In 1728 Louis XV issued a proclamation allowing the ‘foamy’ wines of Champagne to be shipped in bottles rather than barrels. As Champagne isn’t Champagne until its second fermentation in bottle, Louis XV’s proclamation is what allowed Champagne to be known and enjoyed outside of the region. The house of Champagne de Venoge calls this event the birth of Champagne and the proclamation Champagne’s birth certificate. For this reason they have named their vintage cuvée Louis XV.
Last night a regular customer who usually shops with a friend, came into the store alone and went straight to the lock box asking for the not inexpensive Louis XV. I got the bottle out for him and said, ‘This must be a special occasion.’ He looked a bit pained, but didn’t say anything. Then seeing that there was quite a wait at the check out, he pulled me aside. ‘Is there any way to expedite this?’ He hesitated then went on, ‘My friend is dying. I want him to have a chance to enjoy his favorite Champagne one more time, but I need to get back in time.’
I imagine there is nothing that softens the pain of facing one’s last moments on earth more than a beautiful gesture from a loving friend.