A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘Dom Pérignon’

When Dom Pérignon Blogs…

In Drink, Media on February 26, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Any day that starts with talking to Richard Geoffroy, chef de cave of Dom Pérignon, is a good one. He is in town promoting his exquisite new vintages of Dom Pérignon Rosé: the current 2000 vintage as well as the Oenethèque 1990 rosé—his first vintage with Dom. While I can’t share the contents of our conversation, I can tell you that Richard has launched his own blog! This is a man obsessed. I’m looking forward to more of his musings from the road and in the cellar!

Friday Follies: Snobs vs Slobs

In Drink, Film, Food on August 7, 2009 at 8:24 am

Friday Follies [n., pl.] postings on Fridays about fashion and food in film from guest bloggers with impeccable taste.

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“Come Elwood, let us adjourn ourselves to the nearest table and overlook this establishment’s board of fare.”

Eating out is a highly charged social activity, to say the least, with profound dramatic and comedic potential built into it. This is probably why so many superb cinematic moments involve the problem of eating with others. An example: Jake and Elwood Blues (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd in The Blues Brothers, 1980) screech to a halt in front of a fancy French restaurant, Chez Paul. They walk inside, take a table, and spend some time behaving badly. Granted, they have a good reason for acting out, having come to pressure their old band mate, Mr. Fabulous, into quitting his job as maitre d’ of this fine establishment and rejoining the band. But their “mission from God” is only an excuse. The brothers relish the scene, eating up the stuffy atmosphere like the hungry low class wolves that they are. Having ordered a $120 bottle of Dom Pérignon ’71, five shrimp cocktails, and some bread (from waiter Paul Rubens, pre-Pee Wee Herman), they proceed to overstep as many bounds of good taste as possible. As a young Aykroyd slurps his champagne from a large goblet, Belushi puts on a sort of Spanish-Arab accent and offers to purchase the daughters of the disgusted gentleman at the next table. And most memorable, to me, is what the brothers do with the shrimp: inspired mock-snobbery at its finest.

The scene is straightforward snobs vs. slobs, and it draws the line between the two in great, multi-sensory detail. Not only do Jake and Elwood look out of place, wearing shades and eating with their overstuffed mouths open, but also, as the snob at the next table explains, “Frankly, they’re offensive. Smelling. I mean they smell bad.” Class lines are drawn on the soundtrack, too: the sound of snobbery is chamber music and a soft murmur of conversation, while the sound of slobbery is the loud whistle waiter-call and the noisy champagne slurps, more than loud enough to turn polite heads. So we see, hear, and smell the transgressions being perpetrated, and somewhere along the way, I think we can taste them, too (they taste something like a shrimp tail flung across the table into your mouth). Taste, after all, is the subject of this scene, a sharply performed encounter between the high and the low, good taste and bad, so to speak. The Blues Brothers pointedly upset the proper order of things, and they do so with great joy, pure style. As social commentary, it may be forced and heavily stereotyped, but this is excellent lowbrow comedy doing its thing, acting out.

Belushi had delighted us with his slobbery two years earlier, in the unforgettable Animal House cafeteria scene. As Bluto, he eats his way along the buffet, stuffing his face to capacity. [Note that the noisy slurp plays a role here, too: with a furtive glance around and a mischievous eyebrow-lift, Bluto vacuums up a Jell-O square without paying for it.] His tray piled high with everything, he sits down to eat with some bonafide snobs. More slurping. They express disgust, and he responds: “See if you can guess what I am now.” He inserts some sort of white food product (a hard boiled egg?) into his mouth and—pop!—splatters it all over them. “A zit! Get it?” The frat boys give chase and, as an escape strategy, Bluto gives that famous two-word cry: “Food fight!” Anarchy ensues. Order gives way, at least for the moment, to an uprising of mass slobbery. Bluto and the Blues Brothers are revolting in more than one sense.

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Do these scenes amount to the comedic equivalent of a revolutionary manifesto, or just funny blue-collar trumpeting? Incisive social critique, or just heavy-handed class warfare stuff (i.e., classic comedy material)? Either way, it’s god damn good, and funny. Who can deny the recreational value of disorderly conduct? Comedy’s most noble pursuit, of course, is to take the stuffing out of us, to locate and release tensions, put things out of place. If these scenes are still funny, then their lesson remains relevant: the revolution will begin with bad table manners.—René Thoreau Bruckner, Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California

For previous Friday Follies, click HERE.

Valentine’s Wine Guide

In Drink on February 11, 2009 at 12:46 am

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Whether you’re with your soul mate, first date or flying solo—particularly if you’re flying solo?—here are The Foodinista’s top five picks for what to drink this weekend.

Flower Power

A few years ago before I met the boy, I attempted to get takeout on V-Day from my absolute favorite neighborhood sushi joint, Azami—run by two Japanese chicks, who have sadly since sold it—but they were too busy serving tables of lovey dovies to help a poor girl (take) out!  sake So I swung by Whole Foods, grabbed a tsunami combo on brown rice to go, and enjoyed it IMMENSELY with a small bottle of sparkling sake that I’d gotten at True Sake in San Francisco. Try the Hana Awaka (which means sparkling flower). Perfect serving for one! $6/250ml

It’s Now or Never

The one-night stand calls for a bottle that pretends to care, but is realistically just a Machiavellian means to an end. Cava, cava, cava. It’s a budget bubbly that’s fabulously festive, is a relatively low investment, but feels exotically devil-may-care. cava I’ve been loving the German Gilabert Reserva Cava available locally at Larchmont Wine & Spirits. Oh, and it’s REALLY good! So if you actually want a second date, the German Gilabert will have them coming back for more. $15/750ml.

She’s So Cold

Is there anything more seductive than ice-cold Chablis with fresh sweetwater oysters from Hog Island? While it’s still a bit of a splurge, the 2006 Domaine William Fevre “Montmains” Premier Cru Chablis is spicy, with mineral notes, white peach and citrus—pure romance. chablis I’ve seen it around for anywhere from $30-$45 bottle. Wally’s on the Westside has it for $89.99/bottle, for which I believe the technical term is rape.

Hop on Over

The fastest way to The Foodinista’s heart is most surely with a lusty bottle of Vietti Barbera d’Alba  “Scaronne” from the Piedmont region in Italy.vietti Perfumey aromas, mineral and earthy notes with a superb grasshopper label, this wine is made from the Barbera grape, and is quite possibly my favorite go-to red and at half the price of some of its Barolo big brothers. $45/750ml

I Do!

In this economy, I feel like shelling out $350 on a bottle of anything would need to be an earth-shatteringly important event. Nevertheless, one could easily drop this on any number of bottles of Champagne from the ’96 or ’97 vintages on shelves now. But if The Foodinista had $350+ to spend, and she doesn’t, it would be on a 1973 Dom Pérignon (which I’ve longingly admired on auction lists starting at $350/bottle, and skyrocketing from there). dom I’ve been lucky enough to try this gorgeous wine on several occasions, and each time I just melt. Much like I did when I met my husband, who is also from the ’73 vintage.

Cheers to a wonderful weekend, and drop me a line and let me know what you drank!!!