November 2008

champagne basics for beginners

Here is a great video from about.com on champagne and sparkling wine basics for all of you recent converts, or anyone who has the occasional trouble opening champagne. The information in the video is transcribed below it as well, and is worth a look! Went out on the Friday after Thanksgiving and ordered the house champagne. I was asked the whole night what I was celebrating, even though my drinks were less expensive than most of the other wine and cocktail selections. Most people still don't get that there are delicious, unexpensive champagnes that can and should be consumed without a special occasion!

Holiday gift idea--champagne savers

Hope everyone had a delicious turkey and champagne-filled Thanksgiving yesterday! Now that it's officially the holiday season, I know many of us are searching for those perfect gifts and this one I ran across on The Gift Corner blog looks like a winner! Called Champagne Savers, this beautiful leaf-shaped utensil helps keep opened, refrigerated bottles of champagne fresh for up to two days. This is an awesome accessory for anyone who wants to keep leftover champagne drinkable (though I must admit, I never usually have any extra!). These beauties run about $200-350, and can be purchased at Mary's Garden and Neiman Marcus.  

The foundress of the champagne industry

Just came across a new book that looks fascinating: The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It by Tilar J. Mazzeo. The book tells the story of Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, the woman who made the brand Veuve Clicquot ("veuve" in French, of course, means "widow") a household name and whose vision shaped how the world views champagne today. Defying the traditions of the 18th and 19th centuries, as a young widow Clicquot brought champagne onto the world scene and became a business mogul at a time when women engaging in commerce at any level were scarce indeed.