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A Eureka moment

October 2nd, at 7.45pm precisely, I had a eureka moment. The occasion was the Wine Centre`s long awaited 2020 Christmas party. It was a last hurrah to our Indian summer days in the garden porch. As things turned out, the heavens opened-up and the black sky filled with sheets of rain, high winds, and fluttering leaves. There had been power-cuts in the run up to everyone arriving, so we had candles everywhere (just in case), and sure enough, with fifteen minutes to go, the lights and the electric outdoor heaters snuffed out again. There was a crash and a loud expletive from the kitchen inside (we were also cooking, of course) and now the candles were blowing out as fast as I could light them, with only a phone torch to guide me. Napkins entered the fray, flapping erratically, and I knocked a jug of water over. And then the doorbell rang, and all the lights came back on, and the heaters sprang into life again. “Good evening, everyone!” I beamed, “do come in”. Mercifully, by the time we all stepped into the porch, the storm had abated and now there was just a pleasant flurry of wind and the pitter-patter of gentle rain on its slate roof. At any rate I was in a state of heightened spirits when I opened our first bottle. We were all full of expectation, because it was none other than Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne, one of those big occasion bottles. In the flickering candlelight and iridescent pink hue of the heaters, the sparkling wine appeared to be jewel-like in our glasses. Transfixed, we raised our glasses. The wine`s smell, even in the open air, was perceptively brioche, white flowers, and peach. The palate was a beautiful silky richness; cool, persistent, and intense, its effervescence a light prickle, no more than a tease. Flavours of citrus and pear imploded, then the long, creamy finish, and sense of vigour. There were smiles all around. It was going to be a good night, and everyone knew it. “Eureka”, I exclaimed.


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