Monthly Archives: August 2017

Review: Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV

One of my favorites… Ruinart Blanc de Blanc …reviewed by the Champagne Tipplers.

Champagne Tipplers

Ruinart lays claim to be the world’s oldest Champagne house (Gosset is older but used to be into still wines for a long time), founded in 1729. It is the legacy of a benedictine monk; Dom Thierry Ruinart, who was a worldly man. He came to know of a “wine with bubbles” which was not yet known as champagne but was growing popular with aristocracy.

He became fairly obsessed with bubbly wines, so much so he would often go back to his family in Champagne and divulge plans to establish production in the area.

Sadly Dom Ruinart died in 1709, but his nephew Nicolas Ruinart took his ideas on board and started the first Champagne House; Maison Ruinart.

The house features a historic set of Cellars – or “Crayéres”, which are cut into the chalk underneath Reims. They are listed as a UNESCO world heritage item – but this has worked against them.

The extensive documentation of the historic cellars allowed…

View original post 467 more words

Advertisements

Gin Glorious Gin And Pimiento Cheese & Lobster Potato Chips!

http://riverandrailrestaurant.com

I have a new appreciation for gin. Shane Lumpp, Bar Manager, River and Rail Restaurant introduced us to the nuances of gin in his Cocktails 101 Class earlier this month. Here’s some fun facts about gin from class:

The word Gin comes from the word Genever which in Dutch means juniper.  The English shortened it Geneva which lead to the term “Gin”. 

Gin was first produced by the Dutch in Holland where the term “Dutch Courage” comes from.   Dutch mercenaries hired out by the English would consume vast amounts of Gin which made them more aggressive in battle.

I usually prefer vodka in my martinis, but I found Plymouth Gin to be delightful in this River and Rail Martini.  It was made with Plymouth Gin. Plymouth Gin is produced at a single distillery in Plymouth, England at the Blackfriars Distillery. It has somewhat more earthy flavors and typically not as juniper flavor.  (That is probably why I liked it so much. I appreciate the juniper in Gin, but it is a bit “flowery” for my taste.)

Plymouth Gin

gin martini

Shane rubbed lemon peel around the rim of the martini glass and then he rubbed the peel on the stem of the glass.  He explained that the scent of the lemon will adhere to your fingers. People naturally wave their fingers in front of their face when they are talking and having a good time so the lemon will permeate the air and enhance the lemony cocktail experience.   Love this!

The River and Rail Martini is very simply gin, vermouth and orange bitters, with a lemon peel garnish.  Shane explained that the garnishes he puts on cocktails always have a purpose, they are not just there for looks.

Shane explained to us that when olives are served in a martini they should have an odd number – one or three. Having an even number of garnishes in a cocktail is considered bad luck.

Shane invented the “Pink Panther” cocktail that is served at River and Rail.  Broker’s Gin, Capalletti Aperitivo, Lillet Blanc, Lemon, Peychaud’s Bitters. Peychaud’s is a key ingredient in the Sazerac® Cocktail, with light notes of cherry, nutmeg, and clove.

bitters r and rbitters hell firebitters

We had fun asking Shane questions about the bitters that were lined up on the bar.  One that was completely new to me was the ‘Elemakule Tiki” bitters.  Here’s what Bitterman’s says about these bitters on its website:  A taste of the islands. We recommend adding a dash to libations served in shrunken heads, volcanoes and miniature ceramic Moai.  Cinnamon and Allspice with a strong cast of supporting spice flavors.

Shane said that they use the Hellfire Bitters  (Habanero Shrub) in their Michelada Spicy Margarita and when a guest wants a spicy Bloody Mary.

Pimiento Chips

Lillie’s Q Pimiento Cheese Potato Chips

Seriously GOOD kettle cooked potato chips.  Jalapeno powder and paprika add a zesty zing to the pimiento cheese flavor in these chips.  The Lillie’s Q chips are based on Lillie’s Q sauces and rubs:  Carolina Dirt, Sea Salt and Black Pepper, Hot Pepper Vinegar, and Original.  I found these at our local Fresh Market.

lobster chips

Here’s some fun chips that I found at Tinnell’s Finer Foods in Roanoke, Virginia (also available on-line for a limited time).  They do have a subtle lobster taste and here’s a link to a fun review of these chips from the Junk Food Guy:

http://www.junkfoodguy.com/2017/08/14/lobsterutz/#sthash.s2rZ5qQR.dpbs

Happy Friday!

Please visit my Facebook page: Bubblybee

Follow me on Instagram:  bubblybeeboop

virginiabloggersover-the-moon-link-party-600x600fiesta-friday-2016

Dom Pérignon 2002 Andy Warhol Collectors Edition

Dom Pérignon + Andy Warhol = Fun Champagne Story! … originally posted on vinesight.me

Vinesight

Warhol Banner

The 1996 Irodori and 1998 collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld had seen Dom Pérignon dip their toe in to the water with the hottest designers of the day.  The limited editions had both been a critical and consumer success selling out almost instantly, and a new marketing strategy was born.

The early part of the millennium saw Dom change their creative agency.  Neville Brody were now on point to give the brand a refreshed direction and, as such, regular packaging for Dom at this time was full of frequent stylistic changes.  Perhaps as a consequence, no designer editions were initially offered for the 2000 vintage.

Never one to be behind the curve, the next Dom Pérignon special edition packaging would push things further than ever before, putting a twist on the iconic shield label for the first time in the brand’s 74 year history.

Warhol Bottles

Andy Warhol was (and still is) a…

View original post 713 more words

Bartender My Drink Is On Fire! Fun Facts About Vodka

Shane Lumpp, Bar Manager, River and Rail Restaurant, Roanoke, VA, presented “Cocktails 101” on Sunday evening.

r and r shane lightr and r char citrus

One of my favorite parts of the class was when Shane set the citrus peel garnish for the Cosmopolitan on fire. He explained that he always has a purpose for the garnish, it is not just for looks.  Lighting the citrus peel caramelized the citrus oil and gave the drink a tiny bit of a smokey aroma.

Celebrity Mixologist Cheryl Cook invented the Cosmopolitan Cocktail in 1985 at the Strand Restaurant in South Beach.

cosmo r and r

The River and Rail Cosmopolitan

For each cocktail:

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

3/4 ounce Cointreau

3/4 ounce cranberry juice

1 1/2 ounce vodka

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Garnish:  Caramelized citrus strip

vodka

Deep Eddy is River and Rail Restaurant’s house vodka. Corn based vodka from Austin Texas. Any infused vodkas that River and Rail serves will be infused in-house at the River and Rail bar…such as their basil infused Luksusowa vodka in their Something About Mary Lennox cocktail.

http://riverandrailrestaurant.com/menus

Some fun facts about vodka from Shane’s class:

Shane recommends starting with the least expensive ingredient in a cocktail first. If you mess up at the beginning you can throw it out and start again without throwing out expensive ingredients.

Vodka, the word, appears to be a Russian diminutive of a Polish phrase, woda zycia, which means “water of life”.

Vodka really gained its momentum with the marketing strategy from John Martin of Smirnoff with the slogan “Smirnoff…it’ll leave you breathless”. 

By the 1950’s vodka was roaring into popularity with the addition of Bloody Mary’s, Screwdrivers and of course the Three Martini Lunch.

By 1967 vodka surpassed Gin as the highest seller of white spirits in the US and by 1976 vodka was the number one purchased spirit overall. Vodka still remains the most popularly consumed and purchased spirit in the US.

Match these vodka slogans to the vodka they represent: (answers at the bottom of this post)

Slogans:

  1. The world’s best tasting vodka.
  2. The greatest name in Vodka.
  3. As you like it.
  4. Pure Perfection.
  5. Unleash the Raspberry!
  6. The Purest Expression of Vodka
  7. Outrageously Smooth

Vodkas:

A.  Blavod black vodka  B.Boru  C. Romanov  D.   Smirnoff  E.  Absolut Raspberri  F. Grey Goose  G. Stolichnaya

ham biscuit river and railsnack plate r and r

We always know the bar snacks will be delicious at River and Rail (country ham biscuit with whole grain mustard, Gryere cheese, house-made Asiago crackers, homemade pickled green beans and carrots.  I am especially partial to the country ham biscuits with whole grain mustard.

blood orange liquer

I have a new favorite liqueur:  Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur… made with Sicilian Sanguinello blood oranges. Add a splash or two to sparkling wine or try these lovely cocktials:

chilledmagazine.com/solerno-blood-orange-liqueur-cocktails

Eclipse

On Monday, August 21, 2017 we celebrated the Eclipse of the Sun in style!

Answers to quiz:  1. F. – 2. D.-  3. C. – 4. D. – 5. E. 6. B. – 7. A.

You are invited to visit my Facebook page: Bubblybee

Please follow me on Instagram:  Bubblybeeboop

virginiabloggersover-the-moon-link-party-600x600fiesta-friday-2016

Everything Happens For A Riesling…German Wine Tasting

Napkin Riesling

Riesling is a white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region of Germany.

german prost

CHEERS!

German wine

I recently had the pleasure of attending a German wine tasting at my favorite local wine shop “Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar”…mrbillswinecellar.com

When we think of German Riesling,  don’t automatically think “sweet”…think “apples and peaches and freshness” instead.  And definitely think wine and food pairing because these wines are fabulous with food ~ especially the spicy cuisines of Thailand and India. Fabulous with German fare too…spicy sausages, hearty pork dishes…

german sparkling

I purchased this bottle to take home…2013 Hansen-Lauer Reisling Brut SEKT b. A.  $20 range.  Fresh apple and peach notes with Mosel minerality. Dry yet fruity,  refreshingly effervescent. I found this sparkling to be a better food pairing wine than a sipping wine.   Pair with shrimp, tempura or Thai food.

shrimp

My favorite sips from the wine tasting:

2013 Heinz Eifel Riesling Auslese.  $18 range.  Sun-riped grapes resulting in a “buttery touch of sweetness” that reminded me of chardonnay. Luscious with a long finish.  This wine would be lovely paired with Thai food.

german wine seebrich

2014 Seebrich Riesling Spatlese.  Notes of apricot. Rich with minerality that is high enough that it gives the impression that the wine has a little effervescent spritz. Smooth finish.  $19 range.

german dessert wine

2015 Heinz Eifel Beerenauslese.  $25 range. Nice dessert wine with peach and nectarine notes. Not too syrupy.  made from hand-selected individual grapes that have been affected by ‘noble rot’, a fungus that dehydrates the grapes  and adds a rich honey flavor to the wines. Pair with stone fruit desserts or blue cheese. 

german snacks

Here’s a link to Food and Wine 15 Rules for Great Wine and Food Pairings:

http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/15-rules-great-wine-and-food-pairings?xid=NL_WINELIST081517&utm_source=foodandwine.com&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=wine-list&utm_content=2017081512PM

Food and Wine recommends pairing off-dry Riesling with sweet and spicy dishes:  The slight sweetness of many Rieslings, Gewürztraminers and Vouvrays helps tame the heat of spicy Asian and Indian dishes.

glitter

You are invited to visit my Facebook page: Bubblybee

Please follow me on Instagram:  Bubblybeeboop

virginiabloggersover-the-moon-link-party-600x600

fiesta-friday-2016

The 10 most expensive Champagne bottles on the planet

Veuve Clicquot Yellowboam Ostrich Limited! Fun bubbles to read about, would be even more fun to drink!

Let’s Drink Champagne And Celebrate With The World’s Most Expensive Sandwich!

August is National Sandwich Month. Let’s celebrate with champagne and sandwiches!

2005 Dom champagne

Facts about the world’s MOST EXPENSIVE SANDWICH:

  1.  In 2014 the Guinness Book of World Records recognized the “Quintessential Grilled Cheese” as the world’s most expensive sandwich.
  2. This sandwich was created by Joe Calderon, Chef at the Serendipity 3 Restaurant, New York City.
  3. This sandwich is made with two pieces of French Pullman champagne bread which is made with Dom Perignon champagne and edible gold flakes, with white truffle butter and the very rare Caciocavallo Podolico cheese. The sandwich is served with South African Lobster Tomato Bisque for dipping.
  4. Price: $214
  5. The Quintessential Grilled Cheese has to be ordered 48 hours in advance in order to source the ingredients needed to make such a fancy-dancy sandwich.
  6. The Serendipity 3 Restaurant has been the scene of several films, including one of my favorite romantic comedies that came out in  2001: Serendipity.

Here’s a link with cool photos of this expensive sandwich:

The most expensive sandwich in the world!

sandwich

My favorite summer sandwiches which pair perfectly with bubbly are fresh tomato and cucumber sandwiches. If you live in the South as I do, then you know the elements of these sandwiches are extremely important…just sayin’

Pepperidge Farm Very Thin White Bread

Thinly Sliced Garden Fresh Tomatoes

Thinly Sliced (sliced on a mandoline) peeled cucumbers

Fresh dill, chopped (for the cucumber sandwiches)

Duke’s Mayonnaise

Freshly ground black pepper

Spread each piece of bread liberally with mayonnaise.  Top mayonnaise with a good sprinkling of black pepper and either tomato slices or cucumber slices. Top the cucumber slices with chopped fresh dill. Top the tomato slices and cucumber slices with another slice of mayonnaise slathered bread.  Cut each sandwich in half to make two triangles, then cut the triangles in half to make small triangle sandwiches. Place sandwiches on a chilled platter.   Serve immediately.

Champagne is a perfect pairing for potato chips and potato chips are the perfect accompaniment to sandwiches. This was one of Marilyn Monroe’s favorite flavor combinations.

potato chip

I recommend Baron-Fuénte Grands Cepages Chardonnay Champagne NV to pair with these summery sandwiches.   This champagne is composed of 100% chardonnay grapes. I love the shape of this bubbly bottle.  $45 range.  Notes of citrus (lemon zest), creamy, nice tiny bubbles dancing around the flute, finishing with a touch of toasted almond. Dill pairs very well with chardonnay so the cucumber dill sandwiches will be a treat paired with this champagne.  Cheers!

You are invited to visit my Facebook page: Bubblybee

Please follow me on Instagram: Bubblybeeboop

over-the-moon-link-party-600x600virginiabloggersfiesta-friday-2016

%d bloggers like this: