Friday, August 24, 2007

"Bubbly" Unzipped
By Monique Taylor

After years of trying to extol my sophistication through drink choices: manhattans, cosmos, and dirty martinis, I had overlooked a staple in alcoholic elegance – Champagne. I rediscovered this virtuous concoction when my local wine and spirits depot discontinued a moderately priced Pinot Grigio that I depended on to assuage daily drama, or get me through boring dates. In certain circumstances, it is necessary to call in the big guns: Jack Daniels, two cubes of ice, and a splash of ginger ale. In my solitude I’d mix up a Jack & Ginger, glide around my hardwood floors in socks, and pretend I was at one of those parties I rarely get invites to.
Reacquainting myself with the champagne choices behind the refrigerated section, I choose a slightly dry ‘brut’ to contrast with a tin of chocolates I remembered I had left over from a trip to Paris. Slightly embarrassed to be purchasing a bottle of champagne in the middle of the week, exacerbated by a curious grin from the clerk accepting my tender, I strapped on an air of occasion and invited myself over to a friend’s house that also enjoys superfluous spontaneity. A quick stop home to pick up the Parisian truffles, and I was on my way to met my friend on the fire escape outside her 5th floor walk-up. Neither I, nor my companion had any previous experience with the proper way to expel a bubbly cork, though we knew pointing it away from our faces and the window would be best. Not knowing what to do, we passed the bottle back and forth like a hot potato and gradually the cork slid off under the pressure, letting off a ‘sigh’. Little carbonated bubbles rose to the tops of our glasses and we toasted: to black girls, to the summer, to little money but much class, and to personifying ‘’celebration’.

The sunset from our amazing view set in silence, interrupted only by a few giggles caused the blissful inebriation unattainable through pretentious cocktails. Hours later we found ourselves sprawled out on her bed, careful not to get chocolate on the white down comforter, in a position I haven’t been in since my sweet 16 sleepover – vulnerable, yet not alone. The tickle in my throat from the initial sip gone, we finished the rest of the bottle of Negro Brut without any hesitation. I awoke the next morning, totally unzipped, and with Champagne as my signature drink.

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