Blooming Lovely, Orange Blossom Champagne Cocktail with a Dash of Peychaud by Julia Charles from Summer Fizz

Blooming Lovely, Orange Blossom Champagne Cocktail with a Dash of Peychaud by Julia Charles from Summer Fizz, Over 100 Recipes for Refreshing Sparkling Cocktails (Ryland Pteres & Small, May 2022) 

Blooming Lovely

Recipe by Julia Charles, Photograph by Alex Luck © Ryland Peters & Small

Orange blossom extract has an indefinable flavor that isn’t exactly floral, so it adds intrigue to this elegant spritzer. Use a pink Champagne, if liked.


4 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters

15 ml/1/2 oz St-Germain elderflower liqueur

1/4 teaspoon orange blossom extract

1/2 teaspoon sugar syrup

120 ml/4 oz well-chilled Champagne

lemon zests

edible flowers, to garnish


Blooming Lovely


Pour the bitters, elderflower liqueur, orange blossom extract and sugar syrup into a small wine glass and add a few ice cubes. Top up with Champagne, squeeze the lemon zests over the drink and discard. Stir, garnish with an edible flower and serve at once.

Summer Fizz cover

(* Recipe from 'Summer Fizz' by Julia Charles, Photograph by Alex Luck © Ryland Peters & Small, May 2022/ Reproduced with permission)

Tasting To Buying Armenia In Under 5 Minutes, Voskehat by Aran Wines, First Taste Ever Of Armenian Wine

Tasting to buying Armenia in under 5 Minutes, Aran Wines 'Voskehat' from Sarafian Vineyards.

Voskehat, which translates to golden berry, is a late ripening native white varietal. 

My express tasting found it to be rounded with some tart notes on the finish.

Armenian Wines 4-2

This, my first taste of Armenian wine ever, was pure serendipity.

The winery owners were present for an in-store tasting.


Get a Grande 'Polissonne' for 20 Euros at Maison des Vins du Minervois, Round and Carnal

When in France and whenever possible, I like to visit the local 'Maison des Vins' to taste and select a dozen or so bottles from the local producers always at 'wine lover' friendly prices.

My favorite so far have been the Gaillac and Angers outlets.

Next on my list I hope, when I don't know, should be Maison des Vins du Minervois ,  35 quai des tonneliers in Homps (Aude), near Canal du Midi.

Vin du minervois

I noted their selection of Magnums, including 'La Polissonne', a Grenache Gris-Roussanne white blend (2019) from Domaine JP Charpentier, round and carnal in the mouth according to tasting notes from La Maison.

(* Photo from Maison des Vins du Minervois Facebook Page)

Funghi to Vino, Mushrooms to Vine and Wine, Cite du Vin, Bordeaux, October 6 with Mycologist Marc-André Sélosse

Few of us will probably make it to Bordeaux in time to attend this 'harvest of knowledge' by mycologist Marc-André Sélosse on Tuesday October 6, 2020 at Cite du Vin which I still have to visit when in France.

Fughi to wine

Event is at 7 PM. It's Free but Reservations are Required.

Thanks Nathalie Valet for sharing this event on LinkedIn.

(* Illustration via 'La Cite du Vin' Facebook page)

Alsatian White and Fronton Reds, Cotes d’Ammerschwihr 2011 and Vinum La Colombiere 2016

2 of the wines that crossed my table and filled my glass in the past week, one from east of France, the other from the southwest, made it there for similar reasons.

Two wine stores that I visit infrequently had limited numbers of bottles of both of these.

In the case of Cotes d'Ammerschwir '2011 from Domaine Maurice Schoech, only one bottle was there for the taking.

Cotes D'Alsace

I dis not regret taking the plunge as this mostly Pinot Blanc (with a touch of Muscat) was pleasantly aromatic.

Wines of Fronton, a stone throw from Toulouse, are mostly an unknown quantity in the USA, so I considered myself lucky to put my hands on this agent of peace 'Vinum' La Colombiere, 2016.

Vinum La Colombiere

It is 100% Negrette, a dark and rich local variety which i learned is a close cousin to Mavro grape from Cyprus.

Bonne Annee! Bonne Sante!

Butter in Rainbow of Colors Except Yellow, At 'Buttercraft' in Portland Patio is Where Yellow Is

Butter in rainbow of colors except yellow, at Buttercraft in Portland (Oregon) patio is where yellow is.

Breton in me could not resist the call of butter after reading quote from Buttercraft's owner that 'there is not enough butter in our life'.


I hopped on the bus to Sellwood neighborhood and had the pleasure to chat with owner Milla Woller, a native of Memphis who counted butter as a second passion while making heritage pig bacon.

She is also a sommelier and her shop offers a well curated selection of wines by the glass and the bottle.

Buttercraft is closed on Mondays.