I learned a lot in college - how to casually toss Foucault into a conversation, how to bang out a 5 - 7 page essay in under an hour, and how to open a champagne bottle without losing most of the precious bubbly or taking out someone's eye with the cork*. Key skills, people, key skills. And you can probably guess which one comes in handy most often in every day life.
I always keep at least one bottle of champagne (sorry - sparkling wine) in my fridge, but with the holidays approaching I like to stock up for quick hostess gifts and impromptu gatherings.
Roederer Estate is perfect for bringing to dinner parties, giving as a gift, or for special occasions where you only need one or two bottles. At $20, it's still a pretty good deal.
Ballatore is a more frugal option, excellent for making champagne cocktails (1 shot of vodka + 1 shot of pomegranate juice + champagne to fill the glass) or for passing off on unsuspecting guests who have already gone through enough of your good stuff to not be too discriminating.
I'm always looking for new favorites. Suggestions? *The trick to opening a champagne bottle? Untwist that little wire thingy and toss a dish towel over the top of the bottle (not totally necessary, but a good precaution, particularly if you are already a couple of bottles into the night). Grasp the neck of the bottle with your left hand, so that you are holding the dish towel loosely. Slip your right hand under the dish towel and gently wiggle the cork back and forth, tugging a bit as you go. The cork should pop out pretty easily and you should be safe from any cork injury lawsuits.
I was going to recommend Ballatore Gran Spumante. It is my all time favorite. Soo tasty. What can I say, I'm a cheap date! And can you believe I have never had a champagne cocktail? I can't wait to try your recipe at my next party!ReplyDelete
I love Bellini's :) One shot of peach schnapps, fill the rest with champagne, and add one marchino cherry at the bottom of the glass flute! It sparkles and tastes so yummy~ReplyDelete
good to know bc when we want to bring that to parties I never know what chapagne to buy as we are not champayne drinkers(gives me massive headaches). I am a wino :)ReplyDelete
so that's how you always open a champagne bottle with such grace! and oh Foucault...that made me smile. sadly i had to refresh my memory by skimming the handy wikipedia page you linked.ReplyDelete
Excellent idea for a post - my brother, who is in the wine industry, turned me on to prosecco. I love Zardetto Conegliano Brut NV ($10) which is great to drink alone or in a cocktail. It's a great deal.ReplyDelete
I also like Drusian D.O.C. Brut NV ($17) and Nino Franco Rustico D.O.C. NV
($15), which were recommended in the NY Times (as was the Zardetto, actually).
Hi Rachel! I love sparkling wine as well, a super fun and delishious drink is lavender 'champagne' (thank you Martha). Use an extra dry version (Korbel's works nicely), 1/2 cup sugar and dried lavender.ReplyDelete
Bring sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Stir in dried lavender, remove from heat, let cool completely. Strain out lavender & refrigerate syrup until ready to serve.
Pour 6 oz. champagne & 1 1/2 tsp. syrup into each flute.
I forgot to add that a fresh sprig of lavender looks beautiful in the glass and adds to the aroma of the drink!!!ReplyDelete
Also a lovely local sparkling wine here is by Tobin James, called Dream Weaver.
I enjoyed your post today since it is one of my favorite beverages!! I love champagne!ReplyDelete
Rachel I love that your family has terriers too!! Actually before Kelly (Lakie) and our Welsh (in doggy heaven) my husband wanted an Irish.
Thanks for the bubblies.. today!
Barefoot Cellars makes a decent bubbly and methinks its a cheapy too...ReplyDelete
I love sparkling wine... and champagne... anything sparkling. thanks for the ideas, i'll go check it out :)ReplyDelete
That champagne cocktail sounds yummy. I love a little bubbly, especially around the holidays. Where do you get the champagne brands that you mentioned? Are they pretty easy to find?ReplyDelete
I open it the same way and everyone is always impressed! Definitely a wonderful skill to learn in college! I have been finding excuses weekly to have champagne.ReplyDelete
Gosh, you learned WAY more in college than I did. By the end, 5-7 pages still took me a day and a night to write. Ugh, shudder. And I still get scared opening champagne. I do hold my own in discussions about the translation of the King James Bible however.ReplyDelete
Though I have yet to encounter such a discussion in the real world...
I love your blog! You are beauty and wit like Tina Fey. Moscato d'Asti is a favorite sparkling wine of mine. If you like champagne you will love this.ReplyDelete
Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs is a personal fave...and about $25/bottle.ReplyDelete
good to know! i love this tip. i'm 29 and have never opened a champs bottle. i'm always freaked out to do it, so i love your advice here!ReplyDelete
mine's a chillin'...I am a prosecco gal myself...xo tReplyDelete
ooh. we need to buy a few cases of mix-worthy "sparkling wine" for our office holiday party. where do you buy this less expensive suggestion you speak of?ReplyDelete
good, seasonally appropriate advice!
Ooohhhh. You guys have great suggestions. I'm writing this all down.ReplyDelete
I usually pick up my drinks at Beverages and More, but I find that both of my picks are usually available at the regular grocery store as well.
Can't beat Roederer for the price. (Wish you were coming to my party.....)ReplyDelete