Day 4, “12 Drinks of Xmas”! Champagne for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, NYE + Tips from a Pro!!

I happen to love champagne. When I got into “wine exploration”, I found that champagne was a natural progression from the original wines I had been imbibing. Lucky for me, all the sparkling wines I chose were from California. California vintners do have an array of excellent sparkling wines (and there are many brands from which to choose), yet there is something about French Champagne (and they are truly the ONLY Champagne because it comes from the Champagne region of France) that deserves some serious attention. The various times I have had the opportunity to have some great French champagne, sipping was (and still is) the only way I handle it, because I want it to last as long as possible. I once had a single glass last me an entire dinner– because it was rather an expensive glass.

How do I like to drink fine champagne?
Let me count the ways:
–In a nice crystal flute, very cold and sipping it slowly

–As a “float” on a great cocktail (there are a couple of recipes that I got during a couple of summers from a local restaurant that I have talked about on Facebook & Twitter. )

— Working with b Saint Germaine liqueur, there are many ways to mix this liqueur with various spirits. One of my most favorite ways of utilizing Saint Germaine was with French Champagne because the champagne lightened the texture, tone, and flavor considerably. There is a real necessity to select really good champagne to keep the snap of the flavor and texture.

–I could keep going on, but why not just show you a couple of great bottles you should try for TONIGHT, tomorrow or New Years Eve! Yes, splurge!! Go for it. It’s the end of 2019 and the beginning of a new decade. It is definitely going to be a much better year.

Here are two that I particularly like and you should try. Do realize that it’s worth the expense to try this– perhaps a bottle of each for midnight toasts for New Year’s Eve parties or maybe a single bottle for a smaller group.

I have been lucky enough to try out some Laurent Perrier and am swooning from the experience!!

Laurent Perrier Brut LP

–Pale gold in color with a steady flow of fine and persistent bubbles.
–Delicate yet complex, fresh and well-balanced with hints of citrus and white fruits.
–Well defined, subtly rounded with expressive flavors. The fruit progressively emerges to reveal a finely balanced champagne displaying great length on the finish.

Cuvee Rose

–Elegant, with color-changing naturally from a pretty raspberry hint to salmon-pink.
–Precise and very crisp. Wide range of small red fruits: strawberries, red currants, raspberries, and black cherries. Its amazing freshness is the dominating note.
–Intensely fruity flavors, clean, well-defined and slightly sharp, the wine then opens up to provide an impression of plunging into a basket of freshly picked red berries: strawberries, Morello cherries, black currants, and raspberries. The wine is supple and rounded on the finish.

Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, MW has some really imaginative tips on how to have fun with champagne.


Add Holiday Flare

– Take a lemon wedge, rub the outside rim of the glass and then roll the rim in colored sugar. It makes them very colorful and in the holiday spirit! I just bought some red and green sugar from Sur La Table to do that for my holidays. (And you can use multi-colored sugar for this or any color you choose to rim the glass)

Splash in Cocktails
-Adding champagne to a cocktail changes the dynamics of a cocktail and adds another dimension. The bubbles tickle your taste buds and tells those tastebuds to “wake up!” and its crisp acidity enhances all of the flavors. ·

Vintage Champagne Game
– When opening a bottle of vintage champagne (i.e.- 2002 Laurent Perrier Millesime), ask  guests “where were you in 2002?” (or whatever the year is of that vintage.)

Add a Sweet Touch
– Add frozen candied cranberries! The day before your party, simmer cranberries in sugar for 5 minutes until they just start to soften, then freeze them.
The cranberries can just be added to the bottom of the flute, or you can thread them on a skewer or fancy toothpicks in various colors. ·

Add a Sweet-er Touch with some holiday colored gummy bears or jelly beans to the bottom of a flute for a very festive look and taste.

Spoil Yourself
– Any leftover champagne the day after New Year’s?
If you don’t want to drink it (and you were thinking of tossing it), you can give yourself a champagne foot massage!
Pour the champagne over your bare feet for a very tingly, luxurious experience. Great way to start the new year! (The wine will exfoliate your feet too.
Don’t forget to save a little to mix with some great olive or other nut or massage oil and some brown sugar for a natural scrub that doesn’t cost a fortune.)

Thank you to Jennifer for her fabulous tips. Smart, creative and definitely willing to push far beyond the wine cork to have fun with wines.

Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan is one of only five women and 27 people in the US to ever attain the international title of Master of Wine (MW), the highest accolade and the most difficult wine title to achieve in the world. She was also honored with an international tasting trophy for her palate by the Institute of Masters of Wine in 2008 and holds an additional 5 leading industry certifications. She is also listed in 2011 Who’s Who in International Wine & Spirits.

Having left Citicorp’s corporate culture when she discovered her passion for wine, Jennifer is quickly rising as one of media’s best featured “go to” experts on wine and spirits. She holds the world’s top wine title (MW), has trained thousands in the industry, judges in international wine and spirits competitions, and is a frequent guest on national television and featured in world class publications.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah,  and Happy New Year!


Stevie Wilson,

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Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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