Tag Archives: champagne

I HAD TO

21 Feb


Oh hey this is both ten times worse and better than I thought it would be.

Goya Refresco Cola Champagne

This is nowhere near true Champagne. 

Nor is it like a French Cremant, made in, say Saumur, Vouvray, Limoux, or so on in the same way Champagne (and Cava from Spain and Cap Classique in South Africa or other traditional method wines) are.

This is fucking cream soda. Is cream soda tasty?

Fuck yes.

I may need more. It’s totes refresco. And totes full of sugar and happiness.

No, wait, stop Clifford, resist! It’s probably a one-way ticket to diabetes so I’ll keep it to a once a year if it is on sale item. 

Like I try to do with Diet Coke because I had one heck of a DC habit I fear sliding into again.

Although I wish Champagne Cola came in diet. Basically this is cream soda. And if you are disappointed because you wanted a champagne flavor you are gonna be sad because obvi this is not gonna be like that. But it still could suck.

But it does not. So get into it. If you dare.

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I have zero patience 

1 Nov


Should I save bubbly for special times?

Mayhaps.

Should I share it?

Indubitably.

But I tofurked up.

It’s like the veg way of messing up. Tofurk-ing up. My mom was critical of my expletives so I’m exploring my alternative options. Bear with it.

I funked it up on the sharing part but I was sent two Rotari samples, one white and one rosé and…I love rosé and…I was stressed and…okay look I opened it and said to myself “If I finish it a day or so later it may have less bubbles but what the fudge I want it now. I will share the brut later but I want the rosé NOW.

I was SO excited for this because WHAT?! It is grapes made into bubbly just like Champagne but…Italian. 

To be more specific, it’s bubbly from Trentodoc, the second oldest sparking appellation after Champagne.

Like Champagne they make their sparkly from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir–Champagne also sometimes includes Pinot Meunier but this bubbly sticks with the first two. 

Like Champagne the base wine is made and bottled then more yeast and sugar is added to create a second fermentation. At some point after the potion rests on the dregs of exhausted yeast there is disgorgement: all the sediment of the leftover yeast is expelled. Perhaps a small dosage of wine n sugar tops it up. A cork, cage and foil are added and it’s off to the races. Or to the bloggers. Whichever.

That is “traditional method”–or in this case “metodo classico”–sparking  wine!

It’s a lot. But! Does it taste good?

I tasted:

Rotari Rosé Trentodoc 2013

Okay holy frug. Here are my happy thoughts.

Appearance:

Pale, pink-salmon, fine light bubbles.

Nose: raspberries strawberries cherries all the red berries + Wet rocks n yeast.

On the tongue (everyone’s favorite organ): oh the effervescence of a traditional method bubbly! Transfer and tank method cannot surpass the elegance of the bubbles, and this traditional method has all the right stuff. Them’s the high-labor high-price breaks.

High dang acid, medium alcohol, And the flavors oh right those! In addition to those delightful wet stones you get the very light hints of brioche that come from so much time sitting on the lees. That is, the yeast remains. Those are the lees.

It really is a whole lot of strawberry and raspberry and stone and as I said the brioche. So like butter and yeast and cream. My favorite bread and fruit products, usually eaten separately now combined into a sublime beverage.

Fork yah.

Canned Cuvee for Those Times When You Literally Just CAN

26 Jul


Get it? Get it? You just CAN?!!

This little can of forget-your-woes is an Italian bubbly.

History will tell you I am not opposed to canned bubbly booze. With straws, even.

History will tell me I am rarely too big on Italian wine, but times they are a-changing.

Some Italian wines are growing on me. For example, while I’ll pass on the fava beans but I will take brains and a nice Chianti. Minus the brains.

Perhaps the American palate just likes too much of anything, but the Italian vinos I used to encounter in the USA tended to be…too much of one element or another for me to like. Too woody, too tannic, even too acidic, which is hard to do with me seeing as I have approximately zero acid receptors in my taste buds. But some people love a ridiculously big  Barolo that would need 20 years of aging for me to find acceptable.

Because I have become a wine asshole. I was about to say wine snob but my spoiled-brat opinions make me feel like a major jerk.

But! I am finally finding the Italian vinos I dig. So please don’t take offense to my previous misgivings. I have found I enjoy wines from the northerly side of Italy more. From the Veneto, for example.

Presto (procured at Whole Foods) is labeled as a “sparkling cuvée” so who knows the precise methods of production. The can says it is bottled by a company in Fidenza, Italy which is in Parma, just west and depending-where you are in the Veneto (home of Prosecco), south of the Veneto. But maybe it is made in the Veneto. Have I mentioned that I FUCKING LOVE VENICE although I was only there for too brief an evening. When I was a kid so no vino for me. But of all the places in Italy I was lucky enough to visit the Venice was the best.

Now, I had previously been a snob against bubblies. Not that true Champagne is my pinnacle bubbly. I usually like Cava better. But I am guessing this bubbly is made differently from those two types. It was most likely made like Prosecco, with its second fermentation happening in a big steel tank as opposed to in the bottle.

Perhaps a can is the perfect delivery method for tank-fermented bubbly? It goes with the whole easy-going vibe of “let us just ferment a big ol’ batch in a tank” that comes with these wines.

Let us be clear that we should not expect massive amounts of bubbles in this. The can states that it is a “frizzante” which means the wine is only lightly bubbly. “Spumante” would indicate full-on bubbles.

As for the color and the aroma and such well…this is in a can. D’oh. If you want to figure out the nose pour it in glass. And for bubbly use a large all-purpose or tulip glass for goodness sake–coupes and flutes are cute and stylish, but you get the best experience in a bigger glass. You will get the nose without the bubbles going away too quickly. Got your glass? Now take a whiff. You’ll get fresh orange, grapefruit and honeysuckle notes. But even not poured in a glass you are gonna get the same things on your tongue. There is a hint of bready and yeasty notes. Medium in body. Happy in mind. For a serving of bubbly it is decent on wallet. I can endorse Presto.

After trying some in the glass try sipping from the can and…there is a hint of flippin’ Sprite, no joke. But that is good.

Honestly I thought it was gonna be shitty but… I may need to get more of this shiznit. 

I may be getting a wee bit tipsy as I am sitting here sipping and analyzing and writing for you.

Whoops. 

This could be a snazzy pool party drink. For all the theoretical pool parties I am attending.

Which as a vampire I will not be. But I will still sip this canned sparkly delight.

Soviet Bubbly who knew?

28 Oct

I’m just emoting that’s all.

  
THIS IS A REASON TO BUY MOSCATO WHAAAAAT!? yes.

I adore this cocktail gleaned from the wisdom and stories of The CCCP Cook Book. Which rocks.

Thank you Emily Hilligoss for the suggestion.

Oh, and yes I know it only really is champagne if it comes from the region in France but let us just refer to it as champagne because it is like “ya know what I mean when I say champagne”. Unless I state otherwise, I mean sparkling wine.

I made this cocktail not because it sounded like something I’d want to drink. I made it as an excuse to get my hands on some Benedictine. Which I am now having fun employing in a new batch of cocktail experimentation. Even if I weren’t doing that I’d say it was worth the buy because I have now made this cocktail quite a few times. It’s a repeater, y’all!

By the way, I bought Fetzer moscato. At Rite Aid. That is my life. I am buying wine at Rite Aid.

How can I describe this…it is balanced. The sweet, the herbaceous nature of Benedictine, the bubbles of the sparkling wine smoothed by the dry white. My goodness.

Incidentally, the cookbook calls for Soviet champagne. If you have a bottle of champagne leftover from those ripping good days of the Soviet Union, crack er’ open. Otherwise some other such thing will work. It needn’t be fancy. The original recipe is for a lot of people but remember so was the Soviet Union. In theory. There are many theories that don’t work out so well though.

This cocktail is not one of them. It is totally working out for me. The cookbook gives proportions for six drinks. The best way I could reduce it for my measuring purposes was to make 1/5 of a drink so that is what I am giving you. Whee.

There is some fun history in the book about the Soviet team that invented the way to make champagne cheaply in tanks because the government mandated that there needed to be a way to make quick n’ cheap bubbly for the people. So they did okay on that, seeing as Moët & Chandon got the method licensed to them in 1975.

I made do with what I had on hand. I repeat: no need to get fancy. After all the subtitle to this recipe was “working class champagne”. As opposed to royalty champagne? Je ne sais pas.

Soviet Champagne Cocktail adapted from The CCCP Cook Book
60 ml Soviet Champagne (sparkling wine, y’all, in the spirit of thriftiness I say use whatever brand floats your budget boat)
60 ml dry white wine (I tried this with a couple different types and all were fine, use what ya got)
30 ml white muscat wine (I used Fetzer moscato)
15 ml Benedictine
15 ml cognac
15 ml tinned fruit (in the notes they suggest cherries–I didn’t have these canned but had some in the freezer)
30 ml ice
Mix all and add ice and fruit. Yea.

Birthday Bubbly

9 Sep

  
You don’t need money

I mean, you do need to be a baller

as in you need to enter pie contests

then at that there contest you befriend the dude serving pie to the general Los Angeles NPR-listening public next to you. it turns out he is a graphic designer who is a judge for the labels portion of the San Francisco International Wine Competition and gets to bring home 8 boxes of wine entered in the contest.

he ends up being the co-host of many pie parties with you and your friend Alice

he brings home a 450 dollar bottle of fine champagne from being a judge at the wine competition and deems your birthday worthy of opening said bottle

so no one paid for that Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades, a fine brut rosé bubbly

but it got sipped straight down your greedy throat

THAT is how you ball it up in Lalaland.

It was good.

But you guys the bottle.

I mean.

Does it matter? I mean yes, it IS very good. it WAS real champagne.

Its bubbles were more velvety and refined and effervescent and transcendent and je ne said quoi than the average pedestrian sparkly vino. The toasty taste was lilting and pleasant. The fruit is there but not too much. Maybe cherry and roasted apple if I strain my ears. Which is saying something, considering I use my tongue to taste, generally. But this is some refined shit.

For a rosé champagne that is supposedly a fave of Jay-Z’s it is oh so restrained in taste. Surprising. Until you remember the bottle. YOU GUYS the bottle. O. M. G.

Would I pay 450 dollars for it? No. Would I deem myself worthy of opening this refined, velvety, the-universe-in-my-mouth wine?

Fuck.

Yes.

Lady MacDeath

30 Jul


Out, out damned wine spot!
This drink is blood orange and Campari and port and jealousy, ambition and hidden violence in the night. And psychotic breakdown

Lady MacDeath
1 1/2 oz ruby port
1 oz Campari
1/2 oz blood orange
Cava to taste
Stir the port, Campari and blood orange. Add the Cava. Plot domination.

Classic

26 Nov

Please know I am not posting a drink instead of dessert because what I served for Thanksgiving was piedenfroid. It was not. As always, my apple cranberry streusel pie(with a secret ingredient!)dominated. I just feel like a cocktail.

Ah, yes, The Classic Champagne Cocktail.
I kept it classic and served it to my Thanksgiving guests wearing the classic little black dress.
Drinking the CCC in the LBD. Cause I’m old-fashioned.
Yeah you know me.
You are supposed to imagine the previous few sentences rapped to the rhythm of a little Naughty by Nature.
Yeah, 90’s.

If I had my old-fashioned druthers I’d have used a champagne coupe. I know they don’t keep the bubbles in but…I just like them. Problem is I don’t yet actually a champagne coupe yet, nor enough proper vessels for my nine guests so for this event, plastic flutes would have to do. Crud, I really need to work on my run-on sentences.
Crud.
That’s better.
I sometimes have referred to this as an Old Fashioned champagne cocktail. It has a similar base to an Old Fashioned. Minus the orange slice and marachino cherry.
I went to DomaineLA to seek guidance in the proper champagne to defile with other ingredients. I ended up with an awesome and affordable Spanish Cava to which I award the Most Informational Label Ever award. Check it:


They even tell you the soil type. Wicked.

Favorite coctail? Do tell.

Old Fashioned Champagne Cocktail(from Ultimate Bar Book by Mittie Hellmich
1 sugar cube
2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
champagne
lemon twist
Place sugar at the bottle of a champagne flute. Toss in a dash or so of bitters. Fill up with champagne, twist lemon peel over it and run along rim of glass, then drop in.