Champagne Wishes & hibiscus Dreams?

Valentine’s Day flew by quickly, but offered just enough time to warrant a small indulgence. I decided to have a glass of a Champagne—Chandon Brut Classic—and serve the sips with something new this year, in a festive-floral flute. The glass itself was plain, but it got all glittered-up for the occasion with a hibiscus flower in rose syrup. Come again?

I thought the same thing when I first came upon these curious beverage blooms, so I had no choice but to investigate. They were displayed on the shelves right next to the bubbly, in neatly packged jars of preserved hibiscus flowers, all amidst a dark rose syrup. Hard to tell what the jar contents actually look like, so I just had to buy my own and see. At first glance they semi-resemble small sea creatures—miniature octopus-like—but then when placed within the flute & added the brut, this is what we got. . . .

Hibuscus & Champagne (27) 

What the ___? Feel like an elementary school science experiment yet? This might appear jarring at first glance, but these basic bubbles were transformed into faintly floral libations, worthy of a Valentine’s toast! And who needs caviar and yachts? Sorry Robin Leach <insert creepy image here>, but I’d prefer to celebrate with a California brut & California burrito any day. I will say the attempt at fancy flower adornments differed in taste than I imagined. If I had a do-over, I would definitely rinse the buds to remove the strong syrup essence (It just reminded me too much of helping my Dad pick up garden clippings as a kid). They were for sure aesthetically pleasing (albeit subjective), and would make a brilliant garnish for parties, bridal showers, dedications to new aquariums, or simple springtime celebrations. If nothing else, a worthy conversation starter . . .  and who wouldn’t love to tell the kids they found a sea anemone in their drink?

The Champagne itself proved to be the brightest point of the beverage, as it’s from one of Napa’s best—Domaine Chandon. I have been lucky enough to visit their Napa Estate several years back where I did a wonderful tasting. What a cool experience, full of fantastic varietals (my favorite being the Blanc de Noirs). I must mention, not only was the tasting beyond my expectation, but our Chandon host resembled & sounded uncannily similar to Snoop Dog, yes that Snoop; I couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon!

Chandon boasts a well-rounded protfolio of excellent Champagnes, produced in the French style, or méthode champenoise from their original vineyard—France’s Moet & Chandon. These guys have a 250 year Champagne crafting history up their sleeves. I ‘ve also been fortunate enough to visit the French Estate, and so glad I did. Truely a great winery to see either in Europe or maybe more feasibly in California. They offer a spectacular, tour-worthy property and of course amazing tastings. Check out the details & some scenic pics HERE. If you’re in Napa it’s a must stop. In the spirit of our Snoop-a-loop Chandon visit, I leave you fine folks with THIS Valentine’s serenade (though, I don’t think you should put a hibiscus in your Gin & Juice). I hope you enjoyed your day & had a little celebration too, cheers! 

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Thank you for visiting the dinnervine! In the words of Julia Child, "People who love to eat, are always the best people," and I couldn't agree more. I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as I did making them. Here's to creating new recipes and memories with friends & family, cheers! 

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