COLUMN BY PHILLIP SILVERSTONE
To paraphrase the ‘60’s song by the Hollies: “Just one wine, that’s all it took yeah”! When our daughter graduated college quite a few summers ago, my nectar of choice was on hand to toast the occasion. When I recently celebrated the 37th wedding anniversary of myself and she who must be obeyed, my favorite nectar was opened while I served my signature dish: poached salmon, Whenever I’m in London I always take a short stroll from Piccadilly Circus to St. James’s to @venue Restaurant to enjoy a glass or two of my favorite nectar while people watching. When my mother moved Stateside a few years ago, I had a case of my favorite nectar in her London flat to drink to her health and to all the memories she was leaving behind.
Tears of happiness, sadness and trepidation cascade into the drink which lifts our hearts as we toast each occasion. The drink to which I allude, has been woven into the fabric of my life.
When I was 13, I took a sip at my Bar Mitzvah in our north London home. My wife and I drank it at our engagement party in Cherry Hill and at our wedding in Knightsbridge, London. Our daughter was delivered by a wine loving doctor 27 years ago at a Philly hospital and soon after the delivery, the wine was chilled and opened and poured to toast the new baby.
And, when I die, I intend to have the mourners (presumptuous of me to expect any will attend) open this wine of choice in celebration of a life well lived, rather than one which has ended. It is a wine of celebration, of new beginnings and cherished histories. It kept Churchill’s mind focused in the wee small hours while planning against the evil empire, and it will encourage generous sentiments among family and friends during my own family’s many summers and winters in the coming years. It is, of course, sparkling wine, (known as Champagne if it’s from the region of that name in France). The brand is inconsequential. I enjoy Pol Roget Cuvée Winston Churchill (which the great man favored) from Champagne; most brands of Prosecco from Italy; and Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut from California.
A few years ago I was privileged to fly first class on British Airways from Philly to London and I savored Alfred Gratien’s Cuvée Paradis, which I’d also enjoyed on my one-and-only-never-to-be-forgotten flight aboard the Concorde. For me, the pop of the sparkling wine cork rekindles memories, and often it’s those memories — especially in times of distress — which give us cheer. !
Phillip Silverstone’s column appears each week in this publication. “Time Out With Phillip Silverstone” is a weekly two-hour podcast heard exclusively on TuneIn radio anytime and anywhere worldwide either on the free TuneIn app for all smart phones and tablets (Search: Phillip Silverstone) or online on Tunein at: http://bit.ly/1gY2Ht4. “Follow” the show for weekly updates. You can also LIKE Phillip on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Phillipsilverstone and follow him on Twitter: @wining