-- I was going to say, " -- and fights climate change," sarcastically, because I just had a (let us say) communication from a (let us say, extremely distant) colleague to warn that the taste of wine as we know it may soon vanish as our planet warms, and vineyards of olden time are ruined from the heat.
It's absurd, of course, but polite people are trained not to question another's religion, and this is what this is. (Then again, why are the left-wing religious allowed to trumpet their beliefs at all times and places?) Merely to start with, my colleague either has never heard of, or doesn't care about, the East Anglia emails, about the fraud of the Hockey-Stick graph, about no warming having taken place for going on twenty years, about robustly expanding Arctic ice caps and thriving polar bears. Nor can he or his fellows I think ever have questioned how the Earth could have been a hothouse jungle in the age of the dinosaurs, when there were no evil humans to drive cars or pollute the atmosphere, nor again how it could have endured Ice Age upon Ice Age geologically very recently, recovering in between -- passim climate change, no? -- again without evil humans doing much about it.
For no, that is not what
I am convinced "within myself," as characters in Jane Austen novels used elegantly to put it, of three things: one, that our descendants will one day laugh delightedly at the image of us, worrying about climate change ruining all our wines (incidentally, don't utopian left-wingers scoff wisely at "First World problems"?); two, that some portion of Western humanity still has not come to grips with the Industrial Revolution, and yearns wild-eyed to go back to the days of rural quiet and Jane Austen novels -- before "the fatal knowledge of machinery," as a character mourns in a far different novel, the once-blockbuster Lost Horizon; and three, that we should all thank God Western man has at least made moral progress enough to spare us our frustrated utopians' coming after us with fire and the stake, as their spiritual precursors once did. When a high priest or a simple bully has no argument for his plans except "shut up," violence must be horribly tempting.
So here at Pluot we fight climate change by laughing at it, remembering the proverb [the devil hates to be laughed at]. We believe that no man has the right to make another human being say that what is false is true, and vice versa; no one has the right to insist a whole society agree dementia is sanity, and vice versa. And we raise a nice glass of Champagne to Pluot's seventh anniversary -- well, in a way. My dear fatheads know the tale of the blog At First Glass going along swimmingly for six whole years, from one New Year's Eve to the next, at its own address, atfirstglass.com. Then despite best efforts to renew it, I lost access to the domain name, and in a slight panic rebooted here. Six years of At First Glass and one of Pluot equals seven for Pluot, right? The Champagne is Laurent Perrier's Cuvée Rosé brut.
I've decided I can't really explain the goodness of champagne or fine sparkling wines adequately. Really knowledgeable people talk about feminine and masculine styles; I was told years ago that the classic signs of great champagne are the aroma of biscuit or toast, plus the smallest and longest-lasting bubbles -- and you start your champagne knowledge from there. In time you may notice cheaply made sparkling wines have a strange taste and mouthfeel in comparison, not at all like biscuit and bubbles, but somehow like sour pickle juice and syrupiness. What good champagnes are, I thought as I sipped last night and tried to analyze delicacy and fruit and so on, are addictive in the way chocolate chip cookie dough is addictive. Chocolate chip cookie dough is marvelously unlike real cookies, as sparkling wine is unlike other wine. Yet you just keep fingering it up from the bowl in fascination.
Retail, about $60.