This new year start saying hello to bubbles more often. In fact, if you start using “bubbles” as an endearing nickname for other people then nobody will catch on to the fact that you are in fact talking to your drink. You can say things like “hello bubbles”, “good to see you again bubbles”, and “i love you bubbles, i hope we are together forever”. Then drink your bubbles.
Bubbles a la sabrage
Consider yourself sabred Bubbles
Hola Senor Bubbles Cava
Vinyl Bubbles Cremant
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?
We attended the first Christmas party of the year – the hosts denied it was a Christmas party but really, it’s December for pity’s sake. It felt all Christmas-y to me. I was very impressed with the wine selection. Hosts C&J claimed to have just purchased whatever was on sale on the end aisles at the wine store. I have my suspicions that they knew exactly what they were doing. Either way, this is a good recipe for selecting party wines. Or you can buy inexpensive bottles with cute animals on the label – that might go over well too.
Start with bubbly - "Tiny bubbles in the wine" and all that - Prosecco from Italy is much cheaper than Champagne from France
Côtes du Rhône is the backbone of your selections - who can argue with French red?
A second Côtes du Rhône makes it look like you really know what you are doing
There are sure to be Italians at any party - don't risk offending them - have a "vino rustico" on hand
American Zinfandel is an intersting alternative to an all-European lineup- "He must know what he's doing serving Zinfandel at a party"
This is something I got from my wife’s favorite food person ~ Nigella Lawson, the Food Network’s answer to a hungry Sophia Loren ~ and it is a great summer drink. I made it for our hosts here in Italy last night and now Donna and I are friends for life.
Juice 6 limes into a pitcher and then add a bottle of chilled sweet Prosecco (Italian “champagne”) ~ you can even use SPUMANTE BAMBINO LCBO $ 7.25 because it works just fine and it’s kinda fun for a wine blog to recommend Spumante Bambino. If you like your aperitif dry then use the VINO DEI POETI PROSECCO LCBO 897702 $ 11.45 ~ that’s the one I like using.
Don't forget to chill it first and don't forget the LIMES!