Birthday Bubbles: NV Veuve Clicquot Rose

As a follow-up to bubbles off the beaten path: What would you do if you came across this bottle of Champagne?

Would you buy a bottle of bubbles with the foil like this, the cage open, the cork escaping?

What if you could get this Champagne for $35 when the regular price is $80?

What if your birthday was coming up? And you wanted some nice bubbles to celebrate your birthday?

This is what happened to me: I was snooping around Continue reading

Grateful for Exciting Sparkling Wine From Franciacorta Italy

Today is the second Franciacorta twitter tasting that I’ve had the opportunity to participate in, thanks to Balzac Communications.

Before September, I don’t think I’d ever tasted this sparkling wine from Italy that rivals Champagne in quality, but is much lesser known. You’d be amazed at the quality that you can get for the money–I know I was!

Tune in to twitter #Franciacorta to see what we think about today’s line-up. Post to follow soon with more tasting notes.1474638_10151785497985924_997366342_n

I’m also planning on spending some time with that massive map they sent to learn more about this region that I hope to visit one day soon!

PS And no, I am NOT going to let my son saber the bottles with his new Minecraft sword because Rusty Ginger fought him off!

Today (especially!) is Champagne Day!

Cheers!

In my book, every day is Champagne Day! But last Saturday was a super special occasion, my husband’s birthday, and Ima Zin’s, so we opened up this grand lady–a 1983 Cristal! (A report on that later!)5829_10151709885625924_913664121_n

Today, Friday,  October 25, 2013 marks the fourth annual Champagne Day, where wine lovers around the globe raise a flute to the quintessential wine of celebration, good cheer and toasts everywhere: Champagne. There will be terrific opportunities for Champagne lovers to celebrate in wine stores, restaurants, bars and in spontaneous gatherings with friends.

Share the love! Post about your experience celebrating with the #ChampagneDay hashtag.

In 2011 and 2012, I organized Champagne Day events where we paired sparkling wine with oysters at the Ventura State Beach. In 2011 we raised over $500 to contribute to reopen McGrath State Beach. At least 50 people came to the beach with picnics and bottles of sparkling wine to share and pair with oysters. 

In 2012, in addition to celebrating Champagne Day at the beach with oysters, we also held a twitter tasting for #PlanetBordeaux of a group of stellar Sauvignon Blancs and roses. This year we are taking our Champagne and heading to some hot springs!

Initially created by Vintuba wine blog to recognize and appreciate the sparkling wine that comes exclusively from Champagne, France, “Champagne Day offers the perfect opportunity to pop open a bottle, explore the beauty these wines have to offer and turn a moment into a 1378573_10151721292520924_320235983_ncelebration while remembering that Champagne only comes from Champagne, France,”  stated Sam Heitner, director of the Champagne Bureau, USA

Today, Champagne Day brings millions of wine lovers worldwide together to celebrate in a host of events, retail opportunities and a large-scale online celebration of all aspects of this unique bubbly. Consumers across the U.S. will have many special opportunities to enjoy Champagne today with a host of Champagne Day-only deals at retailers, tastings and menu pairings at restaurants and other spontaneous celebrations.  To find some of the events happening around the world and learn more about how to participate in the online celebrations, visit the official Champagne Day event page: http://bit.ly/19EIh4L.

For more information about #ChampagneDay or the worldwide effort to protect the Champagne name, please visit http://bit.ly/19EIh4L or www.champagne.us. Remember, if it doesn’t come from the Champagne region of France, it’s not Champagne!

PS If you love sparkling wines like I do, and you live in the Ventura/Santa Barbara/LA area, be sure to watch for the Tasting at the Ventura Wine Company and Cave! That afternoon, you can taste real Champagne from France as well as local sparkling wines and sparklers from other parts of the world too! (I hopet eh get in some wines from Franciacorta Italy! Those sparklers ROCK!)  If you can’t wait until Sunday, December 8, they’re doing a Holiday tasting on Novembe993413_10151725546708434_1673351765_nr 10. Get your tickets now–it will sell out!

Discover Loire Valley’s Touraine Sauvignon Blancs 9/17/13

BUZVm8uCUAA0AzLSauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite wines–it’s flexible, affordable, and a great wine with some of my favorite foods like oysters, chevre goat cheese and french bread, ceasar salad, and pesto with pasta. It’s my go to wine, my always in the fridge or on the shelf wine.

When in doubt, I get the sauvignon blanc out!

After participating in a number of industry tastings, I’m a huge fan of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand-even the ones that feature a fair amount of gooseberry or cat pee.

Living in California, it’s easy to find locally grown Sauvignon Blanc; a favorite of mine is by Adam Tolmach for his winery, Ojai Vineyards. Continue reading

Sparkling Roses for Mother’s Day: Lucien Albrecht

MomDayLAlbrechtA toast to Mother’s! Cheers!

Pictured right to left, is my mom Suzanne Lawrence, my son, and my self from 2004. This was a publicity photo for a Living History Performance we did.

Pictured right to left, is my mom Suzanne Lawrence, my son, and my self from 2004. This was a publicity photo for a Living History Performance we did.

On Saturday, the last tuna boat of the year came in to the Ventura Harbor. We bought a whole tuna and celebrated Mother’s Day eve with fresh seared sesame oil ahi tuna on a bed of field greens with flower petals, blueberries, white Stilton with dried apricots, walnuts, plus a raw oyster! I love this meal with a silky Washington Merlot, but it also pairs well with a Pinot noir.

However since it was a festive occasion, we popped the cork on this beautiful Lucien Albrecht Cremant  D’Alsace Brut Rose, made from Pinot noir grapes.

Lucien Albrecht Cremant  D’Alsace Brut Rose is a perfect wine for Mother’s Day! Continue reading

Invite Paco & Lola to play on Albarino Day, Thurs. May 9, 2013

albarinoday2013

Like the minerality and acidity of Riesling, the body and white stone fruits of Viognier, and the floral notes of Pinot Gris?

Then you should check out Albarino–and there’s no better day than today, the Second Annual Albariño Day,  Thursday, May 9th, 2013!

The second annual Albarino Day caught me by surprise but fortunately, I have a few bottles of Albarino from Paco & Lola around. I saw it on sale and I went for it because  it is such a wonderful wine with lots of bright acidity with tangerine and lime and  that’s seafood friendly–especially with my beloved fresh raw oysters from Jolly Oyster at the Ventura State Beach!

Plus just a few days ago I picked up two bottles of Old Creek Ranch Winery’s Albarino de Moto (regularly $22) at my son’s school fundraising silent auction! (Old Creek Ranch Winery is a my local pick for Wine Tourism Day; read more about it here).

Unfamiliar with Albarino? Probably because most of this dark green, thick-skinned grape is grown in Spain, with very little of it found in the US. Albariño accounts for 90% of plantings in the Rías Baixas region of Spain. But as it grows in popularity, expect to find more of it here!

Want to join in celebrating Alabarino? Continue reading