During our formative years—that callow and malleable era when we still thought Keith Richards was a good guitar player and PETA was a righteous organization and God was actually seated in His heaven—we came to the conclusion that there were girls we wanted to date and girls we wanted to marry. And, whereas we suspected that the categories would ultimately overlap, in the meantime we placed a lot of girls on pedestals for no real reason other than to look up their skirts.
I’ll give you an example from my own salad days.
Pam Anderson—Baywatch’s air-pump-inflated air-head who struck us as having the IQ of a sock puppet… She’d be a dater. Michelle Pfeiffer, totally boffalicious in her own right, possessed the certain je ne sais quois of wholesomeness that underscored the pedestal peeks—you’d take her home to meet your mother, then make her your children’s mother, then expect her to mother you in your middle-age.
Want more? Phoebe Cates was a date; Jennifer Love Hewitt was a destiny. You’d take Mila Kunis to Luksus and wow her with your ability to pronounce rugbrød; you’d take Scarlett Johannsen to your apartment, impress her with your homemade-from-scratch rugbrød, then propose a life of mortgages and laundry and a playroom full of rugrøts.
You get the picture.
Cava Cava Cava Chameleon
I found these quaint cranial captures compelling enough to consider based on that pétillant potable Cava, Spain’s answer to Champagne. Cava used to be called Champagne until the petulant French decided it couldn’t be, so they switched over to Cava, although in rural Spain the local froth is still referred to as champaña, unless you happened to be from Penedès (where nearly all Cava is born), in which case you say ‘xampany’, because in Catalonia the Spanish ‘ch’ turns into a Catalan ‘x’, just as a chameleon steps from a twig to a leaf and turns from brown to green.
In either case, the colloquial Catalonian insistence on calling their sparkling wine ‘Champagne’ despite European Union law is the linguistic equivalent of big chameleon feeding on a tiny frog.
Vall Dolina 2012
The Cava that set the bed vs. wed conversation in motion was Vall Dolina 2012, an interesting wine that missed Gran Reserva criteria by a scant four months, being 26 months on lees whereas the Cava regulatory board requires thirty. At first it seemes silly that Vall Dolina settled for mere ‘Reserva’ status, whose minimum age requirement (15 months) it still exceeded by a full eleven months, when a scant sixteen more weeks would have resulted in a seal making the wine worth twice as much.
It’s like if Elvis had kept underage Priscilla in the Graceland wings for years and years, then dumped her for Ann Margret four months shy of her eighteenth birthday. It’s like dealing with four years of undergraduate work, four years of medical school, then dropping medicine with four months left in your residency.
Then came my first sensational sip of Vall Dolina, and at least a cursory understanding of what winemaker Raimon Badell is hinting at. The wine seems to be hovering at an ideal age, Peter Pan approved, somewhere between innocence and experience. It’s delightfully fresh and intriguingly mature in equal measures, with honeyed apple in the nose, rich roasted almonds and white pepper on the mid-palate and a brisk, leesy finish that’s dry and refreshing. A usual lineup of suspects, the blend here is 37% Xarel-lo, 32% Macabeu, and 24% Parellada and the result is an impressive eighteen dollar bottle of bubbles that made my host remark, “If I was out, I’d order this over a hundred dollar bottle of Roederer Brut every time.”
But would you?
No, you wouldn’t. Not every time. It would depend on the circumstance. Your M.O. Your malice aforethought. It would depend on your date. No question that Phoebe Cates gets the overpriced French label from the reserve wine list to wash down the Peter Pan pill (consensually, natch) so that she remains an eternal nineteen-year-old dropping that red bikini in an endless loop, auspiciously, propitiously, deliciously, lasciviously—albeit fictitiously.
But, consider Emma Watson… A different caldero of seafood altogether; she’s got long-term written all over her. And doesn’t it seem like the well-spoken Oxford grad might prefer a stroll through the rustic cultural tapestry of the Grand Massif instead of being dunked in a tank of ultra-premium Veblen Goods like her li’l hooded nub was nothing but a bull’s-eye you were firing Champagne corks at?
She gets the Cava.
Not from me, of course—my years of callow have grown pretty fallow and my current formative era is more about calcium deposits than unrequited crushes on ingénues. But the truth that remains is that there are those who, by their siren-esque sizzle and DNA-defying corpora delicti are banner ads for one-night-stands; there are others you sense from the outset are a little more content driven.
Most of the former tend to be a bit out of our league anyway, and gratefully so: The Cava co-minglers offer a lifetime worth of one-nighters, and the sooner we figure that out in our struggle through this veil of sin, the less compelling either Cristal or Kim Kardashian seem.