2015 is not a leap year – at least we don’t get a leap day. However thanks to the fine work of the people at the International Earth Rotation and something something service, we get a leap second this summer! Who knows why – i’ve read dozens of web sites about it and i think some Time Lord is doing something on the Space-Time continuum and doing Doctor Who-knows-what with our clocks.
Here are my options of what to do with my extra second?
- Cook 1 second’s worth of minute rice
- Slowly spell “Mississippi” or alternately count “one steamboat”
- Give my second away to a friend so that they have two [which now that i write that seems rather reckless to throw a precious gift like this away]
- Sneak in another double espresso that i thought i didn’t have time to drink
- Carefully manipulate that second to improve the timing on a great joke
- Fire a champagne cork across my back yard at the neighbour’s house
Oooh, maybe I can carefully coordinate my family to do the minute rice, Mississippi, double espresso, tell a joke, and champagne cork all at the same time. Sign up now kids for the one you want – Dad’s having fun again!
Why do we need a leap second? It’s all right here Leap Second 2015
What am I drinking to celebrate my new found leap second? Well at 400 bubbles per second a glass of wine seems like the only rational choice. Segura Viudas Reserva Cava, $14.95. I don’t have the time to get too technical about the tasting notes but suffice it to say that it is delicious and reminds me of a white bubbly wine that tastes like grapes.
History is written by the victors. I’ve never stopped to think about the layered meanings of this generally agreed upon truth. Of course Columbus got to write about discovering America [even though we all know it was Bugs Bunny] and Hernán Cortés about discovering Mexico when we all really know that there were people living there doing quite well before we brought them smallpox and Walmart.
I don’t know if anyone invented bubbly before French Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon broke silence in the local abbey by shouting, “Come quickly, I have tasted the stars” [I wonder if he got shushed]. Many historians will say that the bubbles were being bottled long before Dom got all the headlines. But whether “first in space” or not, Dom was a master winemaker. By enhancing his white wine’s ability to retain their natural sugars after the harvest, inducing a secondary fermentation in the spring, and then bottling these wines at just the right time to capture the bubbles he did master the art of méthode champenoise. Which begs the question, when did he ever have time for prayer and reading – and how on earth did he ever practice humility after capturing the stars?
While true Champagne remains an almost unaffordable luxury at $50 or more per bottle there are several other excellent sparkling wine alternatives in the $20 range including Cava – the Spanish version and my personal favourite – Prosecco – for the Italophile in the room- and Crémant – the name for French sparkling wine made outside the region of Champagne and an excellent source of tasty bubbles.
My advice to you this year is to try many of them and don’t just wait for “special occasions”. Believe me, there is not a better special occasion than hugging your wife in the kitchen on a Tuesday night with a flute of bubbly. It really is the only way to live your life. Ironic that a monk devoted to a life of celibacy did something in order to help solidify my marriage … don’t you think? Now who’s rewriting history?
I’ve had it with parody today and I’ve only been subjected to it once. You’ve seen the CTV newsclip about the guy from Vancouver who wants to wear a white pasta strainer on his head for his driver’s license photo? He claims his religious right as a Pastafarian – seriously, look it up. As I understand it, Pastafarianism was created by atheists looking to get their own “religious rights” [now that’s actually a pretty good irony I think] so that the pastafarian may wear a pasta strainer on his head whenever he feels the pasta-god, or whatever those people are talking about, wants him too.
That’s whatever you were talking about. I’ve never heard such a shocking and brutal injustice I’ve cared so little about.
Time to get grounded back to earth and read and write about things that matter. Things like the Montreal Canadiens playing the Toronto Maple Leaves to open the books on the NHL season.
For my part a nice Cava from Friexenet Brut – the black bottle – celebrates the game nicely. In Spain the locals consider this “Las cosas buenas” [the good stuff]. I also hear that it keeps the Pastafarians away. Come to think about it some of les Canadiens helmets look like pasta strainers.
Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava
My top shelf is empty. For those who follow this blog you will recall that the top shelf is the vin ordinaire – the wine that my wife can open without asking “is this saved for something special?”.
So a restocking is in order. Here’s what I came up with – 8 bottles for $90. They are the wines that are good and inexpensive too.
- France – GEORGES DUBOEUF BEAUJOLAIS LCBO 212480 |Price $ 10.95
- Pelee Island – PELEE ISLAND BACO NOIR VQA LCBO 485128 | Price $ 10.45
- Spain – BODEGAS CASTANO HECULA LCBO 300673 | Price $ 11.80
- Niagara – CHATEAU DES CHARMES ALIGOTE VQA ST. DAVID’S BENCH LCBO 296848 |Price $ 13.95
- Italy - MEZZOMONDO NEGROAMARO SALENTO IGT LCBO 588962 |Price $ 9.00
- Spain [Cava} – CODORNIU BRUT CLASICO SPARKLING LCBO 215814 | Price $ 12.95
- Portugal – BERCO DO INFANTE RESERVA LCBO 253864 |Price $ 9.20
- Niagara – CALAMUS RIESLING 2010 VINTAGES 158642 | Price $ 16.95 [I spend big $$ on this one because my man Orest vouched for it]
If you don’t know something then its never been easier to ask an expert. I was sitting at my computer tweeting (aka reading other people’s mail) when I read that Adam Rapoport, editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit magazine was answering questions for the next hour. Perfect – I’m chatting with the freakin’ editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit! Here’s how it went down.
I was ready to “Let’s do this” so I began the proceedings …
@rapo4 aka Adam Rapoport replied …I countered that …
and that …
Thanks Adam – it’s good to have somebody reaffirm my own taste in wine
Disclaimer – Adam Rapoport was not paid for this interview – in fact he has no idea who I am
Last night I opened a dangerous highly pressurized bottle of bubbly with the back of an equally dangerous 10″ chef’s knife. This marked the first tine I’ve sabred Cava (Spanish champagne) on this continent. I’ve learned that the secret is to NOT tell your wife about your intentions as apparently “that sounds really dangerous”. Thanks again Brother-in-Spain for getting me started. I am 4 for 4 on first attempts.
If I can ever figure out how to get the people from YouTube over to my house I will get this on video the next time.
I should probably consult my lawyer friends and put some sort of disclaimer here about not trying this at home – but you know …
Forgive me if this turns into a travel blog for a couple of months – I’m in Spain soaking up another Euro Championship, some sun, and some Cava
3 por 2 is my new favorite Spanish math. We bought 3 Segura Viudas brut nature cava – Lavit – for the price of 2. Loco!
That means that if I do my math correctly I can get 6 for the price of 4. When have you ever seen that at the LCBO? Furthermore they are delicious. They are inexpensive enough that I’m going to attempt to saber one open if I can convince my wife that our travel health insurance covers me for accidents related to opening champagne with the back of a chef’s knife. Video to follow.