Blog Archives

Considering Champagne in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises

I’ve been pondering this passage from Ernest Hemingway’s seminal Lost Generation novel, The Sun Also Rises. Here are my thoughts: “I say that is wine.” Thank you, Brett. For many, Champagne exists in a separate category from wine. People think of it as a special outlier. You can listen to my conversation with David Speer, [...]

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Ambonnay’s David Speer Explains Why Champagne is Way Better Than Cable

This immortal quote (“Champagne is way better than cable.“) about budgeting, entertainment, pleasure, and the pinnacle of sparkling wine came from an interview I conducted with David Speer, owner of Portland, Oregon’s most excellent Champagne bar, Ambonnay. What prompted me to contact David (via e-mail) and query him about all things Champagne was a post-International [...]

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Champagne Offers Sparkling Variety: Reflections on 31 Bottles

What’s it like tasting 31 Champagnes in one afternoon? Well, part of it stinks because you have to spit them out. I am, after all, compelled to maintain my professionalism at an industry event. But just because it’s not a boozy experience doesn’t mean it isn’t compelling, if not captivating. If you think Champagne is [...]

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Has Champagne Ever Saved Your Life? The Bookery Cook Interview

Has Champagne ever saved your life? Gee, if it hasn’t yet, I’m sure it will some day. I am thankful that Maxine Thompson, of the wonderful site The Bookery Cook, asked me this question and so many more. She is able to pry from me such information as: What music I listen to while cooking [...]

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The Debut of My Wine Without Worry Podcast

I’ve been talking longer than I’ve been writing so it’s about time I launched a podcast. Wine Without Worry is live, and my first episode is a great half hour chat with Bryan Maletis of Fat Cork. It’s a Champagne 101 for anyone curious about what makes the wines and the region so special. After [...]

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Champagne Is Way Better Than Cable

This was definitely my 2012 Wine Quote of the Year, made even more sparkling for concerning Champagne. I wish I could take credit for saying it, but this quote comes from David Speer, owner of the Champagne bar Ambonnay in Portland, OR. I asked him, “What if I don’t have a Champange budget?” His response: [...]

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Distinctive Rosé Champagne Styles Plus Potato Chips at Fat Cork

When you put rosé and Champagne together you definitely get something I adore. Rosé Champagne combines my love of dry, still rosé with the elegance and pleasure of bubbles. So it was instructive and informative (and thirst-slakingly pleasurable) to be invited to taste four Rosé Champagnes of different styles, colors, and flavors at Fat Cork‘s [...]

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I Dare You to Saber Champagne With Your iPad

  Would you risk your iPad to saber Champagne? No, you don’t need an actual sword to remove the cork (and the top of the bottle). This short and sweet video, which I owe Maxine* of The Bookery Cook a debt of gratitude for sending my way, stars Benoit Tarlant of Champagne Tarlant. He shows [...]

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January is a Great Time for Pierre Peters Blanc De Blancs Champagne

Maybe the last time you had a fine Champagne like the Pierre Peters Blanc de Blancs was New Year’s Eve. OK, maybe even technically in January if the clock struck midnight before you popped the cork. But while January for many signals a month of austerity after a month (or two or three…) of indulgence, [...]

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Brief Thoughts on Sabering Champagne

Sabering Champagne certainly provides an extra level of drama and ceremony to your New Year’s Eve. I feel a lot better about the process when: The first bottle is an inexpensive Cava, and its successful sabering makes me confident that a bottle of Champagne can be handed over for Round Two. I’m at a safe [...]

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