A Gift From Savoie + Slight Sacrilege

Scandalous post title, right? To temper expectations, I’m not talking about anything too crazy. Simply, a dessert besides cupcakes appears in the pics below. By way of reason, they were a gift, they were pretty, and I’ve never said no to anything with sugar in it.

They were a gift for a week of celebrations! New team at work and lots of work ahead that I’m excited about. They were also an incentive to train harder for the upcoming Portland Marathon…and totally worked… (Hey, I put it in writing on here- now I have to do it).

There have also been an abundance of really upsetting natural disasters this week, around the country and close to home. My heart goes out to everyone impacted by the hurricanes, and the fire in the Columbia Gorge. Place any order placed over the next 30 days, and 100% will be donated to organizations helping those in need get back on their feet.


But the real star of the show is Jean Vullien, a perfect sparkler for just about anything. She, too, was a gift and a beaut at that. I’d never seen her before at my regular bubbles haunts, but research showed that she’s available at Elephant’s Deli, a Portland favorite of mine.


She’s a girly girl. She’s full of tiny pink bubbles: 50% Chardonnay grapes, 30% Jacquere, and 20% Altesse. All are from France, specifically the region of Savoie. Notice how her region of origin is just as large as her name on the label? Savoie is no Champagne, but it’s close enough to be home to many delicious sparkling wines.

This beauty has floral and citrus notes, with a touch of something nutty- almond or hazelnut. Upon first sip, second sip, first glass, second glass, I noticed a creaminess and interestingly enough, a little bit of mint. The mint made it a bit of a palate cleanser- perfect for the different types of macarons. One fun fact that intrigued me was that 10,000 bottles were produced. Honestly, I was unsure whether that was something to write home about or not. I did some research and found this article to be helpful.

For less than $20, highly recommend… If you can find her…

Hope everyone has a wonderful and SAFE week.



Spotlight on Le Grand Courtâge

The wonders of the Northwest never cease to amaze me. They actually tend to put weekend days on pedestals, because there are so many cool spots to keep up with.

This find is from two weeks back, a very ABV driven adventure along the Columbia River. We were able to hit three planned breweries, an underground whiskey apothecary and a surprise tribute to Mother Nature. It was here, at Dougan Falls in Washington, that we kicked off our boots for a minute and just relaxed. And then we popped bubbles.


Mini bubbles for the week and such a pleasant little spotlight. Le Grand Courtâge was created by Tawnya Falkner, previously a designer and developer in SF. She was over its hustle and bustle and decided to move to Burgundy to pursue other passions. Well her move is our gain– this gorgeous, gold medal French sparkling wine. The name means “the Great Courtship,” with a number of meanings: the blend between French and American culture, the great journey she set out on and the courtship of love and life that sparkling wine definitely inspires.

While the bottle alone sold me, function and aesthetic, the flavor is just as unique. It’s extremely balanced, crisp and dry, but fruit forward. I tasted granny apples and strawberries, supported by a bit of honeysuckle. I recommend with creamy pastas, cheese, and adventures in the Columbia River Gorge.

Hope that everyone has a wonderful week!



Key Lime and a Special French Bubbly

Apologies for my absence last week. I’m in the throes of busy season and only now beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Luckily I was able to find some time this week to celebrate two crazy, wonderful years with my boyfriend. He surprised me with a bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte, a champagne that I’d been meaning to try for a while. That being said, the post below is a total lie. Tune in NEXT week for chocolate chili and a fun Rosé 🙂

Nicolas Feuillatte makes a mean champagne. We sipped on the Brut Reserve, which had the most incredible body. The company’s Website sums it up perfectly:

“The Brut Réserve is a Champagne that subtly focuses on shades of white fruits and spices, and whose refined character is a constant source of surprise.”

Apple, pear, peach, CURRY, and tumeric spices. Curry. I was pleased as punch.

nicolas 1

I’m still on the hunt for a good fruity cupcake for my mom’s wedding. In such a complex champagne, I wanted to highlight its citrus flavors. This week’s choice- Key lime. I wanted to shy away from the thick, custardy tang that you generally get with key lime and instead bring out tart tangy flavors that I achieved by utilizing copious amounts of fresh squeezed lime juice. Recipe that inspired, here. I chose a cream cheese frosting and garnished with a slice of lime. Next time my goal is to candy the slices of lime on top.

lime 1

lime 2

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!