Wednesday, May 28, 2008



x-fact ~ champagne comes from france. sparkling wine comes from everywhere else. it's all delicious.

paid ???
reg. @ 20

yes, this is the same guy that's behind the scharffen berger chocolates. he made champagne in anderson valley in northern california. then years ago he sold the winery to make chocolate in the bay area. damn fine chocolate, too. some of the world's best chocolate.

but what of my favorite champagne? (well, my first favorite. it's like choosing between children)

he sold it and it became pacific echo. i think i remember them saying "oh, it will stay the same." but it didn't. not in my opinion. maybe at first. but over time i remember not being impressed. at. all.

then! he bought it back! the scharffenberger guy (yeah, there's really a scharffenberger) and some big french company with a buncha money bought it back! and brought back the old name! and it tastes just delicious! just like always!

it might just be in my head. but i don't care. i'm happy.

so champagne. yes, there is a grape called a champagne grape. in fact we've got some growing on our weed farm. (no not that weed, cheech. weeds. as in they are tall and big and fast growing. as in i need to garden and dig and, you know, weeds)

but no, sparkling wine is not made of them. but that is the last time i'll use the term sparkling wine. because champagne is what i call it and champagne it will be.

this champagne is made roughly of a 60/30 blend of pinot noir and chardonnay.

i don't know what we paid for this bottle. the forever designated driver bought it nearly six months ago. on sale though, that much i remember. i know i know it lasted that long in my house? i must have forgotten about it, right?

really, i was saving it because not long after that bottle was purchased some people who shall remain nameless suddenly had no more work. self-employed and no more projects.

and then continued to have no more no more work.

and as the months went on and job prospects dead ended i realized that the only way that bottle of my favorite champagne was going to be drunk was by me on the porch with the bottle, weeping and swigging while the mortgage company tacked a foreclosure notice to the fence and the sheriff tossed our belongings in the yard, OR if someone who previously remained nameless got more work, a job, won the lottery, etc.

you will be happy to know this bottle was consumed right and proper like, in glasses, at our own dining room table. no sheriff or pink notices in sight.

(for now...this is still america, one nation, under w.)

this is a great champagne. it really is.

it's dry and crisp. a little appley at the edges, a little bite of sweet at the back of the tongue.

and it's a great looking pour, too.

tons and tons of perfect. tiny. bubbles. swirling gracefully all the way from the bottom up of the glass through the very middle of the glass and breaking continuously at the top of the glass. (that's why you use a proper glass. give those bubbles room to groove.)

the color is absolutely classic. pale and pretty and classic.

this is a real celebration champagne. not only delicious, but photogenic and ready for a close up.

but a celebration need not be all pomp and circumstance. celebration can just be a sigh of relief on a weekday evening.

in this case, the celebration consisted of a glass of champagne and a huge platter of macho nachos. crisp tortilla chips covered with melting cheese, spicy ground beef, saucy beans, topped with fresh red onions, sliced jalapenos, chopped cilantro, and juicy red tomatoes. and to finish it off, because it wouldn't quite be "macho" without them, home made guacamole, chipotle salsa, and cold and creamy sour cream.

champagne and nachos? are you mad? high? "weed" farm, indeed.

oh, but it's a classic.

as a young lass with daily dramas and disposable income, champagne was always an integral part of therapeutic practices.

when i was sad or morose, dumped or feeling blue for whatever manufactured reason the young feel is important, i would drink champagne and eat boxed chocolates. in bed. at home.

and when i was feeling happy, ecstatic, in love or lust or whatever manufactured emotion the young feel is important, i would go to this place on capitol hill, in the mall (not a "mall", they just called in that) and order a huge platter of macho nachos and a glass of champagne. by myself. happy.

both were perfect pairings both gastronomically and soul wise.

in this case, the champagne was perfect with the homemade version of the macho nachos. the crisp and cool cutting right through the crunchy and melty. the bubbly rounding out the salty and spicy.

to me, champagne is a live food. all moving around in the glass and then the blood stream. there's just a happiness that cannot be described with the mention of and even more so with the POP! and pour of champagne.

and saving a bottle for a special day, or a rainy day, or any day is a wonderful idea.

but even better is to just pick up a bottle and have it that very evening just because. or bust out one you've been "saving" for a "special occasion because otherwise it would be wasted on the ordinary and we can't have that" just because.

because you can. because it's fun. because it's frivolous. because it's just not done.

pishaw! i say! it is done and it's fun.

and if you don't have the ingredients for the "perfect" meal, or fixin's for nachos, macho or otherwise, just see what's in the fridge, the cupboard, the drive thru.

because a celebration isn't made of what you have on the table, it's made of what you have in your heart.

cheers! and congratulations to the forever designated driver!!

(and, um, whew.)


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