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.





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.


wine cellar

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:


Warping the Sydney Harbour Bridge

I had a bit of time to kill last evening before meeting a friend, and how better to kill time on a glorious summer evening than down by the Opera House with a glass of bubbly and my camera?

sydney harbour bridge in glass of champagne

Imagine my surprise this morning when I discovered that I had captured a warped shot of the bridge in the glass!

opera kitchen opera house sydney

I was at a place called Opera Kitchen, the slightly less hectic bar/eatery beside the mega popular Opera Bar.

And here is the obligatory shot of the Opera House.

And here is the obligatory shot of the Opera House.

Descent to the caves of Taittinger

Eighteen metres (59 feet) below the ground in Reims, France, lie the caves of Taittinger, one of the finest producers of champagne. To make the descent to the caves, you must negotiate this spiral staircase.

spiral staircase to the Taittinger caves
The Taittinger caves occupy some of the vaults of the ancient Saint Nicaise Abbey. These stairs are in the old abbey vaults.
stairs from the old Saint Nicaise Abbey
In World War I, the caves were used as places of refuge for civilians and Allied soldiers. If you look closely, you can make out the year 1914 in this graffiti carved into the wall.
World War I graffiti in Taittinger caves
A pupitre with bottles is visible at the foot of these stairs. The bottles of champagne are placed in the pupitre and rotated so that the sediment collects in the necks.
pupitre at the base of the stairs
And this is what it’s all about…
Taittinger champagne
(The first four photos were taken in the caves of Taittinger in May 2005 on a poor quality print camera, and later scanned to digital. The final photo was taken in October 2014: the champagne in the glass is not Taittinger, but the backdrop is a bag from Taittinger; it appeared recently in this post.)


Champagne Day redux

Taittinger champagne

I don’t make a habit of posting twice in the same day, let alone two posts on the same topic, but that garish ‘Bordello Bubbly‘ post has been making me cringe all day. I couldn’t let that stand as my ode to Global Champagne Day! So here is something rather more tasteful.

With apologies to Taittinger, I must confess that this is a glass of Mumm champagne. All I can say in my defence is that Mumm is on sale in Sydney this week! The very elegant glass itself was, uh, liberated from the Dorchester in London. The backdrop is genuine Taittinger: it’s the bag they put my ice bucket in when I bought it in Reims.


Happy Champagne Day!

Be sure to raise a glass on 24 October to this most delectable of tipples.


Happy Champagne Day!

 (I’m not sure about the crazy colours in these photos, but there’s no time to take new shots and still post on Champagne Day itself.)

Champagne Day Update

The members of the Champagne Club where I work marked the day in style.

champagne day

That is not my photo, it’s from a colleague’s iPhone. Here is what the ‘In Session’ card says (I did make the logo and sign):

in session

An experiment in refraction

Pink flamingo swizzle stick refraction

One well  known effect of the refraction of light as it passes from air to water is that a stick partially submerged in  water will appear to bend where it enters the water. Water is boring, and I don’t have any sticks, but in the interests of science I experimented to discover how much a pink flamingo swizzle stick will appear to bend when partially submerged in sparkling wine compared to in a martini. The results are quite different, which makes me wonder if the shape of the glass has anything to do with the effect?

The stick does appear to bend slightly as it enters the bubbly, but the effect is not dramatic. Interestingly, you can also see how the black line that swirls around the glass appears to 'jump' where it passes behind the wine-air boundary.

The stick does appear to bend slightly as it enters the bubbly, but the effect is not pronounced. Interestingly, you can also see how the black line that swirls around the glass appears to ‘jump’ where it passes behind the wine-air boundary on the right-hand side.

pink flamingo swizzle stick in martini

Now, here we have a dramatic bending effect! Look at that sharp zig zag shape in the stem of the swizzle stick. Also some very cool reflections happening inside the glass.


Oh, the things I do in the name of science!

Roger Brun champagne bottles

Bubble Babe

The Daily Prompt says: If we asked your friends what object they most immediately associate with you, what would they answer?
Oh, this is too easy! There’s a reason they call me Bubble Babe …

(click any photo to expand the gallery)

PS: I see that the other posts for this Daily Prompt are written. This is my first foray into the Daily Prompt. Is it meant to have a written response? Oops. Perhaps I should have read the fine print?