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House of Wine Awards, 2011: Amy

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When your ten-year-old asks you what ‘irony’ means, here’s what you tell her:

Amy Winehouse will go down in history for giving detox a bad name...”

The July death of the twenty-something drugstress—who may have been on the rocky road to recovery—was apparently the result of alcohol withdrawal.

This little-known phenomenon happens when a confused brain ratchets up hormone production to compensate for its missing supply ofKetel One, flooding the body with abnormally high levels of serotonin, epinephrine and dopamine. According to Betty Ford Clinic director Dr. Harry Haroutunian, “About half the people who come off steady and regular alcohol use will have some manifestation of the syndrome.”

At least we know why she said ‘No, no, no’ when they tried to make her go to rehab.

Among the myriad tragedies for fans and family that her crazy but probably timely death begets is that Amy Winehouse herself will miss out on Billecart-Salmon’s fabulous Champagne tasting at Thomas Gibson Fine Art on Bruton Street in London this Wednesday, November 9, at 6:30 PM.

The tasting (£19.00), will include samples of Billecart-Salmon Brut NV, Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé NV, Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, Cuvée Brut Sous Bois NV and Vintage 2004 Extra Brut.

Accompanying the fizz fest will be an exhibition by Pop Art exponent Gerald Laing.

Billecart’s bubbly blow-out is dedicated collectively to John Barrymore (whose last words before succumbing to cirrhosis were, “Die? I should say not, dear fellow…”), Brendan Behan (who claimed, “I only drink on two occasions—when I’m thirsty and when I’m not” before dying of drink-induced diabetes), Jack Kerouac (whose writing style became ‘stream of unconsciousness’ when he croaked of an internal hemorrhage caused by his favorite breakfast: malt whiskey) and Billy Holiday (who died of liver disease after have squandered her earnings on drink—at the time of her demise, she had $0.70 in the bank…)

I Know What You’re Saying…

…Why would a respected, two-hundred-year-old wine house lend its name to a celebration of these pathetic sots, each of whom ultimately proved that their thirst outranked their talent and that chug-a-lugging had more value than their children? And (despite being named for an anadromous trout), why would the family-owned Billecart-Salmon donate product to said bacchanalia when it was the very commodity they produce that killed off these luminary lushes?

The answer is that they did not. All the above, except for the date and place of the Champagne tasting, is pure made-up claptrap. In fact, the Mayfair tasting is dedicated to Amy Winehouse, the only one among the artists mentioned that died from NOT drinking.

If your ten-year-old is still unclear on the concept of ‘irony’, let her read this.

Tasting Notes:

None. By sponsoring the Amy Winehouse Pop Art Expo & Champagne Tasting, Billecart-Salmon forfeited any claim to having taste.

If You MUST:

Pop Art Expo & Champagne Tasting

Ministry of Wine is glad to welcome you to an exhibition dedicated to Amy Winehouse by Pop Art exponent Gerald Laing, during which you will enjoy an exclusive champagne tasting.
James Thomas, from Billecart-Salmon, will guide you through their fantastic range and you will try the following champagne:
- Billecart-Salmon Brut NV
- Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé NV
- Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru
- Cuvée Brut Sous Bois NV
- Vintage 2004 Extra Brut

Tasting price: £19.00
Date: Wednesday 9 November
Time: 6:30pm until 8:30pm
Address:
Thomas Gibson Fine Art
31 Bruton Street
Mayfair
London W1J 6QS

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