Sitka & Spruce Quince and Taragon | Bar Sajor Quince and Sour Blackberry | Rain Shadow Celery
My bubbly fascination is in hyperdrive and it’s not for that from a wine bottle. Surprise, surprise but lately I’ve found myself craving the house soda’s at Sitka & Spruce and Bar Sajor. The perfect amount of sweet syrupy goodness + the most glorious flavors. They always seemed kind of a secret at Sitka since somehow that is the quintessential glasses-of-wine-with-lunch-spot but they are there, and the flavors change often. Think Lemon Verbena, Quince, or Elderberry.
At the new Bar Sajor they are front and center on the menu, so if you find yourself there you must try the cucumber whey or the sour blackberry. There’s also the drinking vinegars and those are epic. There was a beet one that looked beautiful. Ah, but don’t worry. After your soda you can have a glass of wine or cider. That’s usually how I roll.
Also, if you hop across the street to the new Rain Shadow Meats 2 they have the best sandwiches and salads for lunch, but they also have a killer celery soda. A take on the traditional Jewish deli staple this one was so good with my mortadella sammie and potato salad yesterday.
I’m actually encouraging you to skip the sparkling wine and try one of these concoctions on your next date. Then tell me about it later so we can gush.
My new favorite glass of sparkling wine and, oh, is it a good one. I don’t think there’s a way to cram anymore sheer amazingness into a single bottle, because for me this wine is perfection and its maker, Jo Landron, a master (with a killer mustache). Many of the same reasons that I love the François Pinon are why I love this wine, and it’s no coincidence that both are wines of the Loire Valley, and both are created in the méthode traditionnelle (second fermentation in the bottle). They are very different wines though and for the moment, ATMOSPHÈRES is all I can think about.
A quick history
Domaine de la Louvetrie was established in 1945 by Jo’s father Pierre, in the 80′s Jo joined in, by the 90′s Jo took over. By 1999 the vineyard was certified as 100% organic and by 2008 the vineyard was converted and certified as fully biodynamic (organic on crack, you could say). The fruit is only ever harvested by hand.
The common thread in Loire Valley wines that I most enjoy is the rich minerality, tasting all the best parts of the soil that have made their way through the vines, into the grapes, and ending in the bottle. This wine in particular has a distinctive minerality–vital and balanced, but it’s also perfectly acidic and rich in texture and beading. The taste varies with temperature but overall the fragrant notes of lemon zest and oil is most notable. There are light hints of red apple, and very faintly, at slightly warmer temps there are bits of strawberry (says Andrew) and cherry (says me). (If I wasn’t me I’d go with Andrews pick as he’s much better at tasting notes than I am.)
The richness of the wine extends all the way down to the most beautiful golden, verging on a blush, color and it’s hypnotizing. The beading is strong and effervescent and it’s because of this that it’s best served in a coupe. I read somewhere that some prefer to wait for the bubbles to dissipate but 1) I do not have the patience to wait after the bottle has been popped and 2) why wait when you can just serve it in a coupe. Since they were likely serving in a flute it’s understandable that the wine felt a bit choked by the beading. Go with the coupe, enjoy it cold, savor the notes as the temperature changes.
If you’re in Seattle be sure to stop by Bar Ferd’nand at Melrose Market to pick this up. Ask for Marc and he’ll help you find anything you need; he’s done an amazing job curating the wine selection there. And a special thanks to Andrew for help with the tasting notes and for stopping to get a bottle after a very…long…week.
Jo Landron ATMOSPHÈRES, $17-$20 available at Bar Ferd’nand or online here.
Filed under: Beauty, Bubbly, Chocolate, Clean, Health, My favorite things
François Pinon Vouvray / François Pralus Barre Infernale / White Coconut Crème tea / Josie Maran cream blush / Aquasana coutertop water filter / BibBon luxury eye mask (here too) / Abbaye de Belloc cheese / Organic cold pressed coconut oil
I’ve really been struggling with the whole Gift Guide thing this year. I started pulling some lists together back in November (as it’s usually one of my favorite projects), but seeing how things have unfolded this season, I can’t help but feel that it’s all gotten to be so painfully contrived. I’m no stranger to extravagant window shopping fantasies and trend alerts (and posts about them) but in this age of blog sponsors and affiliations I feel that so much has become so one note and disingenuous.
At first it made me sad, but then I settled on the best way I could think of to share the most genuine list of goodies that I could…and that was by listing some of my all-time favorite things in one post. Not a gift guide, but a collection of health and happiness in small and meaningful packages. Everything here I own, I use, I love. No wishlists, no trendy gift o’ the season: just my favorites from me to you, and maybe even someone you love.
So in an attempt to not sound too much like a Grinch…
here’s hoping you have a lovely holiday full of gifts and gift-giving that makes you feel happy and healthy.
As much as I love a nice cold glass of bubbly, and as often as I sneak it into lunches/dinner/just because, I really should be sharing my favorites here more often. I’m not a connoisseur in any way, but I do have strong opinions about what I like and why. So here we go…
This is my other favorite bubbly, next to the Rose d’Orfeuilles that I posted before. This is the François Pinon Vouvray Brut Petillant Non-Dose, but we just call it Vouvray. Tart, but not sour, this chenin blanc grape wine has a lovely minerality but also hints of citrus rind and honey. And perhaps my favorite feature, the beading (bubbles, effervescence, etc.) is off the charts amazing and endorphin-inducing. It is pure elegance.
This is an organically grown and harvested wine, but another really cool feature is that new plantings are selected from the farm and not from a nursery, so the genetic make-up of the vines remains consistent from year to year. Also, the Non-Dose means that there is no sugar added during fermentations or during bottling.
One really important thing to note I realized just last night when we did a little experiment. This particular wine is best served in a flute and NOT A COUPE! As much as I love my coupes, only the flute is able to maintain the elegant beading of this wine. With the wide surface area of the coupe the effervescence is lost and the taste profile changes so quickly. Trust me and stick to the flute.
Domaine d’Orfeuilles Sparkling Touraine Rosé
I don’t much care for liquor, I’m not sure I’ve ever finished a beer, wine makes me sleepy…but oh how I love bubbles. Forget the pretentious stigma (it’s not about looks) it’s about effervescent bubbly bliss in a bottle, and for the perfect one I introduce you to Domaine d’Orfeuilles Sparkling Touraine Rosé.
My guy and I have had a blast tasting and profiling this, and here’s what we’ve got:
With divine hints of wild strawberry and freshly baked shortbread, this 100% Malbec wine sparkles with a dry, crisp taste and a perfect texture that tickles your mouth and nose. I mean, check out those sexy streams of bubbles. It’s a hand-crafted artisan wine that uses the traditional method of fermentation called méthode champenoise where the wine is aged (this one in a limestone cave called a tuffeau) for 2-3 years allowing the traditional second fermentation in the bottle to happen, ultimately creating a more complex wine.
Making the bubbles even more enjoyable are the vineyards sustainable farming methods while also working to transition to organic farming. I’d gladly pay 3x as much for this lovely bottle, but the bubble gods are shining down and luckily the price point is between $15 and $17.
No special occasion needed. Just pop a bottle and à la vôtre (cheers)!