The Wine You Should Drink With The Fourth Episode Of Sweetbitter

Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
This weekend, the fourth episode of Starz's new drama Sweetbitter airs. Before tuning in, however, we should first chose a bottle of wine to enjoy with the third to last episode of the show's first season.
The preview for episode 4, "Simone's," opens with Tess delivering the line "I think that home is past." The loaded statement is spoken to her bad boy crush, Jake, while they stand on the street, alone together. We also see Tess outside the restaurant in this week's preview. She takes Simone up on her offer to come over to her place — hence the episode's title — and the two cheers with glasses of Champagne. Despite the fun and bubbles, Simone issues a serious warning to Tess about men who are damaged by their checkered pasts. With quick cuts to interactions between Jake and Tess, we're led to believe that Simone is telling her new protégé to stay away from the bartender.
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In this episode, we may finally get to see what kind of life Tess and Sweetbitter's other key characters have built for themselves outside of the restaurant. Certified wine educator and founder of Wine Savvy NYC Sayle Milne had the perfect pairing for just that, Albrecht Cremant Brut Rose Tradition.
"Tess may believe that 'home is in the past' but in the case of wine, it is the past that lives in the bottle," Milne explains. "There is no other wine word more important to the French than terrior (tare-wahr), in my opinion. It means 'a sense of place' and can be thought of as all of the factors — environmental and man-made — that makes one bottle of wine unlike any other because of the place it comes from. You can apply that to Tess and to each of us. The place we called home truly helped to shape the person we are."
One of the best examples of a wine whose identity is dictated by its past and the place it comes from is, of course, Champagne, which Tess and Simone just so happen to indulge in on this week's episode. According to Milne, "In the case of Champagne, place is key because you cannot call a sparkling wine Champagne unless is comes from the region of Champagne in France. Champagne is labor intensive and very difficult to make — hence the hefty price tag — but is there truly anything better? I am not so sure."
Like Tess, who is living in New York on a back waiter trainee's paycheck, many of us aren't normally able to afford a bottle of Champs for a casual Sunday night in, however. That's where Milne's alternative, Albrecht Cremant Brut Rose Tradition, comes in. "If you have a love of Champagne but not the prices...There are eight appellations outside of the region of Champagne in France that make beautiful, delicious sparkling wines in the same 'traditional method' as Champagne, and these are among my favorite bubblies. They are called Crémant (cray-mawn), and they need to be in your fridge yesterday." It looks like Tess could learn a lot about the importance of home and one's past from wine.
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