Happy New Year! What’s that? You have a little bit of a headache? You had a second glass of what the bartender told you were like tasting the stars? The phrase, “Like tasting the stars,” is credited to Dom Perignon (1638-1715). He has also been credited with the invention of champagne, a Benedictine monk who contributed so much to the taste of champagne when most of the world was still drinking red wines.
However, sparkling wines did not become the dominant style of champagne until the mid-19th century. The famous champagne, Dom Perignon, and the prestige cuvee of Moet & Chandon are responsible for the name. The story of how champagne was discovered is very interesting, but you don’t have to know much about him or the wine to “taste the stars,” since we are so fortunate to live in an area that produces some of the finest sparkling wines in the world.
I can’t tell you that this champagne or that champagne is the best. For that you will have to put in the hours as I did. Yes, there are great grapes and wine produced right here in our little corner of the world and they are available for you from the local vineyards.
This year Caraccioli Cellars brought home the Best Sparkling wine in the United States at the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships held in London. This was the third time they have brought home medals to affirm that fact. I’m not sure what it costs, but I can assure you that it is modestly compared to flying to London.
Years ago I tried to drink all the bubbly in our Valley, but I gave it up after one year. It gives me a headache to remember how I tried. This is not a commercial for Caraccioli Cellars, but some information that illustrates the quality of the local grown grapes and the ability of the local winemakers. Check it out the next time a reason for a party comes along.
As for me, I did not celebrate the New Year by drinking anything special. In fact, I drank nothing before deciding to take a little nap before the gaiety started. My lovely bride woke me at about 1 a.m. to tell me “Happy New Year” and to bring in the New Year with a kiss. Have I ever told you how much I love her? So, another year, I’m not sure that I made or intend to try and keep any resolutions. I haven’t kept all of the resolutions I made last year, but I can’t remember whether I liked that or not.
On another front, I am pretty happy about one thing. I have been a life member of the Special Forces Association. This association requires that you have served in combat and have been a member of Special Forces for 10 years. I qualified on both counts so I joined.
By doing this, I was pleased to speak with some of my “A” team members from Vietnam. They also have local teams spread out throughout the United States. I knew this a long time ago, but just sort of sat on my hands. The local chapter for this area was in Seaside, and I just couldn’t commit to meetings as I seldom go to the Monterey Bay area. Well, the president of this chapter has moved to a much closer location, so I may have some compatriots to sit around with and tell war stories. I plan on having lunch with him soon, so I’ll report more a little later.
Finally, I have returned my truck to our garage. It seems as though the fellow that owned the garage where I took it got some more work done, but has been a little too slow for me. I brought the truck home and will be working on it myself for the next few weeks. I’m almost afraid to start working on it because everything that is left on it to repair or replace requires a few tools that I don’t have.
At this point of my weekly contribution to peace and greater understanding of the human nature of man, I would truly love to say thank you to all the readers that have stopped me or approached me to tell me that you like what I write. I don’t HAVE to have that response, but it sure makes it easier to sit down on a sunny Sunday afternoon and try to write something that I feel you might like to read.
Take my activities for today. Have you ever had a new floor put in your house? If you have, you may as well put this down because you already know how disruptive that can be — especially if you are married to a woman who likes to get things done, now! When Lorraine takes it upon herself to do something, I just say “OK” and get out of her way. It’s way too easy for her to look at me, and in her mind she is seeing the furniture moved from one room to another, and let’s not even mention how early she starts this. We have to move everything that can get in the way of the installers.
We put new “pergo” in our house after we had bought it, but not before we started buying furniture. I remember when the installers came out that time. The fellow told me that the floor was guaranteed for 20 years. I just laughed and thought to myself that I had never lived in a house for more than five years, no matter where I lived. I guess we got used to the old floor since we have had it for over 30 years.
This new floor is everything. The salesperson told us that we don’t have to worry about anything except tracking dirt into the house. “Take off your shoes and you will keep out about 80% of the dirt.” Sounds pretty cool, huh? I guess no one listened to me when I said dirt is all we worry about now. Why replace the floor? Well, sweet Lorraine has an answer for everything. “It will be so much easier to clean, honey.”
How did my name get mixed up with the word, “easier?” I have found that “easier” is never as easy as it sounds. I’m almost as happy as Lorraine, so we will see what it is when it is finished.