Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen is the Perfect Place to Teach Champagne Sabering

For a Facebook Live event with Williams-Sonoma last week, Mark Oldman teaches Amanda Haas, Williams-Sonoma’s Director of Culinary, how to saber a bottle of champagne like a total pro. Located at the Williams-Sonoma test kitchen in Northern California, the beautiful space offered the perfect setting for a little saber-training session.  You’ve got to see the video to believe it – Amanda is a natural!

Missed the Live video? You can still get your wine questions answered by leaving a comment!

Williams-Sonoma sabering wine mark oldman

Drizzle Wine on Your Dessert

Drizzle Wine on Your Dessert

The Italians love drowning their gelato in espresso, but why not indulge in my improved and much more intoxicating version of “affogato” at your next dinner party? Sweet wine drizzled on ice cream synergistically creates its own swoon-worthy third flavor.

A killer option is Pedro Ximenez Sherry, which is the sweetest, most syrupy form of sherry (Pedro Ximenez is a grape, not the sherry’s producer).

Because Pedro Ximenez is so dark and sweet, chocolate ice cream is my first choice, but you are free to experiment with other strong flavors such as rum raisin, rocky road, and coffee.

Better yet–there’s no reason why you cannot get drizzly with golden, medium-rich styles of dessert wine, including lighter late-harvest styles, the fortified Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise from France.

And it’s not just dessert that deserves some wine–there’s also brunch (hair of the dog, anyone?).

In an experiment I tried last year (and which is sure to drive a stake into the heart of every vintage-chart memorizing snob) some friends and I convinced a collector to pour his leftover 1986 Chateau d’Yquem over our pancakes at breakfast one morning. It was a smash hit, and a delightful way to start the day. Try it at your next brunch with friends with whatever dessert wine you have on hand.

For more ways to use wine as a dessert enhancements, order my book, How to Drink Like a Billionaire, and remember to drink bravely, drink richly, and #DrinkLikeABillionaire.

You’ve Been Opening Champagne the Wrong Way…Forever

adobe-spark-3What is it about opening a bottle of bubbly that channels the savage beast? Some see a mini howitzer in every Champagne bottle, forever aiming the cork at the nearest chandelier. Others want to shake and spray their bottles without any thought to wasting this golden elixir. It’s time to mute the mayhem and open bubbly with the safety and style that this supernal beverage deserves. Follow my six steps to siphoning that cork from the bottle without losing one fermented drop.

  1. CHILL – Coldness minimizes the pressure in the bottle so make sure it’s super cold.
  2. PROTECT – Always point the bottle in a safe direction and keep a thumb over it during the entire opening process.
  3. STRIP – Peel the foil and unwrap the wire cage covering the cork, sliding it off with your thumb still at the ready.
  4. COVER – Slip a towel or cloth napkin over the bottle’s neck. This will help you grip the cork and catch it in the event of a premature eruption.
  5. TURN – Holding the bottle at a slight angle, grip the cork firmly through the towel. Then, with your other hand, turn the base of the bottle slowly in one direction.
  6. PUFF – Your cork will “puff” open, preventing spillage and any midnight trips to the emergency room.

Now that you’re equipped with a foolproof method for popping a celebratory bottle, check out my latest book and find alternatives to Champagne for your next occasion in How to Drink Like a Billionaire (Regan Arts).