Ruinart Champagne ,Truffled Popcorn & French Movie – Oh La La !!!

ruinart (1) images6IW5QH1L images0DMQ0TCF imagesF7D4BBL9 imagesSQJJT73U


Before we start all the fun stuff happening this Friday May 1st at our store, let’s talk about Ruinart is the oldest established Champagne house in Remis, France.

Since 1729, Ruinart Champagne has an authentic Champagne House.  It is also the First Delivery of the “Wine with bubbles” since that time.   At first the sparkling wine was a business gift for cloth purchasers, as Dom Ruinart’s brother was a cloth merchant, but 6 years later Maison Ruinart terminated its cloth selling activities due to success in the Champagne business. Since then, the Maison has kept the standards of excellence of its founders.

Ruinart has had a long standing relationship with the Arts. In 1895, Andre Ruinart asked Czech artist Alphonse Mucha  to illustrate a poster of Ruinart. Today the brand is still closely involved with Contemporary Art and plays a role in numerous international events such as ARCO, the Foire de Bale, the Carre Rive Gauche, London Design, and Miami Art Basel.

The house utilizes talent today: India Mahdavi, created the “Champagne Spoon” bottle stopper in 2006, Christian Biecher, created the “Flower” bottle stopper in 2007, Patricia Urqiola, designed the “Fil d’Or” bottle stopper in 2010 and Maarten

So please be sure to stop by for a great night at Mel and Rose where we will sample Ruinart Champagne,  French Films and Truffle Popcorn on May 1st, 2015 between 6-8 pm

Here is the link for more info:



Cuban’s favorite drink ” CUBA LIBRE”


Cuba Libre with Bacardi Rum


Even if you are not an expert in making drinks, it doesn’t get any simpler than rum and coke.

Here are the ingredients in this amazing cocktail.

1 oz  Bacardi Gold Rum

3 oz Coca-Cola

Garnish: Lime wedge

Glass: Tall

All you need to do is add all of the ingredients to a tall glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge and say Cheers!

When to drink Champagne

When asked on what occasions she drank champagne, the late Madame Bollinger famously replied,

“I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory.

I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.”


How to serve Champagne

To open a bottle of champagne, first remove the foil and the wire from around the cork. Hold the bottle at 45 degrees, with the base in your strong hand and the cork in the other. Twist the bottle while holding the cork steady (if you do it the other way around, you risk shearing the cork). The carbon dioxide in the bottle, along with your gentle encouragement, should result in the cork emerging slowly, not with a loud bang, but with a satisfied, seductive sigh.

Champagne is best served chilled, straight from a cool cellar or after a couple of hours (not days) in the fridge. To pour, grasp the bottle by the base with your thumb inside the indentation.

It is better to serve champagne in “tulips” or “flutes”, which retain the wine’s effervescence, rather than the “saucers” – allegedly modelled on Marie-Antoinette’s breasts – which allow the sparkle to dissipate.

You don’t have to treat champagne just as an aperitif, as it goes well with such foods as caviar, rich ptés, smoked salmon, gravadlax, oysters or lobsters. Sweet champagnes are perfect with sweet soufflés, fruit tarts and strawberries and cream.

Champagne comes from the northernmost vineyards in France, in the valley of the river Marne, centred round Epernay and Rheims. Only wines from this designated area, made from chardonnay, pinot meunier and pinot noir by the “champagne method”, may call themselves champagne.


· The word champagne guarantees the wine’s geographical origin, but not its quality. It is better to drink well-made sparkling wine than poorly made champagne

· A champagne-stopper will keep the bubbles fresh for up to 36 hours

· If you are out of crème de cassis, a thimbleful of Ribena works surprisingly well for kir royale

This week we are hosting the Grand Marques Champagne Tasting at our Store in Los Angeles, hope you can come in and taste some bubblies.


Location, Location, Location! Even when it comes to Wine.

An easy way to appreciate the nuances, flavors and structure of a well-crafted wine is to open a second bottle. Side-by-side comparison of wines created from identical varietals but sourced from dissimilar locations often reveals more than tasting them individually. Even wines from the same vineyard might vary widely each year depending upon the weather or the techniques used during a particular season.

Truly great wines maintain an underlying consistency that speaks to the specific site where the grapes are grown. The French term “terroir” embodies this concept of location as a determinant of a wine’s essence. Grapes grown in the verdant California climate are, and should be, different from those grown in less hospitable climes and those differences ideally are reflected in the wines they produce.

The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for Champagne are grown at the very limits of the vines’ survivability and the resulting stress is what creates the flavors that are so prized in the wine. On the opposite side of the world and growing spectrum is Australian Shiraz whose flavors mirror the rich agricultural conditions. In some Burgundy vineyards, the difference in soils between one row of vines and the next is sufficient to change the characteristics, quality and ultimately the price of the wine.

moet & chandon tasting

Recently we hosted a Moet & Chandon tasting with special guest Benoit Gouez the Chef de Cav of the Champagne house.  This is THE guy who oversees all production and ensures each batch upholds the same standards and flavor profiles for such iconic bottles as White Star and Nectar Imperial.   Besides the usual merriment and fun of our tastings, two wonderful things came from the event: 1. A delicious new cocktail recipe thanks to the Consumer Development Manager who was pouring, and 2. a fabulous new cheese that our cheese monger recommended to have with the champagne.


We sampled four Moet & Chandon Champagnes: White Star Imperial, Rose Imperial, Grand Vintage 2000, and Nectar Imperial. While I’ll admit my personal favorite was the Nectar Imperial with the lesser expensive White Star at a close second, I was even more impressed by the simple addition of a squeezed lime wedge. For those champagne purists, I really do encourage you to try it, that little burst of flavor and acidity took the champagne to a whole new level – and brought out the inherent sweetness of the champagne.


The triple cream ‘fromage’ we sampled with the tasting was out of this world. It was vivid at first and then creamy and altogether heavenly in texture, with a brightness of flavor that I have never had in a cheese before. So what was this miracle cheese? It’s called Brillat Savarin De Seine Et Marne. It’s from Normandy, made from cow’s milk, and a  little on the expensive side at $29.99 a pound,  but truly worth it. http://www.melandrose.com/istar.asp?a=6&id=437

A night of indulgence, and one to remember. Jealous you weren’t there? Better make it to one of our next tastings!