What are you celebrating?

Bubbles are amazing little things. With the power to lift, lilt, and sparkle they have an effervescence (pun intended) all their own.  I’ve recently become a little obsessed with bubbles. I suppose I’m slow to the gate, but there’s something about finding an excuse to celebrate the everyday that is becoming to my perspective on life as I age.

I watched a documentary in the last few years called A Year In Champagne that best captured the art of celebrating just about everything.

Thinking back to some of my favorite moments. Bubbles have marked many of them.  I remember Dinner In The Sky in Prague – suspended a little over 150 feet in the air during sunset last year. I’m afraid of heights, and they sent us up with some Luc Belaire Rosé.  This mid-priced ($30) grenache-cinsault-syrah blend from France had me tickled pink at the taste of its ever so slightly sweet red fruit like cherries and strawberries, a bit of richer citrus (orange), and a hint of fresh butter spritzer cookies. The wine and being suspended in the sky have become one experience, although I do believe the sight of the ground 150 feet below might be slightly more burned in my memory…

Continuing the sweeter note, I recently celebrated catching up with an old friend and connecting with new ones over a bottle of this lovely, Northern-Italy wine called Birbet made by Malvira ($20).  The wine is made with the grape Brachetto.  It’s hard to find – but we managed to find it in Twin Cities Minnesota at Domacin in Stillwater.  The fact that it was sweeter than the Luc Belaire was matched by it’s strong floral notes that complimented the strawberry flavors. The soft dew-drenched roses added subtlety to the wine and made it the perfect pairing  both times I had it with a cream and fruit based dessert – panna cotta anyone?  It must be the grape because I still remember the first time I tasted Brachetto.  It was Fizz 56 and I believe I bought a half case, and I never buy a case of anything because that’s one more bottle of something new I can’t try.

On New Year’s Eve I like to try something new.  This year, I found a bargain sparkler from Italy for $2.99 from Trader Joe’s called Yu Sushi Sparkling by Astoria.  This bubbly is made from “Typical white grapes of the Treviso area.” which is in the Eastern Veneto region of Italy.  That of course made me want to learn more about this area,  Veneto is a famous region in Italy, producing Prosecco, Amarone, and Soave, the latter being two of my favorite wines.  Glera is the grape most commonly used in Prosecco; but this wine could be a smashing bit of everything; which is half the fun!  The dry, crisp profile and lemon rind flavors of this bargain buy were a perfect complement to the homemade lemon bars that were freshly baked and funneled to my kitchen — then to my stomach — where they were thoroughly enjoyed.

Most recently, I was celebrating life’s little somethings (or nothings depending on your perspective). It was a slow Friday morning I had taken off from work.  The kids had been dropped at school (in my PJs, one of life’s great indulgences!) and I was sitting down to dye my hair and get some paperwork done.  I poured myself a glass of almost dry rosé bubbly from Tarantas winery in the southeast portion of Spain ($10).  The violet tinged edges complemented the strawberries, raspberries, apple and lemon flavors. This balanced wine was perfect to celebrate the little somethings in life.

I recently discovered a quote. 

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““Burgundy makes you think of silly things; Bordeaux makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them.””

— Jean Antheime Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste, 1825

Written almost 200 years ago in one of the oldest books still in publication (and yes, it is now on my to read list!) I thought it captured the spirit I believe A Year in Champagne was trying to capture.  There’s so much to celebrate in life, why wait for an excuse? Make one instead.

So what are you celebrating?

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