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“Dry”, that means “sweet”. How to decipher Prosecco and live happily ever after

Bubbly good facts about Prosecco from the Wine Reporter IZA POPKO.

Wine Reporter

Talking about the best aperitifs I could write for example about Champagnes and it would be quite obvious choice. Why? Because they are in my opinion one of the best aperitifs in the world. It won’t be too risky to say that they’re the best wines in the world. But, because of its lower price, Prosecco rules the world of sparkling wines whether we like it or not. Good news are that sparkling snobs of the world can find Prosecco that will appeal to their noble taste. Impossible? Let’s see.

Prosecco can’t be as great as Champagne, and this is undisputable. Full stop. But this Spring, instead of visiting Champagne – my dream destination – I went for a press trip organized by Consorzio Tutela Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG, a body responsible for everything that is happening in the fatherland of famous Italian fizz. On 21th of May I…

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Just For Fun…Signs That We Should Drink More Champagne!

I love finding signs about champagne and celebrations…they are POPPING up everywhere!

champagne sign savarine

champagne sign dance

champagne sign

drink champagne sign.

bubble sign

champagne sign.jpg

sign sparkle like champagne

wine sign.jpg

Wine sign Fortunato

champagne sign

Start celebrating sign

sign wine

champagne-sign

wag-more-sign-1

mr bills sign

wine sign

bubbly sign

champagne sign napkinchampagne napkin

 

summer sign

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Summertime Is Sangriatime … Try These Fun Sangria Recipes!

Summertime is Sangria Time! Enjoy these fun Sangria recipes!

BubblyBEE.net

Fresh Strawberry Blackberry Sangria

This fresh berry sangria is very sweet and refreshing…perfect to sip on a summer evening.

Prepare sangria the day before serving. Place sangria glasses in freezer the day of service to chill glasses.

1 pound fresh strawberries, stemmed and cut in fourths

6 ounces fresh blackberries

10 ounces Bacardi frozen Strawberry Daiquiri mix

Fill empty Daiquiri mix can 1/2 full with Blackberry Flavored Brandy

1 bottle Broadbent Rosé Vinho Verde

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons simple syrup

1 33.8 ounce bottle Lime Perrier Sparkling Water

Make a day ahead to allow the fruit to macerate. Place the strawberries, blackberries, strawberry daiquiri mix, blackberry flavored brandy, Rosé Vinho Verde and simple syrup together in a large glass pitcher.  Mix lightly to combine all ingredients.  Place in refrigerator for 24 hours.  When ready to serve, stir lightly before pouring into chilled glasses.

Pour Lime Perrier Sparkling Water into chilled glass until 1/3 full and…

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My Favorite Recipe For Baba Ganoush

My wonderful husband presented a champagne tasting as a surprise for me this week…Champagne Dautel-Cadot Grande Tradition Brut NV and Dautel-Cadot Champagne Cuvee Prestige Brut NV.

I love it when I walk in the kitchen and find this sitting on the island which means we are about to commence to tastin’…

My favorite was the Champagne Dautel-Cadot Grande Tradition Brut NV.  Consists of 100% pinot noir grapes. $25 range.  We tasted notes of lemon meringue and green apple.  Bright without being too acidic.  Fresh and crisp. After my first sip I exclaimed:  “I love this!”

champagne tasting 1

The Dautel-Cadot Champagne Cuvee Prestige Brut NV was also delightful. 50% chardonnay and 50% pinot noir grapes.  $28 range.  We tasted orange blossom and meyer lemon flavors in this champagne.  Lots of fun bubbles dancing in the flute!

champagne tasting 2

Eggplant is in season!  This is my husband’s favorite appetizer, much like a  Baba Ganoush with some fun taste twists that enhance the flavor of the eggplant:

Eggplant Paté

Note:  I puree the ingredients in my blender. A food processor may also be used.

1 cup pureed eggplant (cut eggplant in half and roast in oven, scoop out eggplant pulp with spoon and discard eggplant shell. For one cup pureed eggplant you will need 2 eggplants)

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 red bell pepper, cored, roasted and peeled, pureed (place cored pepper under the oven broiler and blacken all sides of the pepper. Place pepper in a paper bag, close the bag and allow the pepper to cool.  Remove the pepper from the bag and scrape off the peel with a sharp knife.

1 tablespoon butter

2.25 ounces pine nuts

1 tablespoon fresh oregano

12 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons medium peri-peri sauce

1 tablespoon tomato paste

3 ounces goat‘s milk cheese (little log)

Firehook Mediterranean Baked Crackers – sea salt variety (or serve with your favorite flatbread cracker)

  1. Melt butter in small sauté pan. Add pine nuts and sauté over medium-low heat, stirring constantly (monitor carefully because pine nuts will burn quickly) until pine nuts just begin to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Place the eggplant puree, red pepper puree, oregano, basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, peri-peri sauce, tomato paste in a blender or food processor . Blend until all ingredients are combined and the mixture has a relatively smooth consistency.  If the mixture is too thick to blend a little more olive oil can be added.
  3. Place half of the eggplant mixture in a small serving dish. Crumble the goat cheese over the eggplant mixture. Top the goat cheese with the other half of the eggplant mixture. Top the eggplant mixture with the pine nuts.
  4. Serve with crisp flatbread crackers.

tim tam packagetim tams

Love these irresistable chocolaty happiness in a biscuit Tim Tams!  Dark mint is my favorite. 

limenchello

sparkle

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Exploring the Montagne de Reims Champagne Route

A beautiful journey to Epernay, France from our traveling friend Klaus @ notesfromcamelidcountry.net

notesfromcamelidcountry

The route south of Reims to the historic city of Dijon is a three or four hour drive. We were in no particular hurry and decided a detour to Epernay along a 70km Route de Champagne would be a rewarding side trip. Amidst the rolling hills, sleepy villages and grand château of the Montagne de Reims, wine-making traditions have barely changed in over 100 years. You can almost feel the pace of life slow down as you travel through the vineyards and wheat fields that happily co-exist across the region.

The route offers sweeping panoramas over the lush landscapes of central Champagne, and passes through one picturesque village after another. Villages like Dizy and Bouzy have highly appropriate names. Every village is host to numerous champagne houses, some large some small, and opportunities for sampling wines from small producers are plentiful. There are more sobering sights in this region however…

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The Best Things About Summer…Tomatoes and Champagne!

It’s been a busy summer.  We finished our kitchen remodel, yeah! And I’ve been having so much fun cooking up a storm!

sign bollinger kelly

My bubbly sister-in-law gave us this lovely “new kitchen warming gift” that she had made for us by our local Appalachian Press ~ I love Madame Lilly Bollinger’s quote:

sign Kelly

And I’m always happy because this is pretty much me on the lazy hazy days of summer…

Next week I will be on our local NBC Affiliate show “Daytime Blue Ridge” preparing my favorite Sangria recipes:               http://www.wsls.com/daytime

Peachy Rosé Sangria

Sandy’s Peach Mango Sangria

I would love to hear from my readers…What is your favorite Sangria…Do you prefer the traditional red wine/fruit sangria or the lighter white wine/summer fruit sangria? 

Sangria

beer painting

During the summer we enjoy lots of outdoor festivals.  At the Deschutes Brewery Street Pub in Downtown Roanoke Virginia we met Karen Eland, an artist that paints with coffee and beer. http://www.karenelandart.com

Now on to the TOMATOES…On Saturday I visited our local farmer’s market and enjoyed a fresh tomato tasting. After tasting the tomatoes we put a toothpick in our favorite tomato. The tomato with the most toothpicks won the tomato tasting competition.

tomato sign

tomato table

Mr. Stripey Tomato, beautiful yellow and red striped beefsteak tomato, with its pleasantly sweet taste,  was the crowd favorite that day.

tomato mr stripey

big tomatoes

Our market offered up huge tomatoes, but none as heavy as this:  The heaviest tomato weighs 3.906 kg (8.61 lb), was grown by Dan Sutherland (USA) and weighed in Walla Walla, Washington, USA, on 30 August 2016. The achievement was authenticated by the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC).  Source:  http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/heaviest-tomato

 I will be using some of my juicy ripe tomatoes to make  Tomato Water Martinis.  Here’s a link to a yummy recipe for said martini:  http://drinkwire.liquor.com/post/spicy-tomato-water-martini.   

tomato martini sign

Surprise! A green tomato can be ripe if it is a green tomato variety. The Green Zebra Tomato is yellow with dark green stripes. Sweet and tangy.  If a green tomato is soft to the touch and the bottom of the yellow stripes begin to turn a light reddish color then the tomato is ripe. Green tomatoes come in cherry tomato size too!

zebra tomato

I love purple tomatoes!   This Cherokee Purple Tomato has a slightly smoky taste, rich and sweet.   This purple tomato, originating from Tennessee,  was thought to have been passed down from Native Americans of the Cherokee tribe.

purple tomato

rose bottle

Rosé is a delicious accompaniment to fresh tomatoes.  One of my favorites is  La Chapelle Brut Rosé Nuance Premier Cru Champagne.  $40 range. Crisp and elegant with notes of framboise (raspberry) and fraise des bois (tiny wild French strawberries). 

Don’t forget to stay cool and hydrated this summer…

drink champagne sign

frexnet cava

party trained

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Going underground, the champagne cellars of Reims

Enjoy this beautiful tour of the Veuve Clicquot Champagne caves…compliments of notesfromcamelidcountry.net…Cheers!

notesfromcamelidcountry

“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 Clicquot

The 1811 comet, Veuve Clicquot, Reims, France The 1811 comet, Veuve Clicquot, Reims, France

No visit to Reims would be complete without descending into the subterranean world of the city’s champagne cellars. The headquarters of some of the world’s most famous champagne brands are scattered around the city, most are a walk or taxi journey from the centre. Reims doesn’t have the grandeur of Epernay’s Avenue de Champagne, lined with magnificent champagne houses, but a tour of the Reims’ champagne cellars is easy to arrange and even easier to enjoy.

We visited one of world’s best known champagne producers, with a history to match its famous…

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