Don’t Let It Go To Your Head: Champagne Tasting

2 Jan

Over this past weekend, I hosted a bachelorette party for my good friend Kara who is getting married this summer (guess who’s the maid of honor, this guy). Using nothing but my raw ingenuity, dashing good looks, and culinary smarts, I planned an in-hotel Champagne tasting. Now this came after few different ideas. The first was getting a bartender in the room to help us create our own cocktails with infused spirits, but, alas, I don’t know any bartenders in Ann Arbor. The second was doing a beer tasting, but then I realized I would be the one having the most fun in that situation. So then I settled on Champagne because a) we were celebrating b) who doesn’t like Champagne?

Rather than having someone take us through each Champagne (we went with Veuve Clicquot and Cupcake Sparkling Prosecco), I decided to make a handy sheet that gave some information on why Champagne is called champagne, and why others aren’t (and a few other “fun facts”). I realize it’s a little hard to read online, but trust me, it’s pretty cool.

Dropping knowledge bombs, left and right

Dropping blurry and hard to read knowledge bombs

But what is Champagne without an appetizer platter?

Boom. Chakalaka.

Boom. Chakalaka.

Now let me go through all the items on this platter:

  • Ghirardelli Squares (25% off at Plum Market)
  • Godiva peppermint truffles (25% off at Plum Market)
  • Chocolate truffles, a Christmas gift (don’t worry, I got a box that mad about 200 of them in it, so I’ve got tons left)
  • The following items from Aldi (yes, Aldi): peanut brittle, yogurt covered raisins, wheat crackers, brie, smoked gouda, apricots. All for under $12!
  • Strawberries and grapes (from Trader Joe’s) $11!! But, in it’s defense, they were delicious.

I know. It’s a great spread.

My view of the festivities

My view of the festivities

The  “highlight” of the tasting came when my expert server skills saved my life. We had just finished the first bottle, and I was opening the second bottle. I had just removed the cage (see below)…

Picture-2…and had the bottle sitting on my knee, pointing up toward the bottom of my jaw, you know, the soft part. Well wouldn’t you know it, not 10 seconds go by, and the cork shoots out of the bottle. Thank god my thumb was securely over top of the cork, and nothing happened (moral of the story: when opening Champagne, or any sparkling wine, be sure something is ALWAYS on the top of the cork, such as a secured cage or your hand). We all had a good laugh, and I lost about 4 years of my life due to “ha ha I almost got seriously injured…”

Either way, a variety of wines (or any other beverage), some tasty bites, and a little knowledge adds a lot to any get together. It was a blast, and I’m trying to figure out excuses to have people over ay my house soon to have another type of tasting/hosting situation.

Oh, and my car died in the middle of the bachelorette party. It was…uh….totally planned.



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