bubbles+sprinkles Does Frosé

Oooowheeee it’s hot!

It’s been one of those years when Portland is simply not equipped for extremes. Does it feel like just yesterday you were reading a bubbles+sprinkles post about Snowmageddon? (That may be because I’ve been super MIA, but we’ll gloss over that). You DID just read about Snowmageddon because we jumped from 20 degrees to 100 degrees real quick.

Alright, no complaints. I frolicked at Sauvies Island with some besties, celebrated the OHSU Intern year graduation of some other besties, went wine tasting with some other besties– I got to see many, many good peeps. And I don’t think I’ve introduced the most important bestie of all– Nora! Nora, meet bubbles+sprinkles readers. She’s a 3-pound, 4-month Maltese who has stolen my heart and made my year.

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(She says hi back!)

Nora and I thought that today would be a good day for bubbles+sprinkles to contribute to the Frosé phenomenon. We know that it’s been going on for a while, but hey– I know I’m a late adopter in some arenas– no shame. Frosé is a wonderful combination of Rosé frozen with ANYTHING mixed in. We went for strawberries, pineapple and La Croix (mango style). It turned out super delicious and I’m calling it my fruit salad for the day. You can mess with the quantities depending on taste and desire of booze for the day. (Mine was pretty high).

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Recipe (makes 4-6 pint sized drinks):

  • 1 bottle Rosé of your choice
  • 15-20 strawberries halved
  • About half a pineapple, cubed
  • 1 can La Croix or sparkling beverage of your choice
  • Spritz of lemon

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Blend everything except the sparkling beverage of choice on high for about a minute. Stir in sparkling beverage of choice. Spritz that lemon, or drop it right in. Dig out cute silver straws that you only use for *fancy* beverages and garnish as you please. Enjoy and wear sunblock!

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Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Xo,
Jenna

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Spotlight on TeSóAria Sparkling Riesling

A giant floodlight on this place is overdue. If you live in Portland or the surrounding areas and haven’t checked out John Olson’s TeSóAria, then run — don’t walk — to the N Williams tasting room. If you happen to be a native of Roseburg, then you’re a lucky son of a gun. You can check out the actual vineyard, which has bequeathed loved ones and I, many wonderful days and nights.

I have been so stoked to watch the evolution of many varietals that John and his team are responsible for. If you’re not a bubbly drinker, (whaaaa!) their Bulls Blood is a red for the books. (The story referenced in the product description is as awesome as it sounds). If you’re not a wine drinker, then you should still stay for the delicious treats that Chef Max mixes up regularly.

All that said, I am a wine drinker and specifically, a bubbly drinker. SO- TeSóAria’s Sparkling Riesling. It’s light and bright and sparkly with tiny bubbles. I tasted flavors of citrus and melon and a hint of almond on the palate. It smells delicious and tastes even better. At the time, it paired perfectly with a variety of cheeses and charcuterie, but I can see it being the perfect complement to a dinner al fresco. I tried it directly at the tasting room, and I recommend doing the same.

You can check out more about TeSóAria’s wines and locations here.

Hope that everyone has a great week!

Xo,
Jenna

Sparkling Spotlight- Underwood Wine

Union Wine Company’s wines have been a favorite of mine for a while. They serve them in a can, for crying out loud, what’s not to like? Their motto is pinkies down, marketing their varietals to the masses.

We have always focused on producing down to earth wine and this is just one way of making that more real. It’s important that our wine is accessible to all without compromising any of the quality or the taste we are known for.

( via Union Wine Company’s Website)

As a part of Feast 2013, the second installment of one of the world’s largest food and drink fests, they introduced the Union Wine Tasting Truck- a vintage French Citroën H Van totally decked out. They even distributed wooden rings that ensured nary a pinkie could raise itself in the air during the act of sipping.

The only thing they seemed to lack? A bubbly. So I gritted my teeth, rolled up my sleeves, and trekked through two Union Wine-bubbly-free years, enjoying instead their delicious Pinot Noirs and Gris. It’s a very rough life I lead.

So I was even more excited than normal on a weekly pilgrimage to Zupan’s Market, to see this tiny aluminum beacon of hope. Introducing y’all to Underwood Sparkling Wine! 

She’s a treat, let me tell you. Flavors of apple, lemon, and peach do not disappoint. It’s not super dry, and the bubbles are small. Definitely flavorful enough to enjoy on its own, but would also pair well with fresh veggies, hard cheeses or spicy noodles. This bubbler was retailing for about $7 at Zupan’s. I believe it’s available at some New Seasons as well, but don’t quote me on that. I do know that via the Website, it’s sold out until November of this year. Stock up while you can. If you won’t drink it, send it my way 🙂

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Xo,
Jenna

 

5 Bargain Bubbles Worth Every Penny

I believe that there’s a bubble for every occasion. While the Moets and Doms are the shining stars for life milestones, most budgets would forcibly intervene if that became a daily drink decision. Sometimes cheaper sparkling wines get a bad rap, especially if they are less than $5 a bottle, because they most likely aren’t fermented in any of the traditional methods. But there is a sweet spot in between the two ends of the spectrum and that’s our focus today. Here are five tried and true bubblies that are worth stocking up on:

  1. Roederer Estate Brut (California)- $21. Toasty and nutty, but backed with higher acidic fruit flavors. Roederer is well-known for many of the most celebrated bubbles out there,  including Cristal. Luckily for us, this winner is a little bit easier on the pocket strings.
  2. Argyle Brut 2011 (Oregon)- $27. I’m pretty partial to this one because of its artfully designed tasting room and homegrown ties, but critics agree that it’s pretty dang good. 2011 was one of the coldest years on record, so this vintage is truly unique. It’s good a little zing to it, thanks to a flavor profile of lemon blossom and red berry spice.
  3. Gruet Blanc de Noirs (New Mexico)- $17. There’s a two-year aging minimum on all Gruet vintages, but they’re worth the wait. This wine smells as good as it tastes and defines the most perfect size of bubbles out there.
  4. Mumm Napa Brut Prestige (California)- $19. So floral and so delicious. The Brut Prestige is a creamy blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Highly suggest paring with foods like cheese, pasta and stews.
  5. Poema Brut Rose Cava (Spain)- $12. Cavas are normally the most tangy and fruit forward to me, and this is no exception. You’ll taste raspberries and strawberries on the palate, and feel as if you need to throw rose petals in the air above you.

What about you? What are some of your favorite bubbles to celebrate the little joys in life?

Hope that everyone has a wonderful week!

xo,
Jenna

Hot Chocolate and a Sparkling Pinot Blanc

Happy, happy Turkey weekend! As always, hope it was spent stomach full and surrounded by loved ones. I enjoyed hosting my first Friendsgiving, some long training runs for an upcoming half marathon and picking out/setting up my first tree in my new home. Perfection all around.

Turkey

Friendsgiving

Tree

But it wouldn’t be a complete weekend without a batch of cupcakes sitting in the kitchen (in my stomach). I am not ashamed to admit that I drew inspiration for this week’s from good ol’ Pinterest. I made some tweaks, and loved the final result. Meet- the Hot Chocolate Cupcake. A lot of chocolate, a little bit of peppermint and a little bit of marshmallow action. It didn’t keep me warm on this chilly day, but it did satisfy my sweet tooth 🙂

Recipe (makes 12)-

Cupcakes-

  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows

Frosting-

  • 12 oz confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 tsp peppermint extract

Combine all ingredients and cook these bad boys at 350 for 28 minutes (longer than usual). Cool, frost, you know the drill.

Hot Chocolate 2

Hot Chocolate 1

I’ve been sitting on this week’s sparkling for a few weeks and it was the perfect choice to pair with the Hot Chocolate cupcakes. Apolloni is a BEAUTIFUL vineyard near Forest Grove in the North Willamette Valley AVA. I loved everything I tried when I went wine tasting a few week’s ago, but this was a standout. It’s a sparkling Pinot Blanc, sweet and creamy with just the perfect level of acidity to balance out the chocolate in the cupcakes. It’s a wee bit floral as well with notes of honeysuckle. Highly recommend.

Appoloni

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Cheers,
Jenna