Author Archives for Becky Ellis

About Becky Ellis

Welcome! Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I'm Becky or "Bubblybee" as I'm known on Facebook. (Bubbly = champagne and BEE are my initials) My passion is champagne and my quest is to find perfect small food pairings for bubbly. Don't wait to celebrate! When you visit my blog you will find unique recipes that pair wonderfully with champagne, sparkling wine, cava and prosecco. I personally taste each sparkly that I write is good! If you are looking for a $10 Cava to drink at the lake you will find it here. If you are looking for a nice sparkling wine at a decent price to serve at a wedding you will find it here. If you are looking for a fabulous champagne to serve on your wedding anniversary you will find it here. Enjoy and cheers! Please visit my facebook page: Bubblybee Follow me on Instagram: bubblybeeboop

Hiding in Plain Sight: Rapeneau Family Estates

Beautiful champagne story from Vino Ventures. The Rapeneau family has amassed a collection of over 1000 champagne glasses!

Vino Ventures

Chateau de Bligny

Château de Bligny is the crown jewel of Rapeneau Family Estates, a pristine set of Champagne brands secured over four generations by the Rapeneau family. Today the collection includes three récoltant-manipulant (grower/producer) wine estates and four maisons (houses). All seven brands are highlighted at the end of this story.

100+ Years of Champagne

More than a century ago, the family enterprise was sparked by patriarch and wine merchant (négociant) Ernest Rapeneau. In 1901, Ernest was selling both still wines and Champagne in Hautvillers, a village considered to be the birthplace of Champagne. As the process of delimiting vineyards and setting appellation boundaries began to take hold in France (1927-36), Ernest shifted his business exclusively to the Champagne trade. (In fact, Ernest was involved in creating the regulatory process to protect place and quality.) When he retired in 1965, son Bernard took over with twenty years of…

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Fun bubbly giveaway from the Champagne Chick 🥂🐣


We all love getting something for free, right? So, I’m kicking off this new addition to the blog with a giveaway of my own.  And hopefully you have better luck than me in entering giveaways …

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Star City Supper Club – BBQ Under the Star at Mill Mountain

Visit the to Party Like A Pineapple! Recipes for Fresh Pineapple Martinis and Grilled Pineapple Salsa to serve on pork tenderloin or grilled hamburger sliders…

Star City Supper Club – BBQ Under the Star at Mill Mountain

The River and Rail Executive Chef Aaron Deal (pictured above right),  recently introduced a quarterly guest chef series in Roanoke, Virginia, which aims to provide a convivial culinary experience to the community by showcasing the talent of some of the nation’s top chefs and celebrating Southern culture.

silhouette of people standing neat tree under the moon

Photo by Gerd Altmann on

During the summer installment of the Star City Supper Club on August 9, guests had the unique opportunity to meet and interact with the purveyors that have helped The River and Rail to provide the best quality ingredients possible for the last six years…all while under an iconic Roanoke landmark ~ The Mill Mountain Star! A live bluegrass band provided music throughout the evening, and it was a night to remember.  A portion of all ticket sales were donated to Roanoke Outside, a non-profit organization that makes local outdoor events like these possible.
At the entrance to the large tent we were greeted by the smiling faces of River and Rail Restaurant. We were given our personal River and Rail cup for wine/beer and a ticket for 5 beverages of our choice with unlimited food.

Blenheim Vineyards

Established in 2000 by owner Dave Matthews (Dave Matthews Band) Blenheim Vineyards is located 20 minutes southeast of Charlottesville. With three vineyard sites growing seven varieties, the goal at Blenheim Vineyards is to make high quality wines that reflect the climate, soil, and beauty of the surrounding piedmont landscape.
I loved the Frizzante Malvasia/Petit Manseng! Frizzante is an Italian term for “slightly sparkling wine”.
The Blenheim Rosé is the perfect blend of pinot noir, merlot and carbernet sauvignon.
NC Shrimp and Grits ~ Local Seafood Delivery
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Get your fresh seafood at our local Farmer’s Markets:
Roanoke Historic City Market
Thursdays 9am – 5pm

West Village (419/Electric Road)

Fridays 9am – 5pm

Grandin Village Community Market

Saturdays 8am – 12pm
Landon shucking Oysters from Rappahannock Oyster Company
sky night stars

Photo by Free Nature Stock on

BBQ Poulet Rouge Chicken Legs & Thighs Joyce Farms

Smoked Lamb Shoulder Sliders & Ribs Border Springs Farm

Served on River and Rail’s fabulous brioche slider buns!

Nexus and Shane (River and Rail Bar Manager)

Heirloom Tomato & Caramont Goat Milk Feta Salad Thornfield Farms

Beer Parkway Brewing
Mama Tired Blueberry Sour Ale
Funk Your Boat Saison
Red Raven Porter
Gent Bent Mountain IPA

Thank you for a fabulous evening Chef Aaron Deal and the River and Rail Restaurant Team!

You are invited to  visit my Facebook page: bubblybee

My Facebook Recipe Group:  bubblybee’s recipes

Please follow me on Instagram:  bubblybeeboop


Steger Creek Opens New Stores In Roanoke, Virginia

Steger Creek Opens New Stores!

Steger Creek Fine Gifts and Collectables always felt like home to me. For years I’ve gone to their Starkey Road location to buy the prettiest greeting cards, hostess gifts and home décor items. They recently opened two delightfully charming new locations (the Starkey location is now closed).  When I visited the new stores this week I found my favorite gifts and goodies as well as some new treats and got a little history lesson in the process.

A Norfolk Southern train was chugging along behind the store when I arrived at The Virginian Railway Station, 1402 Jefferson St. (intersection of Williamson Road and Jefferson Street). The Virginian Railway was a 440-mile line completed in 1909 to transport coal from West Virginia to Tidewater.  The Virginian Railway Depot was built that same year to serve Roanoke. Passenger service continued from this depot until 1956 when the Virginian merged with Norfolk and Western Railway.  The depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Steger Creek opened the depot store in July and their hours are: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

I’ve always wondered about the name, Steger Creek and just found out that it is derived from an actual creek running through Central Virginia where the owners, Michael and Alex Pace, own property.  As the creek flows, it feeds the Rivanna River, which ultimately flows into the James River.

Steger Creek always has fun snack ideas with recipe cards. I was tickled to find one of my favorites The Original Savory Party Cracker Seasoning. No bake! Easy To Make!  I used Keebler Mini Club Crackers to make my party crackers. I combined 1 2/3 cups of canola oil and 1 package of Savory Seasoning in a ZipTop Bag and mixed well.  I added 2 (11 ounce each) boxes of mini club crackers and sealed the bag.  Then I tumbled the bag every 5 minutes or so until all of the savory seasoning was adsorbed.  I let the crackers rest in the bag overnight then I put them in an air tight container and stored in the refrigerator. SO SNACKABLE!

Their second new location is at the Taubman Museum of Art.  Open Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 12-5 p.m. This quaint shop is full of treasures – jewelry, colorful scarves, hand-hammered metal giftware, local art, fanciful umbrellas and so much more. At the Taubman store I bought some of my favorite Rose & Ivy Pecan Pepper Glaze to make a delightful appetizer:

Rose & Ivy Pecan Cheese Bake

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened

½ cup mayonnaise

2 green onions, finely chopped

6 Ritz crackers, crushed

8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

½ cup Rose & Ivy Southern Pecan Pepper Glaze


Combine mayo, cream cheese, cheddar and onions in greased quiche pan. Top with crackers and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.  Top with bacon, drizzle with Southern Pecan Pepper Glaze before serving. Serve on your favorite crackers. I like Carr’s Table water Crackers for this recipe.

You are invited to visit my Facebook page:  bubblybee

Please join my Facebook group: bubblybee’s recipes

Follow me on Instagram:  bubblybeeboop 


My Time in France–in Photos

Beautiful photos of France from the Drunken Cyclist!

the drunken cyclist

These past ten days, I have been riding my bike around the northern part of France. The first week was split between the northern part of Burgundy and Bretagne, to re-familiarize myself with the two regions before leading bike tours in both.

After briefly passing through Paris, I started in Auxerre, in northern Burgundy, which like many towns in France, has an imposing cathedral.

It was then a ride from Clamency to Avallon, including a climb up to the Vézelay abbey. I think the 18% grade to get there was worth it. I think.

My bike needed an intervention: that is part of a Coke can serving as a shim to keep the seat post from slipping.

After a few days in Burgundy, it was back to Paris for a night, and then a bike ride across town (passing through la Place des Victoires) to Gare St. Lazare and off…

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National Champagne Day ~ August 4, 2018 ~ Insanely Good Reasons To Have Cold Champagne In Your Refrigerator

August 4, 2018 is National Champagne Day!

chocolate close up cookies delicious

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on

It’s also National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day ~ Can it get any better than that?!  

I’ve noticed August 4 has been mentioned on the internet as “National Champagne Day” but I have no idea why…of course I think every day should be National Champagne Day and I don’t want to wait to celebrate so on we go!!!

This article originally appeared on

10 Insanely Good Reasons To Always Have A Cold Bottle Of Champagne In Your Refrigerator *

When was the last time you popped the cork of a champagne bottle? Most likely it was for a special occasion..a wedding, graduation, ringing in the New Year?

But why wait to celebrate?!

There have been many wise men and women who have advised whole-heartedly that we drink champagne every day:

sea sunset beach couple

Photo by Pixabay on

“In a perfect world, everyone would have a glass of Champagne every evening.”

~ Willie Gluckstern, author “The Wine Avenger”

“Three be the things I shall never attain: envy, content and sufficient champagne.”
~ Dorothy Parker American poet and short story writer

Napoleon Bonaparte said, ” I drink Champagne when I win, to celebrate…and I drink Champagne when I lose, to console myself.”  Having a cold bottle of champagne in your refrigerator (or 2, or 3) is always good for a celebration and will lift your spirits during more dismal times. So pop a cork and enjoy these 10 insanely good reasons to keep a stock of cold bubbly on hand:

  1. As Charles Dickens said, “Champagne is one of the elegant extras in life.”  With champagne chilling in your fridge you will be ready at a moment’s notice to celebrate anything and everything…

Champagne =Celebration!

Just the sound of the “Pop!” of a champagne cork sends a message to your brain ~ it’s time to party!  Once reserved only for royalty and the upper crust of society, now everyone can enjoy this celebratory drink because…

champagne does not have to be expensive to be an enjoyable aperitif.  Trending now…more inexpensive pairings…champagne and pizza, scrambled eggs and champagne…but if you  pop some Beluga caviar on top of either one then you’ve got a pricey snack!

The best way to find delicious champagne that will fit your budget is to get to know your local wine merchant. That’s the guy who owns the local wine store that’s been in the business forever and you can trust.  Visit his store often and he will steer you in the right direction because…

  1. …he knows that champagne will not disappoint.  A glass of champagne makes guests feel special.  Before venturing out to dinner with friends, invite them over for a champagne toast and serve a little toast because…

champagne pairs with caviar which should be served with little toast points or blinis. And it pairs equally as well with simple potato chips which Marilyn Monroe loved in the movie The Seven Year Itch (“Hey, did you ever try dunking a potato chip in Champagne. It’s real crazy!” Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch ~1955) because…

  1. Marilyn knew that champagne is a good conversation starter which is helpful on a date or evening out when you don’t know your company very well.  Most everyone has an opinion about champagne whether they love it or not and most everyone has a champagne experience to share because…
  2. this fanciful beverage will tickle your nose with 100 million bubbles in each 3.4 ounce glass and…
  3. serving champagne can be classy without being pretentious…or go ahead and be pretentious by serving a magnum (equals 2 standard bottles) or jeroboam (equals 4 standard bottles) or cutesy by serving a huitième (equals 1/8th standard bottle) with a straw because…
  4. your good crystal is gathering dust in the china cabinet and you really need an excuse to use your Waterford crystal flutes and…
  5. they will look so beautiful filled with rosé champagne ~ which is perfect for Valentine’s Day or any other day you want to say “I love you” because…
  6. if for no other reason, as you are running out the door to a party, champagne makes a wonderful last-minute hostess gift.  Or when you arrive home to crawl into an inviting bubble bath, take it literally, just like Marilyn Monroe and sip on a cold glass of bubbly while soaking in a bathtub filled with the contents of 350 bottles of champagne!

Pop your cork with these bubbly recommendations (all champagnes listed here are non-vintage unless otherwise noted and prices are approximate and listed in USD):

for a toast…Veuve-Clicquot~ renowned “yellow” label is instantly recognized as fine bubbles worthy of a special toast to friends and family. Tasting notes:  Fine bubbles with an elegant mousse. Citrus notes with flavors of pear, toasty brioche ($65)

for a good value

  1. Besserat de Bellefon Cuvee des Moines Brut. Tasting notes: Fine, consistent bubbles in the glass. White peaches a touch of earthiness with hazelnut undertones.
  2. Charles de Cazanova Brut. Tasting notes: Toasted brioche, gala apple, lemon zest, graphite and ginger with a hint of honey. ($35 – $45 range)

for fancy bubbles to pair with simple potato chips…  2006 Perrier-Jouet Fleur de Champagne Brut Cuvee Belle Epoque 2006.  Fabulous bubbles in a hand-painted bottle.  Princess Grace of Monaco declared Perrier-Jouet Fleur de Champagne with the iconic anemone to be her favorite champagne.  Tasting notes: Delicate and beautiful with aromas of white fruits – white peach, pear and lemon with a hint of pineapple.  give way to hints of pineapple. Notes of rich marzipan, nuts and buttered toast. Balanced in silkiness with a long fine finish. ($150.00)

for a prestigious presentation…Piper Heidsick Brut magnum. 1 million bubbles in a flute of champagne equates to 12 million bubbles in this magnum bottle (magnum = 2 standard bottles = 12 flutes of champagne). Tasting notes:  Rich and rounded, creamy mousse, citrus notes with butter and caramel.  ($80)

for your love on Valentine’s Day…rosé champagne… Cuvée Rosé Laurent-Perrier ~ beautiful salmon pink color, soft bead, fresh berry on the nose. ($70)

Veuve Clicquot Rosé. Tasting notes: silky on the tongue, beautiful fine bubbles, lively black cherry and raspberry fruit and rich brioche. ($70)

Piper-Heidsieck Rosé SauvageTasting notes:  Fine, satiny bubbles, this vibrant, deep-hued rosé layers rich accents of lightly buttered toast and walnut with lively flavors of raspberry puree, wild cherry, blood orange zest and ginger.

“I wish I’d drunk more Champagne.”
The dying words of LORD KEYNES


photo of liquid pouring


*, February 5, 2016

You are invited to visit my Facebook page: bubblybee

Please follow me on Instagram: bubblybeeboop


Tasting: Champagne Laurent-Perrier

Love Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé! Thank you for another deliciously bubbly post Champagne Chick!


The perfect way to kick off the weekend is with champagne, lots and lots of champagne … and this is exactly how a few champagne-friends and I started our weekend when I hosted a tasting through a range of some Laurent-Perrier cuvées last Friday.

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