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Happy World Champagne Day!

Some of my collection of champagne capsules.

Some of my collection of champagne capsules.

To mark this delightful annual tradition (alright, I know, it’s really a very clever marketing ploy by the wine makers of Champagne), I’ll be part of Moët & Chandon’s attempt to get into the Guinnesss Book of Records for hosting the World’s Largest Champagne Tasting. It’ll be tough, but I’m willing to do my part. #MOETMOMENT

Confession time: I am a placomusophile. Sounds vaguely illegal, doesn’t it? It comes from the French world ‘placomusophilie’, which means the act of collecting the metal capsules (known as a ‘plaque de muselet’) that sit atop the corks in bottles of champagne and other sparkling wines. Hence the photo! The familiar system of wire muzzle and metal capsule used to keep corks in place in bottles of these potentially explosive wines was invented by Adolphe Jacqueson in 1844.

World Champagne Day is 20 October, so if you live in an earlier time zone than Sydney’s and are reading this on 19 October, you still have a chance to get out and do something. 😉

UPDATE: It’s official, a new Guinness World Record was set! The previous record had been 698 people at an event in Sweden in 2015. We managed to just squeak past, at 715 people, as counted by the official Guinness adjudicators on site.

Here are some photos of the event:

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Evanescent Effervesence

Evanescent Effervescence” — there’s a tongue twister for you! The bubbles in this glass of bubbly shoot into the air like micro-sized fireworks, making the most of their mere seconds of life. There’s nothing quite like the frothy but fleeting excitement of a freshly opened bottle of champagne (Veueve Cliquot, in this case) poured with perhaps too much abandon into a glass.

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Five Minutes: A glass of bubbly

Frosty, empty glass.

Frosty, empty glass.

I came across a new photo challenge last week: Desley Jane’s Five Minutes challenge. “Choose a scene or an object and keep fixed on that object, and shoot for just five minutes. You can move around the object or scene but try not to interfere with it. See what happens in that five minutes, what changes, how the light changes, what comes into the frame or leaves the frame, or what other parts of the object you can focus on or use to your advantage.”

If you scroll down the page, you’ll certainly see what changed in these five minutes. 😉

Just poured and frothing over with enthusiasm.

Just poured and frothing over with enthusiasm.

Settling down nicely with a fine stream of beads.

Settling down nicely with a fine stream of beads, and a delicate mousse on the surface.

Sip!

Sip!

Slurp!

Slurp!

Not much left now!

Not much left now!

All gone. :(

All gone. 😦

Why the pink straw? Well, how else could I drink the bubbly without picking up the glass and getting fingerprints all over it? But I’ll tell you, as “challenges” go, drinking a glass of sparkling wine — even a small glass, as this one is — in five minutes is no easy feat, and using a straw doesn’t make it any easier!

Jaunty pink straw in empty glass.

Jaunty pink straw in empty glass.

Random Fridays: A glass of bubbly on The Ghan

A glass of sparkling wine on The Ghan.

A glass of sparkling wine in a pool of sunlight on The Ghan.

This is first of the many glasses of bubbly I consumed in the lounge car of The Ghan. This train runs from Darwin to Adelaide (and vice versa) in Australia. A four-day trip, known as The Ghan Expedition, includes a stop at the opal-mining town of Coober Pedy.


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A day with a master winemaker

The end result: a red wine called Vieux Chateau du Roi.

The end result: a red wine called Vieux Chateau du Roi.

While visiting my parents this May, I spent a day with my father making wine. To say that I helped would be a gross exaggeration, as Dad is an old hand at this. I mostly got in his way taking photos! The grape juice comes in a large (heavy!) box, along with a few other things. One distributor describes this red wine thus: “This popular French red wine is full-bodied yet surprisingly soft and quick to mature. Deep red and aggressive with complex flavours resulting from a blend of grape varieties which layer flavours and aromas of ripe fruit, berries, plum, spice oak.”

In the afternoon, we also made a batch of white wine. In the early evening, my parents and I moved onto the patio to enjoy cheese, fruit and a bottle of last year’s Vieux Chateau du Roi (the photo above). It was a good day. (WPC is looking for Mesh galleries, but I don’t have the Mesh app, nor indeed a smartphone, so I will approximate that gallery style with a slideshow. There are 11 photos and I suggest starting with 1, as the photos tell a story.)

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Here are a few other photos of Dad’s Wines: