Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Bars & Spirits

Drink of the week: Bollinger NV Special Cuvee Brut

"Bolly, darling!"

Any fan of Absolutely Fabulous will recognize that war cry. The BBC comedy series, which ran from 1992 to 2004, starred Jennifer Saunders as London PR agency owner Edina Monsoon and Joanna Lumley as magazine editor Patsy Stone. The pair are enthusiastic party girls and dedicated followers of fashion who simply refuse to age out of their passions (or their miniskirts).

AbFab's over-the-top humor and Eddy's and Patsy's exuberantly overindulgent lifestyle (not to mention Saunders' brilliant writing) made it one of my favorite TV sitcoms ever. And now it's back: Absolutely Fabulous the Movie opens Friday, with Eddy, Patsy and the whole gang back with a bang.

Or rather, a pop. The movie's poster shows the duo riding a giant bottle of Bollinger NV Special Cuvee Brut, a classic Champagne that was the series' signature quaff.

One of the show's best visuals was Eddy's kitchen, dominated by a giant glass-doored refrigerator stocked only with Veuve Clicquot on one side and her beloved Bolly on the other.

Usually in this column I'm as sensible as Eddy's long-suffering daughter, Saffron, reviewing good wines at reasonable price points. But in honor of AbFab, today it's Bolly, darling, widely available at about $55 per bottle.

How does it taste to drink like Patsy and Eddy? Bollinger fills the glass with a pale silvery-gold color (tres elegant) and a frenzy of tiny, streaming bubbles. (Not to be confused with Bubble, Eddy's airheaded assistant.) The wine's rich aroma conjures freshly baked almond croissants, brightened with a citrusy hint of clementine.

Take a mouthful — no sipping on AbFab — and savor its creamy, lush feel. The complex flavors include notes of apricot and white cherry, roasted almonds and hazelnuts, pastry crust and honey and even a touch of spice. Holding it all together is a firm structure and a clean, lightly mineral finish.

I want Eddy's fridge.

What to pair Bollinger with? Ideally a giant celebrity-infested party where the hors d'oeuvres table consists of mountains of caviar with all the fixings.

Or combine the Bolly with Patsy's favorite beverage to make an AbFab cocktail, a.k.a. the Stoli Bolly: 1 ounce chilled Stolichnaya vodka (none of that flavored nonsense) in a flute, topped off with a pour of the Champagne.

Cheers, Sweetie Darlings!

Colette Bancroft, Times staff writer

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