January 1, 2014

Happy New Year


Thank Dom Perignon, a Benedictine monk, who reportedly said, "Come quickly, I'm drinking stars."  As cellarmaster at  the Abbey of Hautvillers, he was charged by his superiors to get rid of the bubbles in the wine because they caused the bottles to explode.  Instead he perfected the method of creating champagne.   

Thank the Champagne Widows (veuves) who founded Veuve Clicquot, Bollinger, Laurent-Perrier, Pommery, Veuve Fourny and Veuve Doussot

From its bottle shape to its taste, color, labeling and even marketing, Champagne owes its uniqueness to a series of widows from the early 19th century who used the sometimes mysterious deaths of their husbands to enter the male-dominated business world.

The widows became so successful that dozens of Champagnes added 'Veuve' to their names even though no widow ran the house - just for its mystique and marketing value. …

'Champagne is the story of widows,' said Francois Godard, scion of Veuve Godard et Fils Champagne house. 'Women who lost their husbands, and then outshone the men.'  Widowhood gave these figures an independent social status in France. Unlike other women - who were the property of a father or a husband - only a widow could become a CEO…..Experts say that Champagne was one of the first industries in the modern world that women shaped and in which they enjoyed a prominent role.

Gigi (Leslie Caron) sings The Night They Invented Champagne.

Why We Sing Auld Lang Syne on New Year’s Eve    Thank Guy Lombardo, Mr. New Year's Eve.

This tradition is mostly thanks to Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadian Band…..It was in 1929 that Guy Lombardo and his band took the stage at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City on New Year’s Eve. Their performance that night was being broadcast on the radio, before midnight Eastern-time on CBS, then after on NBC radio.

At midnight, as a transition between the broadcasts, the song they chose to play was an old Scottish folk song Lombardo had first heard from Scottish immigrants in Ontario. The song was Auld Lang Syne. ….

The next year, and every year thereafter, all the way to 1976, with Lombardo dying at the age of 75 in 1977, they played it at midnight on New Year’s Eve, at first broadcast out on the radio and later on TV. Thanks to “Mr. New Year’s Eve” and his band, it’s still tradition to this day.
It is often said that the song, Auld Lang Syne, was written by famed eighteenth century poet/songwriter, “Scotland’s Favorite Son” -Robert Burns. However, Burns never claimed to have written the song -in fact, quite the opposite. When he submitted it to the Scots Musical Museum, he included a note stating: “The following song, an old song, of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man's singing, is enough to recommend any air.”
Posted by Jill Fallon at January 1, 2014 12:34 AM | Permalink