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June 3, 2006

Mr. Henry Changes His Mind

Filed under: Japanese Food,Mr. Henry,Wine — Mr. Henry @ 9:58 am

Unlike Mr. D’Arcy whose good opinion once lost is forever lost, Mr. Henry retains the privilege of changing his mind. Although a man of his word, he never stands by his mistakes.

A Mr. Henry Dictum: What may be true in the aggregate may be false in the particular.

[Such is the starch a money manager might employ to explain why although the market as a whole is up, your investments are down.]

With regard to champagne, our present topic, the dictum against drinking rosé hinges largely on price. Mr. Henry does not want his friends to become dependent on budget-busting effervescences.

Rosé champagne can be quite wonderful, and indeed, as Courtney says, to call it “pink” is rather disparaging. Yes, the best ones are prepared by leaving the pinot noir skins in contact with the juice – the saignée (bleeding) method – although others are made by simply blending a bit of red wine with white before bottling. (In each case, the subsequent addition of a spoonful of yeasty sugar syrup enables a second fermentation in the bottle.)

Mr. Henry’s experience with rosé champagne harks back to an embarrassing dinner ten years ago. My Phuong, a graduate of the Ecole du Cordon Bleu, had spent all day preparing an exquisite bouillabaisse in New York, a difficult accomplishment because the requisite Mediterranean little salty fishes are tricky to substitute, and Mr. Henry at the insistence of a stripling youth behind the counter of Nancy’s Wines for Food had been persuaded to buy a rosé champagne. It was a disastrous match. We seemed to be drinking our dessert as an accompaniment to our soup.

Since that fateful evening, he has not gone near the stuff.

Recently, however, small champagne houses such as Billecart-Salmon and Gosset have been making excellent dry rosé champagnes offered at high prices. Mr. Henry is not a skinflint but he balks at paying giant sums for curiosities. He is more than willing, however, to accept the generosity of his many friends who take a more carefree approach to disposable income.

nota bene: Since Mrs. Henry does not drink, which is her principal failing in marital relations, an invitation to us both won’t cost very much.


  1. I love it when you say saignée!

    Comment by Ronikins — June 4, 2006 @ 5:02 am

  2. Good to hear about the dry rose. I agree that too often it’s just too sweet for me.

    Comment by Tammy — June 5, 2006 @ 1:29 pm

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