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All Hail the Nabuchodonosor!

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Champagnes at Beau's Wine Bin.  Photo taken Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD
Champagnes at Beau's Wine Bin. Photo taken Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

No it’s not a paleolithic sparkling wine, it’s simply French for Nebuchadnezzar. So what does the king who drove the loathsome Elamites from Babylon and made war with the hated Assyrians have to do with the bubbly? Nada. Wait, wait. That’s Nebuchadnezzar I. Perhaps it has something to do with the Deuce, who eventually delivered Babylon from the same hated Assyrians, sacked Ninevah and held in bondage history’s first big trio: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The man whose dreams Daniel interpreted as the rise and fall of his own Chaldean empire. The man who fought through a seven-year sentence of lycanthropy and madness for his sins only to make it back to his throne where he ruled, quite literally, as a righteous dude.

Nope, not him either.

It’s a ginormous bottle of champagne, containing roughly 20 standard bottles of champagne.  Stan is excited not because he’s holding it, but because he’s sold it. Veuve sells for right around $50, so multiply that by 20, shave a little off for the savings on glass…you get the picture. It’s not something he just keeps in stock.

No, this bottle is reserved for a local wine collector of moderate renown. I’m not saying who it is, but his name rhymes with Nebuchadaubrey.

But this is not the largest bottle of champagne one can purchase.  The Melchior contains 24 bottles. The Solomon pours a little under 27. A Sovereign plays out a very record-player friendly 33 and a third bottles. The Primat is good for 36 bottles. But the granddaddy of all champagne containers is the Melchizedek, who I think used to be the D-coordinator at Texas before taking over as head coach at Auburn. The Melchizedek is a Nebuchadnezzar+a Nabuchodonosor, giving new meaning to the phrase “Chillin with a 40.”

How do you pour one of these bubbly behemoths? Stan told me you punt. Also known as a kick-up, the dimple at the bottom of a giant champagne bottle is large enough to curl your hand into and lift. Heck, if Han Solo would’ve had a Melchizedek of Veuve he could’ve slept in the punt, saving that poor tauntaun and ruining the whole tauntaun sleeping bag industry.

The photo above of Stan with the Nabuchodonosor and all his bottles of bubbly were by Jim Beckel, better known as The Captain.

The flutes were provided by Spiegelau. The champagnes were from Beau’s Wine Bin and Spirits Shoppe.

With all that clarified, I hoist a virtual glass toward your gently reading eyes, bidding you a Happy New Year in the teens that march toward us.

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Dave Cathey

The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene. Read more ›

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