There are a couple of things related to birth that happened to me over the weekend.

  1. I became a doula.
    • I helped one of my three daughters deliver her baby; not only at home, but it was also a water birth. This daughter is a certified yoga instructor (among other high achievements), and was well prepared for the kind of independent thinking and confidence that it takes to not only deliver at home, but also have it be a water birth.
    • I was there to semi-help and witness my sixth grandchild come into a peaceful and loving life, by screaming, “Oh my God!”
  2. Another birth… Jose and I created a logo, for honoring the more youthful among the wine industry for their innovate pioneering  and digital think leadership, for an award that we’ve now given three years in a row.

When this award was first started, Jose even questioned my reasoning. He hadn’t been the Girl Scout leader, day camp director for all of those years. He was the FM radio program director, and his high expectations just expected everyone to do a great job. I’m typical female. While I’m writing this I’ve got ribs slow cooking in the oven, with a BBQ sauce (secret ingredient: any fruit jam from Stonewall Kitchen) that I invented from stuff in my fridge…  while steeping lemon balm tea from stems that I cut from my garden (great for digestion).

Then, along comes a flash-from-the-past…  Bryan Maletis of Fat Cork. Get the fat cork image… It must be bubbly, and if I could create PS I Love Fat Corks, I would. I love wine with carbonation. If it’s from Champagne, France, it’s Champagne; if it’s from anywhere else in the world, it’s sparkling wine, and I’m so for it.

Everyday is a celebration of some sort. Yesterday, it was Miles John being born. Today it’s the logo; tomorrow, I’ll have another excuse. My bottom line is that life is a celebration of every breath we take… the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s worth celebrating for the learning that life brings, regardless of the easy or hard lessons and the growth that will come from it.

And so back to Bryan Maletis… When he contacted me, little did he know that in a past job  I had worked with his father Ed Maletis. I couldn’t help but ask, when he queried me, “Any relationship to Ed?” Ed Maletis, with his team of sales people lead by Todd Bacon at Columbia Distributing, was a HUGE success story when I was working for Belvedere Winery. They sold so much of my wine. It was ridiculous; and now there’s Bryan… following in his father’s footsteps, querying me to see if I’d consider tasting his bubbly from his import company Fat Cork.

This is where it all ties in, this younger generation all coming into being. It’s so much fun to watch.

Bring it on, Bryan. And, he delivered.

  1. 2002 Adam-Jaeger Blanc de Blancs Millésime (100 percent Chardonnay)
  2. Champagne Perrot-Batteux et filles Blanc de Blancs

He also told me that his wife Abby and he really appreciate my support. What we both didn’t know, my dearest grandmother was an Abbie… Reading his Abby’s text on his site, I realized how sweet she is… and Southern (I have a daughter living in the Carolinas):

So, what exactly does it mean to boast the title of “grower-produced Champagne”? Unlike the big production houses such as Veuve Clicquot, Piper, or Moet, grower-produced Champagne is made 100% by the people who grow the grapes. Their heart and soul are poured into the creation of the wine we proudly represent. From the growing of grapes, the picking, the pressing, and the aging, our producers do it all from start to finish. We must then hand select every Champagne and exclusively import them directly from the growers’ cellars to our cellar in Seattle, making the Champagne we sell the highest quality you can find. Lucky for us, the growers we work with save the first press of grape juice for their bottles—the bottles we sell and you drink! This is also known as the “tete de cuvee,” or the best juice that creates the most amazing Champagne. — Abigale Maletis

From their printed materials. I could even begin to write this better than it’s already written.

  1. 2002 Adam-Jaeger Blanc de Blancs Millésime (100 percent Chardonnay) ~ ($55.00)

A husband and wife team runs this entire operation here and they are extremely hands on with the Champagne production and in the vineyards. Regis is the husband and he is renowned in the region as a progressive vineyard manager.

They use no pesticides, but instead use pheromones to confuse the bugs in an effort to keep them away from the vines. They also plant roses at the head of each vineyard row as the roses are weaker then the vines and if anything troubling is going on in the vineyards, the roses die first and serve as a warning.

The winery is completely gravity flow from start to finish, meaning that the juice is never pumped. This natural movement of the juice helps to preserve the delicate flavors. Each bottle is also cellared for a minimum of three years before release, adding to the complexity.

For my palate, this was an extremely delicious and refreshing Champagne. This lemon yellow sparkling wine was like sunshine across the meadow on a moist and warm sunset of a day. Its nose was abundant with aromatics of that summer’s day wheat drying in the fields and pears almost becoming ripe. A perfect balance on the palate with flavors that delighted me (malic flavors with a light herb), and beautiful finish, made this wine so enjoyable to discover.

  1. Champagne Perrot-Batteux et filles Blanc de Blancs Helixe Millésime ($45.00)

As the name “et Fillies” indicates, “a daughter” runs this Champagne house, and her name is Chincia. The family is wonderful and the father, who retired from the day-to-day of a vigneron, is now the town’s mayor. A total of three people do all of the work, and their attention to detail shows when the cruvees are tasted.

The town where the family vineyards and cellar are located is in the southern part of the Cotes des Blancs. The soil is completely chalked in this region and it shines through in their cuvees. There is no place int he world that can produce chardonnay like the pure chalk soils of the Cote des Blanc, at least according to our palates!

Their cellars are 50-100 meters deep and all throughout there are fossils showcasing the marine life that used to swim freely around the region long ago. Hence the “helixe” fossil that is depicted on their bottles and in hte name Cuvee Helixe.

This one was shared with my friends (pre my grandson just being born), when they visited from Maine, to visit my daughters. The traveling grandmother had helped to raise my kids, and wanted to see them, now that they’re starting their own families. This was a true celebratory wine that we all cherished.

The colors were like a cool spring morning adorned with light fog. More of the white grapefruit type Champagnes, this one held the promise on the nose and on the palate. Dry on the palate, it enlivened my palate, and made me salivate for  pork BBQ ribs… Okay, I’ve got a thing for ribs right now…. It gave us all the energy to continue with our job. The wine and the goodbye were poignant and begging for more. We all agreed we would meet again. Another round will seal the deal, as we clinked our long flutes!


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