For many of us, the holiday season is, among other things, an excuse to up our intake of champagne. Content to just grab the nearest bottle of Möet, most people don't bother to do much research on the subject prior to quaffing it, however. Ariel Arce is here to change that.
Arce, who was once dubbed the "Champagne Empress of Greenwich Village" by the New York Times, is a restauranteur and owner of Air's Champagne Parlor, Tokyo Record Bar, Niche Niche, and Special Club in New York, among others. And now she's an author as well, with a cool new book out from Universe called Better with Bubbles: An Effervescent Education in Champagnes & Sparkling Wines.
Now available to order on Amazon, the book is divided into two sections—one for Champagne, the other on sparkling wines from around the world—but is far from a dry guide to connoisseurship. Sections include a choose-your-own-adventure tasting guide; the best songs to play while sipping champagne; caveats on what to wear (and not wear) to a vineyard; and tips on throwing the perfect champagne pizza party.
"I love Champagne because it’s alive. It has a story to tell," Arce writes. "Champagne is the intersect of Tradition (what you think you should do) and the Future (what you want to do). It is constantly evaluating the past and using it to define its future. Champagne is rebellious and grounded, all in one explosive package. It holds strong under pressure and lets loose as soon as it’s opened. It’s the modern beverage for those of us out there trying to create something bigger than ourselves—and trying to drink something that has existed before us and will exist after us."
She continues, "This is how I feel when I drink Champagne, about three-fourths of the way through a great bottle: It makes music sound better, clothes feel sexier, people look sexier, big ideas seem possible. It’s a legal drug—one that lets you get a little loose, fly high on effervescence, dance a little too close, jump into pools naked. It’s a mischievous potion that can allow you to make some silly mistakes. And sometimes a mistake is not a mistake at all, but rather a moment that will change the course of your life."
We'll drink to that....