Ancelotti the toast of Chelsea
Carlo Ancelotti's glass of red wine - barely touched and described in terms that suggests his grasp of the English language is almost complete - contained the only clouds on his horizon.
Relaxing against the cushion of Chelsea's Premier League title triumph, the Italian let that inscrutable mask slip just a little as he reflected on the scale of his achievements in his first season at Stamford Bridge.
"Just easy questions please because my level of wine is high," he demanded after ditching his traditional suit for Chelsea colours and a blue and white scarf.
But all questions are easy after claiming the domestic game's highest honour with an 8-0 defeat of Wigan, Chelsea's biggest league victory of the campaign.
The Premier League season, rather like Ancelotti's dubious wine, has not been vintage quality but everything - well, almost everything - tasted sweet to the Italian as he basked in the afterglow of a personal triumph.
His relationship with Chelsea's fans has been something of a slow burner, not like the instant love affair kindled by Jose Mourinho when he parachuted into Stamford Bridge on the back of a Champions League triumph with Porto and a blizzard of gilt-edged quotes.
But on Sunday, Ancelotti received all the respect he was due, and more besides, from Blues supporters as they acclaimed a manager who has attained success with a quiet calm and dignity that has gone some way towards scratching away the antipathy aimed at the club during Mourinho's confrontational and tempestuous stewardship.
Ancelotti celebrates with the Premier League trophy. Photo: Getty Images
Even as an unabashed Mourinho admirer, it is impossible not to respect Ancelotti as he goes about his job without the degree of pantomime villainy and pandemonium that so often accompanied his illustrious predecessor.
And it all came together in one glorious moment when, with Chelsea in the rather comfortable position of leading 7-0 when knowing any kind of victory would end Manchester United's three-year reign as champions, Stamford Bridge demanded a wave.
Ancelotti modestly stepped forward and obliged. Then, almost as an afterthought, he turned to the Matthew Harding Stand and delivered the most emphatic, animated pumped-fist salute. The bond was sealed.
Sunderland, Stoke City and Aston Villa have all taken seven-goal beatings. And what better time than the decisive day in the league season to go one better and make it eight against Wigan?
It was the climax of a convincing finale to Chelsea's campaign. After defeat against Tottenham, they have amassed 17 goals without reply in their final three games to go past a century of league goals in 2009/10, the first team to achieve the feat since the White Hart Lane club themselves 47 years ago.
Chelsea have had their moments. They have been too vulnerable on their travels and should have wrapped up the title some time ago.
But, as ever, the Premier League has the winners it deserves. Any argument is laid to rest by Chelsea's wins, home and away, against both Arsenal and Manchester United, the last victory at Old Trafford rightly seen by Ancelotti as the key one.
In many ways, Ancelotti's more positive approach was the only way forward because the old veneer of invincibility at the back has disappeared this season. Chelsea gave opponents a chance, but they could also score goals by the truckload, which weighed the equation in their favour.
Chelsea have occasionally left the door ajar for their title rivals in 2009/10, but United and Arsenal were unable to bundle through. It may not have been the most distinguished season in Premier League history, but the old rule held good, namely that the finest team finishes top of the pile.
The final margin was only a point, but it would do Chelsea a disservice to claim that they are not rightful champions. United could never get a grip on the race, while Arsenal, quite simply, were nowhere near good enough despite the protestations of those who rail at perceived criticism of the club and their manager, Arsene Wenger.
Ancelotti's steady hand and refusal to overreact in defeat or victory has calmed any troubles Chelsea have faced. He has proved capable of juggling a variety of difficulties, from John Terry's personal problems to high-maintenance individuals like Didier Drogba with expertise borne of years of experience at AC Milan.
And even amid the smoothest passage to victory over Wigan, his man-management skills were called on again following a tantrum from Drogba that was laughable and ludicrous in equal measure.
Drogba, battling with Manchester United's Wayne Rooney for the Golden Boot, took grave offence at Frank Lampard's not unreasonable suggestion that he rather than the striker should take a penalty with Chelsea still only one up.
Lampard, as he usually does, scored with aplomb but Drogba went into a schoolboy strop for several minutes, seemingly believing that his own personal honour had been shamelessly and unjustly sacrificed in Chelsea's attempt to win the title.
Cue lots of pouting and arm-waving, even a touchline exchange with Ancelotti, who revealed the discussion stretched into the half-time interval. "I told him 'quiet, you can score in the second half'. He did. See, I am a magician," the Chelsea boss explained.
In fact, Drogba scored a hat-trick, thus enabling him to claim the Golden Boot as well as another Premier League title medal and lashings of affection from his team-mates.
Nicolas Anelka scored twice while Salomon Kalou and Ashley Cole rounded off a victory and performance that was a resounding advert for Ancelotti's methods. It also allowed Abramovich to sit wreathed in smiles.
How the Chelsea fans revelled in the restoration of their club to the status of champions. Irony was certainly heavy in the air when they sang "Boring, Boring Chelsea" as their final goal tally was announced over the Stamford Bridge PA.
And no celebration would be complete without a jibe at Sir Alex Ferguson, who hinted at the start of the season that the passage of time might hinder Chelsea's attempt to grab the trophy away from Old Trafford. "We're too old to win the league" was a chant that had Ferguson's name written all over it.
Ancelotti may actually take Ferguson's words into consideration as he holds a summit meeting with Abramovich shortly. The counter argument is that there is no substitute for experience - and Chelsea have that in abundance.
Experience is something Ancelotti also has. His cool demeanour after Chelsea's wobble at Spurs ensured they stayed on course to end a three-year wait to recapture the Premier League crown. And he now stands on the edge of making history less than a year after his appointment as Chelsea attempt to complete the double for the first time when they meet Portsmouth in the FA Cup final on Saturday.
Ancelotti claimed he was unsure how he would celebrate winning what he regards as the best league in world football. But while blue was the colour for Chelsea's fans, you suspect he had his eyes on something of the finest red. Fully deserved, too.