Yesterday, we were in Beverly Hills bright and early for business meetings. The conversation turned to champagne as a gift, and we remembered one of our favorite aperitif (cocktail) champagnes-peach champagne. Inspired by the famed Italian version (the Bellini, which is now the official cocktail of the International Bartenders Association), the French have bottled this wonderful elixir.
The Bellini was invented in Venice by Giuseppe Cipriani at his restaurant called, Harry’s Bar in Venice, in 1934. Legend has it that Signor Cipriani made the first Prosseco (Italian sparkling wine) and white peach puree cocktail for his beautiful girlfriend, and named it “Bellini” because it reminded him of a painting by the 15th century Venetian artist, Giovanni Bellini.. This was the seasonal specialty at this quintessential Venetian restaurant that was frequented by Ernest Hemmingway, Sinclair Lewis and Orson Welles.
We were first introduced to this delight at a fresh fish restaurant in Paris. We ordered the sea food platter with oysters, clams, langoustine, and pink shrimp. Our waiter suggested peach champagne. Both my mother and Ron laughed at me when I ordered it. The moment it arrived and I tasted it, I was in love. When Ron and Mom tasted it, I had to pry out of their hands…they also ordered it.
When we returned to Los Angeles, I promptly called every wine store to find this champagne. I located it at DuVin in West Hollywood across from the Pacific Design Center. It is a wonderful wine store specializing in European wines tucked behind a garden. The owners are a delight and introduced us to many delicious French and Italian wines. When we lived in Napa, I had them deliver a case to our home for holiday gifts several times. In a wine savvy community, everyone was absolutely delighted and could not thank us enough for this amazing champagne treat.
Wishing you all a great weekend, Cheers Ron & Alexandra
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