It’s been 14 years since I left the US. Although England is now my home, at least once a month I feel homesick. I miss the most random things about the US. I miss the supermarkets where the cereal aisle seems endless and there are more versions of Cheetos than you can ever imagine. I miss Target where you can pretty much get everything you need under one roof. I miss the food court in the malls where no matter which mall you go to, it all smells the same. I miss all significant American days like the Superbowl, Thanksgiving, and most of all, Fourth of July.
I sometimes like to refer to Fourth of July as the day Will Smith saved the world from aliens (I find that it helps people not from the US relate to what our Independence Day is, plus it's far more exciting than the real history of America). I get quite emotional on Fourth of July as an expat and find that I randomly find myself bursting out loud with the national anthem. I miss the parties and the food on Fourth of July. And nothing makes me feel more American than having some mac n cheese.
Now to the point of my nostalgic blabbering…Champagne is hands down the best paring for mac n cheese. Followed by a good white Burgundy. But Champagne just has that extra special celebratory freshness that allows you to eat more than you probably should. And this Fourth of July I have the perfect bottle of my mac n cheese.
JL Vergnon has been a family estate for over two centuries. Originally they were a retailer of wine and alcohol, and in the 1950’s the family procured some vineyards and started producing their own wine. Clement Vergnon is the third generation winemaker in his family and is currently taking the helm. They produce a Blanc de Blancs vintage cuvee called “MSNL” which uses Chardonnay grapes from two of the most acclaimed single vineyards of the grand cru village of Les Mesnil sur Oger, “Les Chetillon” and “Les Mussetttes”. It is vinified and aged purely in stainless steel and on the lees for 7 years before disgorging.
For those who like a good white Burgundy (which I do), this is the Champagne for you. The nose reminds me of early summer mornings when the air is fresh and slightly cool but you can smell the heat of the day coming on. It smells of cold white peaches and morning honey suckles with a whiff of freshly baked frangipane. On the palate it is vinious, silky and smooth and has a slight salty minerality at the end.
Now back to my mac n cheese. My guilty pleasure is a Kraft packaged mac n cheese where the cheese is probably not real and the shape of the mac does party tricks in your mouth. Nothing about this mac n cheese is gourmet but it is so deliciously wrong and brings back so many happy memories of growing up and surviving in university. It’s great on its own or you can fancy it up by putting some frozen peas in it, or, my favourite, using it as a topping for hot dogs.
But whatever you decide to do, have it with some Champagne. It will blow your mind! Anyways, I feel like this is also what Thomas Jefferson would do.
Happy Fourth of July!
Until July 4th, you can add a box of Kraft Mac N Cheese to any order on Bubbleshop - order by midnight on June 29th for delivery in time for the big day!