The Champagne experience (Part 2)



The bottles in the basement of mr. M Gonet




I awoke to the sound of the shower being turned on. My mouth was an ashtray. My head a pounding train. And after a few minutes of contemplating absolute suicide via window, she re-entered the room in all her splendid naked glory. Flashbacks from last night entered my mind. And that definitive statement of inevitableness exited my mind. Instead, and per her request, I too jumped in the shower, got dressed and we vacated the premise. Today we had to go taste some wine at a vineyard. My particular fetish for wine compels me, and it is surprisingly inexpensive to get it shipped home. And our immeasurably charming acquaintance from yesterday evening had provided me with a name: M Gonet. I had no idea if the M was a name, like Michel or Michael, or if it was Monsieur. All I remember was that he had written down that name on a little note, as we said our good-byes and bon soiree’s. And I had absolute confidence in him. So with a jaunty spring in our step we left our hotel and found a little café, where we had Noisette’s (espresso with a bit of milk) and croissants. Then we jumped in a cab and just said “M Gonet”. The cab-driver obliged us in every way and drove us 25 minutes away. When we arrived he gave me his card and said monsieur, I’m going down to the café to have my lunch. You call me in an hour. It always takes an hour here. I nodded, a bit puzzled I might add, grabbed my companion’s hand, smiled into her sunglass reflection, and we exited the cab and went inside.

And what greeted us was so inauthentic French, that it could probably be perceived as being quite authentic French. It was laughable. Anyways, we were there for the ride. The entire time we where there they played France Gall and Edith Piaf and Serge Gainsbourg. We were sat in a huge living-room/reception with huge oak furniture with the words “installez Vous”. Here our attention was competing between Monet-prints and framed awards, that no-one had ever heard of, on the walls. Our host, M Gonet himself I’d bet, came in after a secretary/receptionist had guided us to this designers’ Hades. M Gonet (I’m still unsure about the M) mainly had blanc-de-blancs. That’s white-from-white. Meaning Champagne from white grapes. He had a single Champagne that was blanc-de-noir, which is white from black, meaning white wine from black grapes (You, dear reader, probably know the rosé kind, but there are several different one’s that are just plain white). We tasted our way through his entire selection. From the big years of 98 and 04 to his more recent wines. When tasting Champagne there are a number of key things to look for: White flowers, toast, lime, citrus, peaches, earth or dirt, apples, honey and light spices. Not all are always there, but in different one’s especially pertaining to the wine-makers skill those are the main one’s to look for.

Now, I’,m not going to bore you with a description of a range of wines that you might/might not try. I will however say that M Gonet came in with all guns blazing. So we tried everything. Some of them we’re okay. Some of them we’re downright great (and a couple of crates are on their way to England as we speak) and one especially was an epiphany. That is, as the Oxford Dictionary reads the manifestation of the divine. And I can’t put it better. His Blanc-de-blanc Grand Cru from 2009 is something every wine lover should experience before he or she dies. Hell, everyone should experience it. It’s like tasting the face of God. And more than just a couple of crates of that one are on their way to England).

When we left, we had talked, tasted, and drunk so much that we we’re in fact just that: drunk. So we hailed our cab, whom I suspected was a bit drunk himself, and he took us to our hotel. Here we went straight to the bar. Why waste a perfectly good bender? But instead of yesterdays Tomate’s, we continued with Champagne instead. I looked at her. She was sensitive like an artist. Christian by ancestry, she had moved around like a pilgrim. Although in search of a different truth. She was educated by scholarship, but also learned the ways of the world. She was skeptical by reflection, and kindly by nature. And I was in absolute love. I realized everything as the feature got blurry. Then we had the bellboy get our luggage and stuff that, and ourselves, into a cab down to the train station.

That afternoon we left. Content. I’m pretty sure we’ll never make our way to Champagne again. But what a ride it turned out to be.

I met a woman once. And we decided to be companions. For a while.

Jeppe Fischer-Mogensen

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