Happy New Year!

This is the time to open a bottle of bubbly! Hope all your dreams come true in 2012! Enjoy this year and never forget to gave fun!


The Bubble Lounge in TriBeCa

Walking around TriBeCa on a recent weekend we stumbled upon a nice champagne lounge. The Bubble Lounge on the corner of Franklin and Moore carries a huge collection of champagnes including some vintages. There are also some bubbly cocktais as well as the usual lounge fare.

When we came (Sunday late afternoon) the place was very empty and quiet, but it was perfect for a flute. The decor with vintage plushy arm-chairs was exactly what I’d expect from a classy grown-up champagne bar. Some of the bubbly-themed pictures on the walls were rather tacky though.

It seems like the place has seen better and crazier days – probably during the roaring 2004 – 2007 when all Wall-streeteers expensed their parties. Now, struggling to keep the demand, the lounge is tryi g to promote itself as a girls-night-out hotspot. It could be a good idea, but it was bizarre to see a herd of chirpy drunk girls excersizing their lungs in vintage arm-chairs.

You gotta do what you gotta do though.

I’m definitely planning to go back, and visiting the San Francisco sister lounge when I’m there. Here’s the
Website.


Irene and Jacques Chance: Bed and Breakfast and Champagne

If you are ever traveling in Champagne there is a little grand cru village called Mailly. Picturesque and quiet, it also offers some of the best champagne you can have. An ideal way to emmerce in the lifestyle of Champage is to stay at the house of a champagne maker.
You won’t forget the quiet evening as you are watching day turn into night with a bottle of this bubbly, the old-fashioned room with a comfy bed, and the breakfast with the owner that seems to last forever: pleasant conversation over some fresh-baked bread and strong coffee. If you want to learn the art of champagne – this breakfast is better than any classroom!

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This is the contact information: http://chambres.chance.pagespro-orange.fr/ang_accueil.htm

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Russian Champagne – yes, you read it right


Drinking sparkling wine in Russia is as much of a Russian pasttime as drinking vodka – believe it or not. Yes, it is very much a girly drink, but considering that female population in this country outnumbers males by such a wide margin, sparkling wine may indeed be winning over vodka as the national drink. But I agree – it’s my biased vision of the world.

There are several types of sparkling wines that are popular in Russia, and unfortunately most of them are either fake or of low quality – a reflection of a non-discriminating popular taste. However, if you dig deeper, you can find some very decent brands with long history and meticulous attention to detail.

This story will be about Abrau-Durso – a brand from the Black Sea coast of Russia. As the legend says, the winery was founded in 1870 – a very old age for a Russian enterprise given that it had to survive the collectivization of the ’20′s and the decades thereafter.

According to the website of the winery , the wines are made using the traditional method, so wine matures in bottles. This winery has several brands depending on their quality. I haven’t tried the more premium ones, but would love to try them. They are made with the wines used in Champagne – two pinots and chardonnay. The lower-quality brands add Riesling and Aligote to the mix. Maybe it has something to do with their availability and price.

The winery organizes tours where you can also try different wines from its house. From what I understand it is conveniently located close to the seaside resort and the place of the next winter olympics – the city of Sochi. So if you are ever vacationing in Sochi, don’t forget to pay a visit to Abrau-Durso. It’s definitely my plan for my trip there.


St Germaine Cocktail – best served with the 20′s music, best consumed in a flapper dress

 

Back to Governor’s island again. This time for some St. Germain cocktails.

There’s one more summer tradition on Governor’s Island that combines style, relaxation, and fun – the Jazz Age Lawn Picnic Party. A cute band plays swing, and New Yorkers – from young to old, from girl parties to families, dressed in their best interpretation of “Jazz Age” sit around, munch on their picnic food, and drink St. Germain cocktails.

The St Germain cocktail is an amazing summer drink, perfect for brunch, picnics, or apéro’s. The way you prepare the cocktail is:

Fill glass with ice. Add 2 parts Brut Champagne first, then 1.5 parts St-Germain, then 2 parts Club Soda ( I like Perrier with it).  Stir.  Garnish with a lemon twist, making sure to squeeze essential oils into the glass. These oils are essential (sorry for the pun) – so make sure to add them.

Here’s some more information about St. Germain http://www.stgermain.fr

Here is some more information on the Governor’s Island calendar: http://www.govisland.com/html/visit/calendar.shtml

And the link to Michael Arenella’s Dreamland Orchestra: http://www.dreamlandorchestra.com/calendar.php


Happy Pride Week!

I was reading Henry Vizetelly’s “Facts about Champagne and Other Sparkling Wines” – a book written in 1879 in the style of those times. Highly recommended!

As I was reading about the adoption of Champagne in France as an alternative to Burgundy wines, I stumbled upon this paragraph:

“It (Champagne) found its chief patrons, however, amongst the bands of gay young roysterers, the future roues of the Regency, whom the Duc d’Orléans and the Duc de Vendôme had gathered around them, at the Palais Royal and at Anet.”

Why doesn’t it surprise me that we owe it to gay people that Champagne took off as a wine? Now you can argue that “gay” in this book means “happy” or “merry” and it may very well be true – I’ll leave it to your judgment.

In any case, Happy Pride week to our gay (=homosexual) and gay (=merry) friends in New York! Raise a flute to your pride!


Ava Lounge at the Dream Hotel – Get a Bottle of VC Rosé for $95

Check out this deal with Gilt City:

http://www.giltcity.com/newyork/avalounge


Cava at Bahr Che

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Tasty Cava Rosado at this Astor place wine bar. Dry and tangy – Raventos L’Herru de Nit Rose NV. Sounds Catalan to me..,


Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic

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So this was the fourth Polo match in NYC in this Veuve Clicquot series. And apparently everyone has already caught up. This is the problem with free and/or cool events in this city- in year 1 you can enjoy it, in year two you can brag about it to your friends, and in year 3 you have to wake up super early and make sure you make it there in spite of the crazy-long line.

So this was year 4 – if you know what I mean. Those who woke up early enough for the very first ferry got the best seats, those who were clever enough to go to Brooklyn and hop on a ferry from there were able to get in, but the general population mainly gave up after seeing the line in Manhattan curving around several blocks and not moving.

I don’t know if a lot of cities are like that but New York is especially eager to participate in activities that involve dressing up and being pretentious. So we came up with our unique dress code for polo tournaments. How cool is that – you can just make your own rules! It involves a fancy or ginormous hat and somewhat preppy somewhat vintage style. I heard a scarf is also a necessity – which doesnt necessarily go with preppy or vintage.

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Polo is a beautiful sport where the players have to demonstrate a perfect command of the horse and great coordination and physical ability. Great for spectators. And of course Nacho (or Oh! Nacho! – as a lot of girls were yelling out) … Nacho Rodriguez is an Argentinean polo star, and well, apparently a heart-breaker.

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Now to the main point: Champagne. Veuve Clicquot monopolized the event and was able to offer its brut and rose varieties at some crazy prices. A normal bottle was $85 dollars and a flute was selling for $16. But no-one cared, people walked around with multiple bottles, the line to get one took 15 minutes, and no-one was counting… Well it is included in the experience – so if we have the hats and the scarves already, we need to accessorize with champagne. But hey – Veuve Clicquot is great and you don’t need to twist anyone’s arm.


Brunch special at Spina

This cute restaurant in LES offers a great deal for Prosecco for brunch. Spina at 11 street and ave. B.


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