Black-eyed peas and Champagne for New Year’s day

On New Year’s day, Tracie P cooked up some black-eyed peas with the ham bone reserved from the spiral ham Mrs. B had served on Christmas day. Her buttermilk cornbread (baked in her grandmother’s cast-iron skillet) was unbelievably delicious, especially when used to sop up the bean liquor (as it is called in the south, i.e., the beans’s cooking liquid). Neapolitan-style cabbage braised with onions gave the combined flavors just the right twang of sweet and sour.

And the perfect pairing for those creamy beans? Henriot NV Blanc Souverain, 100% Chardonnay. Ubi major, minor cessat: I am always one to agree with Ed McCarthy when notes that Chardonnay finds one of its greatest expressions in Champagne. This wine was an ideal pairing for the flavors of our New Year’s day meal: its acidity and white stone fruit flavors combined with its elegant fizziness were wonderfully refreshing against the richness of the cornbread, the dolce amaro of the cabbage, and the texture of the legumes.

Black-eyed peas for New Year’s is now a three-year-old tradition at our house and de rigueur in the south. I loved Jessica Harris’s NY Times op-ed on its origins as a New Year’s dish.

What did ya’ll eat on New Year’s day?