founders of the company, Fresh, it means so much more.
Lev began experimenting with champagne and pinot noir accords that eventually evolved into the scent, Citron de Vigne. The unisex scent has been a best-seller the moment we began selling it at Watson Kennedy.
I first met Alina & Lev while we were all exhibiting our wares in San Francisco in the mid 90′s at the gift show at the Moscone Center. Fresh was exhibiting the aisle over from where I was showing goods in The Watson Kennedy Collection booth. Fresh was one of the very first orders I wrote when I opened the shop in the Market in 1998. From day one, they have created some of the world’s finest scents. Citron de Vigne, continues in that fine tradition.
When the world hands you champagne cages, make mini chairs out of them! Such is the case with the slew of cages I collected over the very festive Holiday season. To me, champagne symbolizes a celebration. I love saving the corks, and have amassed quite a collection in bowls around the house and at the shops. The cages can be made into the most delightful little chairs. We use them in the jewelry cases at Watson Kennedy, to play off of the earrings and necklaces. TPS is the champagne chair master, and he makes them while sitting by the fire at WestWard. You just need a pliers to undo the cage. Snip the wire that tightens the cage around the neck, and use it to create a decorative back. You can get as creative and as fancy as you would like. They really are fun. I like to use them as place card holders for when we are having a champagne themed dinner too, and then the guests can take them home as a remembrance of the evening.
I just could not help myself. I snapped photos of more things that really caught my eye. Here is another grouping of goods that have become new favorites.
A stunningly beautiful coffee table book set in the Veuve Clicquot world. The photography is outstanding, and it is filled with recipes too.
This is as much an art piece as well as a very utilitarian object to be used in your home. Made with a grouping of vintage glove molds, which are set on a stand, the piece can be hung. I see this holding towels or maybe jewelry. Also lovely left unadorned.
This also is a spectacular coffee table sized book. For the bird lover in your life.
I know, I have a thing for pitchers. We carried these long ago, and have once again found stock of them. Made in Poland, this green glass pitcher is as good looking empty as it is filled.
And lastly, Scrappy’s Bitters. This is a local Seattle based company, who churns out some fab herbaceous bitters. A few drops goes a long way to transforming a cocktail or a sparkling soda.
How is it already January?
Happy Thursday to all.
I found the sweetest little evergreen trees the other day in the Market. For the past few years we have purchased a large live tree for our week-end place on Vashon Island (and then we plant it on our property in the new year) and have not had a tree for our home in the city. We spend so much time at the shops during the Holidays, that our creative energy is spent there, instead. But I missed seeing a tree during the week. These little potted evergreen trees have been such a fun hit of festiveness, I think we will end up doing them each year in the vintage champagne buckets, even when we do get a larger tree. I put one on the dining table and another on top of the armoire. They work perfectly slipped into the Veuve buckets, as they are still in the plastic bucket they originally came in, so pulling them out and watering them every few days and soaking them in the sink is a breeze.
My love affair with Veuve Clicquot champagne began many years ago. When I had my showroom, one of the artists I represented was my friend Susan Goodwin. She is a jewelry artisan extraordinaire, so we decided to exhibit her work in Paris, at the Premiere Classe show held at the Jardin des Tuileries. We stayed at one of my favorite places in Paris, www.paris-hotel-tourville.com. After a long day at the show, we would have a bottle of Veuve either before we went out and had dinner, or we would sit in the quaint lobby after we got back from dinner, and share a bottle of Veuve. If it was a very successful day at the show, sometimes it was both. It is no wonder why I equate Veuve Clicquot with celebratory, good times. The above photo was taken the other day when we were celebrating the 13th anniversary of the Fine Living shop. It was also my birthday that day, so I had several reasons for celebrating. The Watson Kennedy family surprised me with a little party before we opened the shop. The photo is some of the orange themed gifts I was given. They all know me quite, quite well, so bottles of my beloved Veuve were part of the tableau.
I am not the only huge fan of Veuve Clicquot out there. We sell many orange Veuve related goods at the shops. This is a tray and ice bucket that we carry by an artist who painstakingly recreates an homage to the champagne house.
The orange color is said to have come from the yolk of an egg from a chicken from Bresse.
We went to Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin in Reims as part of my 40th birthday celebration. If you ever get the chance, go. That region of France is so lovely. It was a memory I will treasure. TPS had arranged for a private tasting for us–I keep the corks from it on my bedside table as a reminder. Vintage buckets are hard to come by, so whenever I find them on my trips, I snatch them up.
Another memorable Veuve moment was my actual 40th birthday, which we had at the shop. These are a few of the bottles that were enjoyed that evening. They serve as a wonderful reminder of the party, as well as make a stylish display.
We also sell many small, vintage Veuve items that I find on my buying trips. Ashtrays, pocket knives and keychains are always a hit with customers.
Cheers to Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin!
On my last trip to New York, I was honored & thrilled to visit Hugo’s studio and home in Brooklyn. I have been showing his work at the shops for quite some time, and he asked if I would like to show some of his one of a kind pieces. Look for over 50 pieces to start showing up in the shops and on the web site. We opened the first shipment when it arrived and I instantly created a new window around some of the portraits.