Saturday 1 January 2011

shampanskykh or apres ski

H and I spent a very nice New Year's eve celebration at home, launching fireworks in the street and enjoying televised calvacades of various dance music genres, the networks opening up their archives of party chart-toppers and in-studio performances, rarely-seen vignettes that predated the venue known as the music-video where the audience is allowed to engage the band fully and songs that became standards for all types of fests.  We also toasted in the new year with a very good Russian white sparkling wine, Krimskoye.  Champagne and its imitators, though I imagine that's attributed rather than aspired for through the insecure opinions of faux-connoisseurs, are afforded a strange array of protections as well as a sacrosanct place in for seasonal and other other celebrations.  I suppose that one reason its drunk on such occasions is that it is a new wine, fresh and not aged, which not only symbolizes the new year and untainted beginnings but also allows it to be produced and delivered to market just in time. 
Before modern day cola-wars and the ubiquitous branding campaigns of today's non-adult beverages, champagne was aggressively marketed, touted as a tonic and cure-all--think of all of those vintage, elegant advertisements for one's common cola as well as the more exotic additives that helped boost its initial popularity--and it was gradually installed as a an indispensable party-favour.  One certainly does not want to think of one's party plans as having anything to do with logos, labels and product-placement, but I guess that the success of that marketing venture is demonstrated at minimum every time the calendar turns.  Toasting or otherwise christening one's special occasions does not feel obligatory nor a product of consumer-culture, and I guess that is one of the true hallmarks of intelligent marketing, when labels and corporate influences can be stripped away, and the handiwork of some shrewd and hard working vintner families can join in the fun.