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Champagne Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

Gobble! Gobble!  The main course is thirsty and it knows what it wants to celebrate this Thanksgiving holiday! If you haven’t figured out how you would like to prepare your turkey this season, let me suggest this amazing Champagne Turkey recipe to try out.  I’ve cooked a few turkey’s and some turned out good and some I won’t disclose how they tasted, but this is a recipe everyone will LOVE!  The secret to this Champagne Turkey recipe is to use lots of fresh parsley and keep basting with your favorite bubbly.  Of course you could use which ever you prefer, it doesn’t have to be expensive, but I choose to use Chandon Brut Classic Sparkling Wine.

Chandon Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 Turkey (14-16 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup of butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of celery salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • fresh sage and parsley sprigs
  • 2 cups of Chandon Sparkling Wine or any Champagne (drink the rest of the bottle as you prepare this recipe)
  • 2 medium onions chopped (I love using my Zyliss food chopper)
  • 1 -1/2 cups of minced fresh parsley
  • 1 cup of condensed beef consomme, undiluted
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried marjoram
Where there’s Turkey, there’s gravy:
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour
Let’s get cooking:
  1. Pat your bird (turkey) dry.  Combine the butter, salt, celery salt, and pepper and rub your bird over the outside and inside of your turkey.  Place the sage and the parsley sprigs in cavity.  Let’s tuck those turkey wings under and tie the drumsticks together with some cooking string.  Place the turkey on it’s back on a rack in a roasting pan.
  2. Bake uncovered at 325F for about 30 minutes.  In a large bowl, let’s combine the Champagne, onions, parsley, consomme, thyme and marjoram, pour into the pan.  Now bake it for 3-3 1/2 hours longer or until a meat thermometer reads 180, basting occasionally with the Champagne mixture.  Do this frequently for a tender juicy turkey.  Now cover loosely with foil if you notice the turkey browns too quickly.  Cover and let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before you start slicing away.
  3. For the gravy, strain drippings into a small bowl.  In a small sauce pan, melt the butter.  Stir in the flour until it’s smooth and gradually add drippings.   Bring it to a boil and cook for two minutes or until it thickens.  Now you can serve it with your Champagne Turkey!
As you can see, this recipe is easy to prepare and it turns out delicious!  Now, I’m sure some of you have your own secret family recipes, but once in a while it’s fun to surprise your guests with something new and in this case, sparkling!
So what’s your favorite way to prepare your Thanksgiving Turkey?  Please share with us below and comment.

Drinking Champagne Doesn’t Have to be Expensive

Sometimes I feel like someone out there doesn’t want Champagne to be an everyday drink. Working at a Champagne bar, I get every excuse in the book; it’s too expensive, it gives me a headache, the bubbles hurt, and my favorite… rosés are too sweet.

Why don’t people drink more Champagne? I think there is hope; all we have to do is gain some momentum and people will get ‘into it’ like some people are into fashion, cars, food, exercise, etc… unfortunately this is missing. Go to your local wine shop and see how much space is dedicated to Champagne (or even sparkling wines) compared to red or white wines. Listen at a wine bar and count how many times you hear ‘Champagne’, ‘bubbles’, and ‘Le Mesnil’ compared to how many times you hear ‘cab’, ‘full bodied’ and ‘Napa’. Apparently Champagne is not enough of a wine to be talked about.

Since its early days, Champagne has been recognized as the “wine of kings, and the king of wines.” Legendary and contemporary sommeliers have gone on record saying that Champagne may be the best wine to pair with a meal, from beginning to end. We reserve it for our most precious moments; weddings, birthdays, new years and anniversaries. Why then is it forgotten about for the other 364 days out of the year? Weird if you ask me, but then again… I may be a poster boy for hedonism, nothing like Champagne and Foie Grois for breakfast. I digress…

Drinking Champagne doesn’t have to be expensive. There is absolutely nothing wrong with some Crémant de Bourgogne, Crémant de Alsace or even some domestic bubblies, and they are all under $20. Try the Parigot & Richard bubblies from Burgundy, Lucien Albrecht from Alsace or a recent favorite at POP Champagne Bar, the Domaine Rolet Crémant de Jura. These are all great stand alone wines that I myself enjoy often. Here are a few more suggestions, all rosés…

Raventos i Blanc 2007 Cava Rosé – What a great bottle of Cava rosé. Super fine and creamy and showing a pale pink color. Delicate notes of raspberry and other red fruits and a dry finish. I had two bottles of this on my birthday. Oh you fancy, huh!  Follow Raventos i Blanc on Twitter: @RaventosiBlanc

Gruet Rosé – New Mexico in the house. What a great buy, made by a french family that also makes Champagne in France. This struts a juicy fruit profile and a stunning pink color. Can be found for like $13 at some stores, which makes this an ‘everyday’ Champagne.  Follow Gruet Winery on Twitter: @GruetWinery

Luis Pato Baga – When was the last time you had a Portuguese sparking rosé? It seems as though this was made for pork dishes. Pork belly, carnitas, sausages, all of it. A lighter style, but packed with minerals and acidity. The freshness makes this one fun.

Camille Saves Grand Cru Rosé – This is a real Champagne, from france. A little bit more money for this (around $80) but this will change your life. One of my all time favorite rosés, and one of my favorite Champagnes in general. This is all about power without weight, a sensual experience… but it’s kinda rough too. Think “chains and whips excite me…” Had one of these on my birthday. Highly recommended when you are ready for it.

Schramsberg Rosé – Always a vintage, and always good. This is a good rosé to give to a wine drinker. On the fuller side, with a touch of tannin, but a whole lot of creamy fruit; think strawberries and cream. This never disappoints, and you can find this for about $25. Also had one of these on my birthday.

Schramsberg Rosé Sparkling Wine

That should be enough to get you started. I hope that you go out and buy some bubbly and see if you prefer it to a normal bottle of still wine. Please your thoughts and reactions below.

Rafael Sanchez, Sommelier
POP Champagne and Dessert Bar

Follow on Twitter: @POPChampagneBar


Rossini Champagne Cocktail at TiroVino – Los Angeles

When you think of Champagne, some of us automatically think of Strawberries, right?  So why not try a Rossini Champagne Cocktail.  A Rossini is another version of a Bellini Champagne cocktail.  The sparkling cocktail was named after the 19th century opera composer Giacchino Rossini and it is very popular in Venice.

There are a few varieties of mixing this delicious Champagne Cocktail recipe, but we discovered one that will make it hard for you to resist.  TiroVino Wine Bar in Los Angeles creates a mouthwatering recipe that will keep you coming back for more.

Click here to follow TiroVino Wine Bar on Twitter.

Rossini Champagne Cocktail Recipe

  • 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons distilled water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 chilled bottle of Prosecco or Champagne

Heat sugar and water over medium-high heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and purée with sliced strawberries and lemon juice until smooth. Strain and set aside liquid. Fill a chilled Champagne flute or wine glass a third of the way with strawberry purée and fill remainder with Prosecco or Champagne. Garnish with a strawberry.

Rossini Champagne Cocktail Recipe by Maurizio La Rosa

TiroVino Wine Bar, 7166 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. (323) 933-1800;

If you don’t have the time nor care to use fresh strawberries, you can always use a strawberry liqueur, which is not the same, but it’s still pretty delicious, you can try this version of the Rossini Champagne Cocktail.


2011 International Wine Festival – Hollywood Drinks Up!

LOS ANGELES – Saturday, January 15th, 2011 – All you can drink wine?  Is there such a place where you can indulge on many samples from all over the world without getting jet lag?  Yes, there is and it happens every year in Hollywood at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, hosted by Drink.Eat.Play.  The event featured wines from Italy, Germany, Brazil, South Africa, Spain, Australia, Israel, France and New Zealand, plus more and you didn’t even have to worry about losing your luggage.

Photo taken by Drink.Eat.Play

I came across this event through Facebook and as soon as I received the invitation I knew I wanted to attend.  I have heard of the sponsors Drink.Eat.Play prior events, such as Septemberfest, LA Beer Festival, 80’s Prom Party and LA Cupcake Challenge; so naturally having a passion for sparkling wine, it was an event that I did not want to miss.

Click here to become a fan of Drink Eat Play Facebook Page.

The International Wine Festival was held at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa, announced as a  SOLD OUT event I expected mad chaos and perhaps small wine pourings from each vendor.  Considering this was my first time attending I wasn’t sure what to expect.  As soon as I walked in I was very impressed with the outcome.  The event was held in a main room where there was enough space for everyone to walk around, socialize and enjoy each pouring from one vendor to another.  And may I add, each vendor was very generous with their pourings, and very eager to describe what you were about to indulge in.

Photo taken by Drink Eat Play

Photo taken by Drink Eat Play

Overwhelmed with so many choices, (like that’s a bad thing?) I worked my way around the room sipping and learning about new wines and met new wine lover friends that also had great recommendations.  In addition to wine, I also sampled some fabulous cheeses, fruits and breads provided by the Renaissance Hotel and delicious desserts, such as  P.O.P. Candy, Ococoa Chocolates, and more.

Photo taken by Drink Eat Play

Photo taken by Drink Eat Play

Photo taken by Drink Eat Play

Overall, there were a few bottles of wine I really enjoyed, such as

But my personal favorite of the evening was the 2008 Pascual Toso Malbec Alta Reserve, price range $31-$32 a bottle.

I realize that this post has nothing to do with Champagne, but it is within the family and for the fact that it was a wonderful festival, it was worth the post.  A great shout out & thank you to Drink.Eat.Play for an amazing event.  Looking forward to next year and I am definitely looking forward to the Los Angeles Cupcake Challenge!  If you’re a wine lover yourself, I recommend you attend as well.  Hope to see more events like this in Los Angeles.

Click here to purchase tickets for the Los Angeles Cupcake Challenge.



Perfect New Year’s Eve Champagne Drink – Moulin Rouge Champagne Cocktail

Born in France, the Moulin Rouge Champagne cocktail is the grande dame ancestor to a modern-day libation that’s appreciated by tragically hip Londoners like Ab Fab characters Edina and Patsy.  However, their brand-conscious natures dictated that they nickname it “Bolly-Stolly” for the top-shelf ingredients – Bollinger and Stolichnaya – used in their version of the recipe.

The romance between Russia and France has a long and passionate history.  It began when Czar Peter the Great had his agent place an order for Champagne mousseux shortly after he decreed on December 20, 1699, that January First – Christian New Year’s Day – would be celebrated throughout the Russian Empire, despite the objections raised by his Judiac, Islamic, Buddhist, and pagan subjects.  The relationship deepened when Madame Clicquot smuggled casks of her vintage 1811 Comet rose’ Champagne to Czarina Maria Feodorovna – wife of Czar Alexander I – who wanted a special drink to celebrate her husband’s return from the battlefront (and despite Napoleon  Bonaparte’s embargo on exports to eastern Europe). This tete-a-tete continued when royal refugees from Czar Nicholas II’s court toasted their escape from ravages of the Russian Revolution in 1917 by fleeing to Paris – their emotional home away from home – and consuming large quantities of Champagne.

However, the turn of a new year is still one of the best reasons to eat, drink, and be merry.  One of the oldest documented New Year’s fests in the western hemisphere took place in Babylon around 2000 BC.  Honoring the chief god, Marduk, the feast was held during the spring equinox (March 20 or 21), which people of the time believed marked the annual transition of time itself.  They also started the tradition of making resolutions about their behavior and actions during the next year (though party hats and horns came much later).

Blame Roman emperor Julias Caesar for establishing New Year’s Day on January first around 46 BC.  In keeping with his deified ego, the emperor devised his own calendar, dedicating each month to a specific god.  He chose the gatekeeper of heaven and hell – Janus – as the guardian of the Julian calendar’s first month.  He even dictated that all Romans should celebrate before the temple of Janus on the first day of his new, improved Julian Year.

Not everyone celebrates the turn of the calendrical cycle on January first despite Julias Caesar’s attempt to unite the entire world under Roman Rule.  The Judaic calendar continues to view Tishri (the seventh lunar month after the spring equinox) as the start of the new year.  In many parts of India, the populace just can’t get enough of New Year’s festivities, celebrating varusha pirappu (the birth of the New year) on April 14 and diwali(a festival of lights dedicated to Lakshimi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity) during the tenth lunar month.  Since 1699, the Sikhs of the north Punjab have celebrated the birth of their sect on April 14, by taking a ceremonial “new year” bath before sunrise.  The Chinese continue to commemorate their New Year on the second new moon after the winter solstice (December 22), just as they have for over five thousand years.

It doesn’t really matter where you spend New Year’s Eve or with how many people, just as long as you know how to celebrate it.  Put on your party clothes (there’s no such thing as being overdressed on New Year’s Eve), pour yourself a Champagne cocktail, and salute the end of the old year while you welcome in the new.


1 oz. Vodka

4 oz. Champagne

Pour the vodka into a Champagne flute.  Then slowly pour in the Champagne.  Garnish with an orange twist if desired.

Bolly-Stolly Champagne Recipe

The Absolutely Fabulous version – Bolly-Stolly – is simple, but delicious.  Pour 1 oz. Stolichnaya vodka in a Champagne flute, then gradually add 4 oz. Bollinger Champagne.

This drink and recipe is dedicated to an old friend of mine, Janein.  For believing for so many years that we actually created this recipe on a drunk fun night.  Turns out, we can no longer call this drink “The Silver Bullet”, as we named it.  There are many bartendars out there that believed us, as they asked, what’s in it?


Sputnik Champagne Cocktail – Romance & Courtship

Since its beginning Champagne has been part of the courting process.  It’s a way to make great impression, showing flair and taste.  It’s no different with sparkling cocktails like the Sputnik, which blends the best of both French and Russian flavors into a perfect match.  No, the name doesn’t imply that its consumption will send you into orbit.  Sputnik (it means loosely, “partner in life”) is a Russian colloquialism that suggests romance and wooing.

Most successful suitors around the world will agree, the way to a woman’s heart is to shower her with flowers, chocolates, and Champagne.  Remember when that international man of mystery Austin Powers set about wooing his partner Vanessa Kensington by taking her for a night on the town, including Champagne dinner atop a double-decker bus followed by a game of Twister in their hotel suite?  That’s romance mod style, baby.  The other British superspy, James Bond, offered more than one female companion a little Champagne to wash down anything from a plate of Makaroff caviar in a Monte Carlo casino to sandwiches procured from the club car on a train bound for Kentucky.

Vanessa:  Austin, come have some Champagne with me.

Austin:  (flopping onto the bed) Oh, I tripped.

–Austin Powers:  International Man of Mystery (1997)

Sputnik Champagne Cocktail Recipe – As served at the Bubble Lounge, New York, NY

  • 1 oz Stolichnaya Ohranj Vodka
  • 1 oz fresh orange juice
  • 1 splash grenadine syrup
  • 3 oz Champagne

Frost the rim of a flute with sugar in the raw and grenadine syrup.  Add the vodka, juice, and grenadine syrup, then pour in the Champagne.

Did you know? According to urban legend, you are more likely to be killed by a Champagne cork than by a black widow spider.


Kir Royale Champagne Drink

Need some pizazz in that bubbly! Try this delicious Champagne fruity cocktail drink.  Your guests will love it.
Serves 6
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) creme de cassis
  • 1 bottle Champagne or other sparkling white wine
  • 6 strips tangerine or orange zest, for garnish
Just before serving, pour 1 tablespoon creme de cassis into each glass. Fill with Champagne, and garnish with zest.

Blushing Bride Champagne Cocktail Drink

Attention all brides to be; as an alternative to plain Champagne, try this cocktail for rehearsal-dinner toasts.

To make a Blushing Bride, pour 2 ounces of chilled passion-fruit nectar into a glass; gently pour in 3 ounces of cold Champagne, then 1/2 teaspoon grenadine. Do not shake or stir.

The three will commingle as prettily as a flush spreading on the cheek of a shy bride-to-be. Enjoy.


Delicious Lemon Drop Champagne Punch Cocktail Recipe

Pucker up friends, here’s a cocktail that will have you wanting more sparkling bubbly!

Serves 6 to 8
  • 3 lemons, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) Champagne, chilled
  • 3/4 cup best-quality vodka, chilled
  • 4 ounces candied lemon peels
  • With a vegetable peeler, remove zest from each lemon in a long, continuous spiral. Juice lemons, and strain pulp (you should have 3/4 cup juice). Set aside.
  • Heat sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add zest. Let syrup cool completely, about 2 hours.
  • Pour Champagne, vodka, lemon juice, and syrup into a punch bowl; stir. Serve glasses of punch with candied peels.

It’s a delicious sweet & sour Champagne recipe.  Enjoy.


Champagne Mojito Cocktail Drink

Who doesn’t love a delicious Mojito!  For those of you who have never had one, a  Mojito is traditionally made of five ingredients: white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice), lime, sparkling water and mint. The original Cuban recipe uses spearmint or yerba buena, a mint variety very popular in Cuba.  The combination of sweetness, refreshing citrus and mint flavors are intended to complement the potent kick of the rum, and have made this clear highball a popular summer drink.  Well now it’s time to sparkle the Mojito up with Bubbly!

Champagne Mojito Cocktail Recipe

  • 6 fresh mint leaves
  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ounce Simple Syrup
  • 1 1/2 ounces rum, preferably CruzanRum
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 ounces Champagne or Prosecco, chilled

In a pint or mixing glass, muddle together mint, lime juice, and simple syrup to release mint oils. Add rum and bitters; shake over ice. Strain into a cocktail glass or coupe; top with Champagne.