Both are low in alcohol and very fruity so I can keep my wits about me as I cheer on the underdog.
Beautiful Art: This painting shows a view of a Parisian street corner on a gray, winter day. A typical Parisian scene, as Beraud’s straightforward paintings most commonly were, this painting evokes bustling activity in the background and an exchange of gazes in the foreground. Jean Béraud (French, 1849–1936). Parisian Street Scene (detail), ca. 1885. from @metmuseum
Beautiful Finds: Luxury soap
I’ve come to find, in my life, that my joy comes in little packages; discovered French recipes, my morning coffee, quiet. I frequent TJ Maxx; TJ Maxx is my cardio. The only reason I go there is to look and find more little things that bring me joy.
TJ Maxx has a section in their store dedicated to luxurious soaps. Soaps from France, Italy, New York; the fragrance in that sections put me in a wonderful mood.
I bought this gem home the other day. Violet Blossom is everything you think it is. Oh the fragrance!!! Just beautiful. My shower and bath will be transformed. A dedicated time slot will be spent behind a locked bathroom door as I let the violet smell envelop the bathroom…I will demand silence and to not be disturbed for at least an hour…maybe longer.
This is not a dream my dear sister friends.
Joy comes to those who demand it.
until next time,
P.S. – did I mention the soap costs $3.99…just sayin.
Beautiful finds: If you see the name Kermit Lynch on a bottle of wine in a wine shop – buy it. Kermit is an American importer. He has a great understanding of what the American palate likes.
This beauty is a Rhone France inspired red from Vaucluse. In this bottle is a blend of grenache, syrah, merlot and marselan. Very dry, very red berry.
Pair with a Steak and Shake burger on the eve of new years eve.
The above picture is one of my favorite sparklers. It’s Chandon from California, made by the French Champagne house Moet Chandon. It has a lot of personality. Beautiful bubbles and not so sweet berry fruit; very elegant.
I don’t go out to pair this or any other sparkler with food – I just like the experience of sipping beautiful sparkling wines. There is a grown up personality shift that comes over me which makes my world feels more elegant. Okay, truth be told – I do pair this sparkler with something…my bubble bath.
Try it. You, bubbles in the bath water, candles and a glass of sparkling wine. Heaven. The outside world melts away.
Sparkling wines are produced all over the world. The style I find most beautiful is Cremant. Cremants are sparkling wines made in France but not in Champagne.
Here are a few of the most beautiful styles…
Cremant d’ Alsace (Alsace, France) is a bubbly blend (in whole or part red and white) of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Auxerrois, and Chardonnay – the combination of grapes produces a taste of delicate citrus.
Cremant de Bourgogne (Burgundy, France) is another blend (in whole or part red and white) of Chardonnay, Aligote, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gamay, Melon de Bourgogne and Sacy – fine bubbles, berries (rose version), elegant.
Cremant de Loire (Loire, France) is…yes a blend (in whole or part red and white) of Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Noir – very sexy, fine bubbles, wholly elegant
Cremant de Limoux (Southern France) – blended with Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and a splash of Pinot Noir or Mauzac – gorgeous, fruity, elegant
Blanquette de Limoux (Southern France) -90% Mauzac – gorgeous and elegant
I’m not recommending particular Cremant producers because there are so many good ones and I don’t want you to limit your exploration. Try different producers of Cremant d’ Alsace and Cremant de Bourgogne, and so on. You decide who you like and the styles that you like.
Cremant pairs well with any occasion and any mood.
Champagne is both a style of sparkling wine and a region in France.
What’s grapes are in the bottle: pinot noir (red) – adds depth and structure, pinot meunier (red) – adds apples and flowery taste, chardonnay (white) – adds freshness.
Blanc de Blanc = 100% chardonnay.
Pair with: girls night in, soft French triple cream cheeses, a good novel.