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Bubbly Events

Think Pink & Bubbly for Breast Cancer Awareness

October 10, 2011

October is National Breat Cancer Awareness Month. Help raise funds for a cure with some pink bubbly and make sure to do your own breast exam.

I never, ever need an excuse to drink brut rosé sparkling wine or champagne. But there’s even more reason to enjoy pink bubbly when it helps raise money for breast cancer research during the month of October.

On October 13, Domaine Chandon presents Pink Party 2011, the winery’s annual fundraiser for breast cancer awareness. This year, the exuberant party has been restyled as “Eve of Hope”, a swank $125 per person fashion show featuring creations by Whitney Port. Port gained name recognition after appearing on The Hills and The City. But she proved she had some fashion cred by working for Diane von Furstenburg before launching her own line Whitney Eve.

Whitney Port is the featured designer at "Eve of Hope," the Oct. 13 Domaine Chandon Pink Party to benefit The National Breast Cancer Foundation. Tickets are $125.Â

Party-goers can expect lots of Domaine Chandon Etoile Rosé  – a subtle rosé with hints of dried cranberry and hazelnut – to accompany appetizers by Chef Perry Hoffman of Etoile Restaurant. To order tickets for the 5:30 to 8:3 p.m. event, call 888-242-6366 or visit www.chandon.com

Australian sparkling wine producer Yellowglen is sponsoring a Sparkle for a Cause campaign during the month of October. For every bottle of Pink – their fun and fruity rosé – purchased this month, Yellowglen will donate $1 to the Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation.  The company has pledged to donate a maximum of $25,000 to the organization which creates memorable events for people losing their fight with breast cancer.

Neck tags on the Korbel Brut Rosé announce that the winery is donating $1 towards breast cancer research for every new "Like" on their Facebook page.

Korbel Winery is working to raise money for a cure with its Toast Life Foundation. For every new “Like” on the Korbel Facebook Page, the company is donating $1 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, with a maximum donation of $10,000. If you’ve never tried it, Korbel’s Brut Rosé is a dry (as in not sweet) méthode champenoise wine with lots of strawberry and cherry notes, thanks to its blend of pinot noir and gamay grapes.

So spread the word, buy some bubbly and help fund a breast cancer cure. And while you’re at it, take time this month to do a self breast exam– remember, early detection saves  lives!

Bubbly Events

Scintillating Quotes & A Cocktail Recipe for World Champagne Day

October 27, 2010
The original Champagne Cocktail started the fashion for sparkling drinks.

The original Champagne Cocktail started the fashion for sparkling drinks.

In case your Hallmark calender didn’t clue you in, Oct. 28 is World Champagne Day.

Actually, it’s a brand new observance created as a time to celebrate all the wonderful things about the unique sparkling wine called La Champagne from the region southeast of Paris known as Le Champagne.

I wanted to share a recipe for the Champagne Cocktail, which dates to the 1850s and is the first documented cocktail made with champagne. Just drop Angostura Bitters on sugar cube, drop it into a glass of cold brut champagne and finish it off with a lemon twist.

The other thing that’s so lovely about champagne is the way it’s inspired bon vivants and lovers of the good life through the ages to say all sorts of witty things. These are some of my favorite champagne quotes:

“A woman should never be seen eating or drinking, unless it be lobster salad and Champagne, the only true feminine and becoming viands.” – Lord Byron

“I drink Champagne when I win, to celebrate…and I drink Champagne when I lose, to console myself.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“Burgundy makes you think of silly things; Bordeaux makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them.” – Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Lily Bollinger was a wit and a savvy Champagne widow.

Lily Bollinger was a wit and a savvy Champagne widow.

“I drink champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.” – Madame Lily Bollinger

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.” – Mark Twain

“Champagne is the only wine that leaves a woman beautiful after drinking it.” – Madame De Pompadour

“Champagne offers a minimum of alcohol and a maximum of companionship.” – David Niven

“Pleasure without champagne is purely artificial.” – Oscar Wilde

“There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.” – Bette Davis in ‘Old Acquaintance’

“Champagne makes you feel like it’s Sunday and better days are around the corner.” – Marlene Dietrich

“My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne.” – John Maynard Keynes

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes

Real Aphrodisiacs for Valentine’s Day Drinks: Passionate Pomegranate

February 9, 2010
Not only does the pomegranate suggest fertility, it also boosts libido.

Not only does the pomegranate suggest fertility, it also boosts libido.

A red orb with all those juicy seeds inside, a pomegranate just suggests fertility and promise. It’s thought to be the tempting forbidden fruit that seduced Adam and Eve in the Bible. In the Greek myth, Persephone was forced to spend half the year in the Underworld after she was tricked into eating a few pomegranate seeds during a visit to Hades. All in all, these myths make the pomegranate a pretty fascinating and tasty fruit.

We’ve all gotten word that pomegranates are chock full of healthy antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which scientific studies show can help reduce wrinkles, lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease. Pomegranate is also a great source of folic acid, which is an important nutrient for pregnant women. If you’re trying to get pregnant, it turns out pomegranate can help in that department too. A researcher at the University of California found that pomegranate is good for men with erectile dysfunction and prostate health. And a study at the University of Sussex (another sex study from the UK, hmmm) found that drinking pomegranate juice increases the libido in women and even more so in men.

 

Featured on San Diego Fox 5 my cocktail called Kismet – which means fate – is sure to get something started with this combo of pomegranate, passion fruit and ginger which is great or heating things up. To make a non-alcoholic version, substitute pomegranate juice for the Pama, ginger juice for the ginger liqueur and sparkling water for the wine. Kismet was one of the romance enhancing cocktails I featured on San Diego Fox 5 this morning.

With tangy pomegranate, passion fruit juice and ginger in the Kismet Cocktail, it's sure to stir something up.

With tangy pomegranate, passion fruit juice and ginger in the Kismet Cocktail, it's sure to stir something up.


Kismet

1 ounce Pama pomegranate liqueur
1-1/2 ounces passion fruit-orange juice
1/2 ounce ginger liqueur
3 ounces sparkling wine
3 pomegranate seeds

Add Pama pomegranate liqueur, passion-fruit juice and ginger liqueur to a champagne flute. Top with chilled sparkling wined. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds.

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Champagne, Drinks, Shopping, Sparkling Wine

10 Great Bubbly Bargains for New Year’s Eve – All Under $30

December 30, 2009
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This cremant from Burgundy is French, eminently drinkable, and $10 at Trader Joe's.

This cremant from Burgundy is French, eminently drinkable, and $10 at Trader Joe’s.

On the whole, I think 2009 will be remembered as the year of moderation. Nearly everyone is looking for ways to be smarter about how they spend their money. While champagne and sparkling wines seem like a luxury — and they are a luxurious experience — they don’t have to come with a high price tag. One of the most useful features of my book The Bubbly Bar is a guide to buying bubbly in every price range. Since I wrote the book, I’ve continued to discover affordable sparkling wines that are great for sipping alone or in cocktails. Here’s my list of bargain bubbly available nationwide for New Year’s Eve 2010.

1. Michel Dervin Brut Champagne – crafted by a small grower in Champagne, this is toasty just the way you want, about $29.99
2. Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut or Extra Dry – made just outside Seattle, these wines are fresh and easy to like, about $8.99
3. Juve y Camps Reserva de la Familia Cava Brut Nature – an elegant and delicate mouthful, about $15
4. Blason de Bourgogne – a sparkling wine from Burgundy, made especially for Trader Joes available in brut and a brut rosé, about $10 – At Trader Joe’s
5. Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs – crafted from pinot noir and chardonnay grapes, a satisfying bubbly with a hint of richness, about $17

The Domaine Carernos Brut is a perfect marriage of California and France, with its fresh fruit balanced by toastiness.

The Domaine Carernos Brut is a perfect marriage of California and France, with its fresh fruit balanced by toastiness.

6. Domaine Carneros Brut – fresh and toasty, a marriage of California and France, about $24
7. Roederer Estate Brut – crisp green apple abounds, about $19
8. Mionetto Prosecco Brut – fresh green pear and soft bubbles, about $14
9. Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rosé – sophisticated and juicy with pinot noir, about $20
10. Domaine Chandon Brut Classic – a bright and bubbly wine, always a classic about $15

Champagne, Drinks, Sparkling Wine

How Green is My Bubbly: 5 Eco Champagnes & Sparkling Wines for Earth Day

April 15, 2009

With Earth Day approaching it seems like a perfect time to plan an organic picnic at your favorite beach or park. You’ll go to the store for organic salad greens, strawberries, naturally raised meat and even eco-ice cream, but what to drink?

A couple years ago as I was researching my book The Bubbly Bar, I wanted to include a chapter on organic champagnes and sparkling wines. I had to settle for a section in the appendix because they weren’t widely available.

But it’s a whole new world as we approach Earth Day 2009. I found loads of green bubbly made from sustainable or certified organically grown grapes on wine web sites and at stores like Trader Joe’s and Fresh & Easy. Conscientious winemakers, who care about preserving the land and the health of their workers and customers, are making chemical-free wines in the US, France, Spain, South Africa and Italy. And though many items created with organic ingredients do cost more, I found wines for under $15, including one that’s just $4.99!

With the growing interest in organic foods and beverages, which was estimated to be a $23 bilion industry in 2008 according to the Organic Trade Association, it’s no surprise to see more wines made from organic grapes available. Because of U.S. regulations, wines can’t be labeled as “organic” if sulfites, a naturally occurring substance that’s used to stabilize and preserve wines, are added. USDA regulations limit wines from organically grown grapes to 100 ppm of sulfites; a typical sparkling wine will have just 70 ppm.  Biodynamic grapes are grown according to the highest  level of organic agriculture. Producers follow the tenets of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner which involve planting according to the cycles of the moon leads to healthier plants.

The latest major winery to move to all-organic production is Domaine Carneros by Taittinger in the Napa Valley. “All 300 acres of our vineyards are certified organic,” says Eileen Crane, winemaker and CEO of Domaine Carneros. “We’re the only sparkling wine house in all of the US that can say that.”

Crane said they started following organic growing practice in 2005 in order to qualify for the official designation in 2007. When weeds come up, they till the soil. To deal with pesky bugs that eat the grape leaves, they brought in a flock of organic chickens. And most importantly, Crane says her wines, which have an incredible balance of freshness and French toastiness, taste even better.
“It’s off the charts,” Crane says. “The vines look happy they’re vibrant and green and it feels good to walk in the vineyard.”

Here are five great sparkling wines and champagnes made from organic and sustainably raised grapes to pop the cork on this Earth Day 2009; just be sure to recycle that bottle! To learn about five more great eco-friendly wines, sign up for my free entertaining newsletter The Bubbly Girl Chronicles.

Albero Sparkling Wine from Spain

Albero Sparkling Wine
Spain
This delightful bargain wine is crafted from macabeo and airén grapes at Bodegas Iranzo in Valencia, which has been organic since 1994.  It’s not super complex, but this wine has hints of citrus and green pear and is pleasant and refreshing like a Sunday afternoon party.
About $4.99 at Trader Joe’s

Makulu Moscato is made from sustainably raised grapes in South Africa.

Makulu Moscato

Makulu Moscato
South Africa
Makulu, the second oldest cellar in South Africa, means “big”  in the Zulu language.  Big is also a good description for this blend of moscato, chenin blanc and colombard grapes that’s bursting with flavors of peaches, apricots and pears. This wine, which is made from sustainably grown grapes, is very low in alcohol and  comes from the Paarl Ward region of Western Cape of South Africa.
About $6 at Fresh & Easy stores and Ingersoll Wine & Spirits

Albet i Noya Cava Brut Reserva

Albet i Noya Cava Brut Reserva

Albet i Noya Cava Brut Reserva
Spain
Albet i Noya is Spain’s leading organic wine producer; this cava is made from chardonnay, xarel-lo, macabeo and parellada grapes that were grown in the Penedes region. It has a bright, crisp flavor of lemon zest and orange balanced by a nutty brioche finish.
About $18 at  at Appellation Wine & Spirits

Domaine Carneros Brut

Domaine Carneros Brut

Domaine Carneros Brut
California
The wines from Domaine Carneros, which is owned by Taittinger, have always had a French structure and toastiness to them balanced by juciy California fruit. Since going organic back in 2005, the wines seem even more crisp and clear.
About $22 at Beverages & More

Fleury Brut Rosé Champagne

Fleury Brut Rosé Champagne

Fleury Brut Rosé Champagne
France
Fleury was the first champagne producer to go biodynamic back in 1989, meaning they not only abstain from chemicals and pesticides, but they feed the land and plant by moon cycles so plants are more vigorous. This rose is made from 100% pinot noir  and is elegant but reveals a toasty depth too.
About $49 at K & L Wines.

Maria Hunt, the SDNN Food & Drink Editor, is the author of The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion being released in August by Clarkson Potter. She writes the champagne, cocktails and entertaining web site The Bubbly Girl.