The Wine Curmudgeon held out as long as he could. But the most important special occasion of the year was coming up, and the fact that Ruinart's price, thanks to the weak dollar and the shortsighted Champagne business, had increased by 16 percent in 18 months was no excuse.
Sometimes, even I have to admit that spending a lot of money for a bottle of wine is worth it. The Ruinart ($84, purchased) was everything it has always been, and even a little more. The bottle was gone in 45 minutes, despite our best efforts to make it last. And I swear that the wine changed at least three times during that period. It was bit tight but still excellent when we opened it, becoming more caramel after 20 minutes or so. And then, when there was but two glasses left, it delivered bright and amazing pear fruit followed by some kind of lemon something or other.
This is sparkling wine to celebrate with, even at this price. Highly recommended. And the food pairing? Popeye's fried chicken, actually. It worked quite well (as I always told my students it would). And if Popeye's isn't what it once was, it's still worth reckoning with.