The Spoils of the Day

Sometimes the constant presence of natural beauty can lead to a certain forgetfulness of the visual bounty all around. We’ve lived near Lake Geneva for a long time, and while I revel in the views of mountain and lake, I don’t always appreciate just how lovely the area can be. Fortunately, friend, writer and local…

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The Taste of Shape

There’s no denying that the utensils we use, the presentation we choose and the serving methods employed affect how we experience what crosses our palate. That’s as true for lemon tart as it is for champagne. Champagne glasses, like those for many other beverages, have undergone a transformation over the centuries. From the mugs or…

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Pantry Bubbly

There are a few staples┬ápeople always like to have around the house. Whether it’s rice, or eggs, or beer, or bread, if it’s not in the pantry, the pantry is lacking – even if full of other things. It should come as no surprise that one of these items in our household is champagne (well,…

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Whisky Women, Champagne Widows

ChampagneWhisky.com wouldn’t be ChampagneWhisky if it weren’t for women in whisky and champagne. And not just the one sitting here behind the keyboard writing this post. I’m just going to put up a couple of excerpts today, in honor of International Women’s Day 2014, which has been celebrated for a century on March 8. “In…

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Bubbly Surprise

It’s been an icy couple weeks here in the foothills of the Jura, with a strong bise wind blowing down from the Alps, funneling down through the Lake Geneva basin and wearing itself out to points south of here. It’s dry, it’s cold, and it can be unrelenting for as long as it lasts, usually…

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Musical Refinement

Sometimes a tugged mental thread yields the most unexpected byways of learning. This particular journey began the other evening, when I was listening to a French radio station, Swing FM, while sipping a glass of champagne. The music playing was a heavy Hammond organ thing, the champagne didn’t taste quite right, and fortunately, some small…

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Late Harvest

If you’ve ever felt the need to get to know your champagne from the ground up, now is your chance – the Champagne region started the annual grape harvest this past week, the latest start in over a decade. A late and cold spring, hailstorms and rain led to vineyards problems like coulure, unpollinated flowers…

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Party Trick

Many years ago, a good friend pulled a little party trick and I learned it because I thought it was not only delightful, but a fun way to memorialize a good evening of excellent conversation: Wire bistro chairs out of the wire cage and metal disk. Some people use small pliers to make the chairs…

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Sober Expectations

I saw recently that Napa Valley wineries had already started their grape harvesting season as of August 1 this year, almost two weeks earlier than the average, due to a short winter combined with a long and mild spring. So I wondered whether our long, wet, cold winter, combined with a long, wet, cold spring…

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