Champagne + Banana Pudding = Comfort

Champagne & Banana Pudding with Chessmen Butter Cookies

J. Lassalle Champagne & Banana Pudding with Chessmen Butter Cookies

Howdy Twisted Peeps!

It has been way too long since my last post and a lot has happened to me emotionally and physically.

After my Dad died, I (along with my sisters) had to deal with selling our family farm. That included a 2800 sq.ft house, 13 acres of land, farm equipment, a rodent infested barn and a house full of items that my parent’s had accumulated for over 30 years.

After we got that done, then my husband and I decided that we needed to be financially pro-active and sell our house. Sully’s unemployment was taking a toll on our savings and it didn’t make sense to use some of it to maintain our house. So we sold our house and most of our possessions and moved into an apartment.

To say this has been a year of transition, has been an understatement! I’m damn tired of it too!

I was so happy when we got an invite to just hang out, eat pizza and BYOB with some of our friends that we had not seen in a long time.

I brought my “go to” champagne, J. Lassalle. It is around $35 and it is a “grower” champagne. That means the family makes champagne from their own grapes…sort of a “farmer’s cuvee”. Normally, Champagne Houses buy grapes from farmers all over the Champagne region. They do not grow the grapes. Look for the letters “RM” on the label. That is how you know it is a Grower Champagne.

J. Lassalle is also run by 3 generations of women. Here is the website: http://www.champagne-jlassalle.com/en/

This champagne was wonderful with the assortment of pizzas, especially the veggie. Dessert was a homemade banana pudding with Chessmen Butter cookies. The pudding was not overly sweet and it complimented the nutty, yeasty bread elements in the champagne. It was a delightful match!

The whole evening was filled with laughter and catching up on how everyone is dealing with their “transitions”. It really was comforting to know that gathering around a table with friends will always be uplifting and never change.

Cheers Y’all!

Lori – Your Twisted Sommelier

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3 Merlots & a Bertolli

Merlot: Columbia Crest, 14 Hands, Bogle

Merlot: Columbia Crest, 14 Hands, Bogle

I was gifted a bottle of Merlot in the $10 price range & asked if I wouldn’t mind reviewing it…of course not!

So this is for you, Dominick…Thank you!

I decided to compare it with 2 other Merlots in the same price range and see how they stood on their own and up to food.

#1) 2011 Columbia Crest Grand Estates, Columbia Valley, Washington.

Smell: dried cherries, green herbs, vanilla.

Taste: cedar, dark chocolate, vanilla with a hot, dry tannic finish that lasted awhile on the palate. This wine was made to go with food.

#2) 2012 14Hands Vineyards, Columbia Valley, Washington.

Smell: very faint cedar, vanilla, cranberries.

Taste: assorted dried red/black fruit & smoke with a round mouth feel and soft tannins and short finish. Very drinkable on its own.

#3) 2011 Bogle Vineyards, California.

Smell: dirt, dark chocolate, dried cherries.

Taste: cherry, eucalyptus, with some earthiness in the soft, short finish. I was ambivalent about this.

I paired the wines with Bertolli’s Chicken Marsala & Roasted Redskin Potatoes. I love Bertolli! It’s so convenient to cut open a bag, pour the ingredients in a pan and heat it on the stove top. You are done in 15 minutes. Very good “sporkable” food.

Bertolli: Chicken Marsala & Roasted Redskin Potatoes

The Columbia Crest went well with the dish. The wine actually made the Marsala sauce a little sweeter (what’s not to like about that). I think that was from the vanilla aspect I kept tasting from the wine.

The 14Hands really did nothing to the food. I was a bit disappointed.

Bogle was a good pairing because it give the food a more earthy, robust flavor.

Overall, I would take Columbia Crest &  Bogle to a pizza party and everyone would like them.

The 14Hands, I would just enjoy on its own. It’s definitely for relaxing. I would even consider this a good Summer red wine.

Cheers Y’all!

Lori – Your Twisted Sommelier