Alive, effervescent, whimsical, fragile, temporal, celebratory, mirthful, joyous, bright, spirited. Fills you with anticipation. All this from something that appears dainty and fragile and yet wields mesmerizing power.
For the new #MWWC27 word, the current winner, Jim of JVB Uncorked, chose Bubbles. In a flash, my mind traveled from childhood bubbles to Champagne. Utterly captivating and mesmerizing like the opening scene of the movie “Father of the Bride”. It’s just a screen shot of champagne and bubbles steadily ascending with the promise of something good about to happen.
Why are Champagne bubbles so captivating? They sparkle. They shine. There’s a promise of a giddy, tipsy good time. Make a great moment, Greater. Champagne. Champagne has a powerful effect on people. I believe God created bubbles with the sole purpose of making us smile. It just took a while to embrace it.
According to Wikipedia, the loosely accurate Encyclopedia Britannica for the 21st century, the 17th century Champenois wine makers, such as Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon (1638–1715), tried to actually rid their wines of bubbles. The Champagne region longed to emulate their Burgundian cousins. Unfortunately, the long winters suspended the fermenting wine in ice only to have it thaw in spring and produce carbon dioxide. Today, there’s a heady rush at seeing bubbles but in the 17th century, the combination of unbridled bubbles and weak bottles only produced a feeling of anxiety. Bottle explosions were common. Job related injuries and death ranked high among cellar rats. Their vigilant efforts to get rid of the bubble blight left them with nothing but a pale, pink still wine both bitter and strongly acidic. It would take another century for Champagne winemakers to embrace their “flaws” and become who they really are; wine with an ethereal bubble. Sometimes our flaws are what makes us the most interesting.
Fast-forward a couple centuries to modern times. As in today.
Ponder a moment life’s celebrations crowned with a bottle of champagne. Bubbly foam shooting a foot into the air and spraying over everything as the cork pops. Cheers and laughter. Glasses raised in a toast to the future and salute to the past. Why is it that historic occasions are better punctuated by opening a bottle of Veuve Clicquot than a bottle of Jack Daniels? What makes it the copula for life’s momentous occasions? Why not fire up the tea pot or crack open a case of beer to crown life’s victories? Tradition? Or something more powerful? Ironically, the wine flaw monks tried in vain to eradicate now transcends cultures and links mankind in a type of global unification. Champagne goes beyond language, culture, and social mores. Open a bottle and notice how quickly you have everyone’s attention. It’s riveting.
It got me to thinking about our current state of affairs both domestically and internationally. Strife, unrest and tension seem to rue the day. But what if there was one shining element to supersede all this? Maybe there’d be less conflict and war if when a General whipped out his sword and instead of heads, he sabered a few bottles of Champagne? A burst of golden bubbles is a far more pleasant sight than the swift blade of a guillotine or bomb. Maybe if we offered a glass of Champagne to our neighbors there’d be more harmony in the world. Besides, who’s ever felt cross while sipping Champagne? Giddiness. Relaxation. Generosity. But not aggravation. Maybe Champagne is a God-given peace offering. Just think what might be achieved if we shared its powerful, bubbly magic? Now, I’m not naive to believe Champagne will cure all the world’s ills or instantly change men’s hearts. I’m just being fanciful for the moment. But wouldn’t it be nice if it was that simple?
World Peace. With a bottle of Champagne.