The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Veuve Clicquot on the Job

In some circumstances it can be useful to have a knowledge of fine luxury goods, like expensive champagne, for example, to impress and astound other ordinary mortals like oneself. Personally, I have very limited knowledge of fine wines, but that hasn't stopped me from using that knowledge as much as possible. For example, once, when I was working as a bellman at the Eldorado hotel in Santa Fe, one of our tasks was to light fires in the rooms. Many rooms in the Eldorado had fireplaces, all of the traditional kiva design (this is common in Santa Fe), and most had fairly long flues. The long flues make it more likely that the smoke from a fire will spill into the room instead of exit through the flue. For this reason, the hotel recommended calling a bellman to light one's fire, even if the person knows (or thinks they know) how to build a fire (surprisingly many people don't). The techniques we'd use to get the smoke flowing upward were, for one, to warm up the flue with a bit of burning newspaper, or, if that didn't work, to open a window to the outside.

For this reason, I was occasionally called to light fires, and on this particular Valentine's day, when I was stuck working at the Eldorado (instead of spending time with a nonexistent girlfriend), I was called to light several fires. One of the rooms I was called to was that of a a man with his girlfriend (or wife or female acquaintance or escort; who knows). He'd ordered champagne and strawberries (just like Richard Gere in Pretty Woman) and I happened to notice that the champagne bottle had an orange label, which I recognized and said "Ah, Veuve-Clicquot. Excellent champagne." I, of course, only knew that it was an excellent champagne by reputation, since I hadn't tried it before, and only recognized the label because I'd seen it in stores and restaurants and such. This man, being quite friendly said, "Oh, you like Veuve-Clicquot? Why don't you join us for a glass?" I had to demur, since I was working, but he insisted and I relented without much of a struggle.

The champagne was good, so far as I could tell. I definitely couldn't tell you how to distinguish a good from a not so good champagne, but I praised this one to the sky: "Oh, this tastes great! Really amazing!" He offered me to have a strawberry with the champagne, noting (probably quoting directly from Pretty Woman): "It really brings out the flavor of the champagne." I can say they definitely do go well together, so if you ever have a chance, you should try. Unfortunately, I had to leave them. Assuredly, they wanted me to get out of there too, since sharing Valentine's day with the hotel bellman is probably not very romantic (at least to some people).

If you've worked in a hospitality, you know that an amiable guest can make the difference between a good day and a bad day. And that was a good day.

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