The late John Mortimer was once accused of being a Champagne Socialist; he countered that he had taken a ride to Canterbury cathedral in his Silver Cloud, he was then surely a Rolls Royce Pilgrim.
And I too take my hypocrisy seriously. The last few months have been stressful with the inexorable rise of Emmanuel Macron constantly countered by doubt, or certainty, that France and the French would be unable to take the great leap forward. But they did, at last, and with some conviction. I played my part, and have engaged to continue.
What better way to celebrate the arrival of a revolutionary (context is everything), reformed, and reformist investment banker to the French presidency than a bottle of Dom Perignon 1999 and a tin of Petrossian caviar?
It was a gesture to a French renaissance soon to come. At eighteen years old the champagne was magnificent. Perhaps some significance there? At eighteen, at last an adult. Will France finally be the same?
Even my Champenois wife liked it; and Elodie hates champagne.
A fine deep yellow, the finest of fine mousses; bubbles almost entirely integrated into the wine, the gas is no longer a distraction. Exotic, there is an admirable taste of maturity, in yellow citrus fruit. The acidly, though still directing, is rounded off and complete. With air, it inevitably fills out, before swinging back to candied fruit: orange peel and papaya. Enormous persistence and length. Just delicious.
An exception that proves the rule. I rarely drink champagne these days – too much acidity and often dull. And too much gas. Not this, so no reason to change my cap then.
So next Sunday, it all kicks off for Mr Macron. La nouvelle République, and really, if you have lived in France for the last twenty-five years, it cannot be denied, c’est vraiment un nouveau départ.