I don’t think I quite got the message


Call me lightweight but as much as I love wine I like to give myself alcohol-free nights too (let’s not talk about the daytime).  They give me a chance to recharge ready to appreciate my next bottle of wine.  But there’s one time where I always seem to break the pattern of “free nights” and that’s when I’m away on holidays.  Strangely, the gap often seems to be filled with a beer or two. I do enjoy a good beer from time to time!

20140214_174009Last month I was away on the Gold Coast over the Valentines weekend, staying at Broadbeach.  Call me an old romantic for taking my lovely better half away… but that’s probably not the truth.  We were up there visiting friends and family and it just happened to fall over Valentines day.  Of course though I had to do something special!

So as you can see, I got dressed up and we headed out to a bar for the arvo where we enjoyed a couple of romantic bevvies… I think I had some boutique Mexican beer called Corona or something.  Really weird, I kept finding a lemon slice floating down in the bottle.  I did wonder if they put that in there before bottling, like those ship thingies.

One of our readers commented on a blog post that I must love my fizzy wine because I keep writing about it.  The weird thing is that I do like bubbles but only because that’s my wife’s favourite bevvie and what she wants she usually seems to get.  See, I am romantic and I know how to hold a happy marriage!  😉

I did make a bit of a mistake on the bubbly while we were away, a rare mistake of course.  My wife asked me to pick up a Champagne and I came back with some good old Aussie bubs, to my wife’s dismay.  See, I’ve picked up a little bit of know on wine, and have copped onto the quality of the Aussie sparklings, so when I saw the price of an average non-vintage Champagne some automatic reaction moved my legs over to the Aussie stuff instead. I was no longer in control of my actions, and something had drowned out my wife’s request.

20140214_205145So I picked me up a bottle of 2007 Yarra Burn, a bubbly hailing from the Yarra Valley known for its sparkling friendly climate and soil. Chandon of French acclaim even has a sparkling winery there and the wines are made in the exact style as Champagne.  At less than half the price of non-vintage Champagne how could I go wrong?  And this was vintage… Vintage!

You should have seen my wife’s face when I walked in the door.  She didn’t have to say a thing.  But of course I did.

“What a score, I got this vintage bubbly for less than half the price they were charging for non vintage Champagne!”  I was truly excited… still receiving a stare.

Then I got “but it’s not Champagne and we’re on holidays”.

I can’t say she fully got over it but this was a great bubbly and although she wouldn’t admit it, I’d like to think she loved it.  So full of flavour, nice and creamy, and very moreish.

“But it’s not Champagne”

Now you know why Champagne is so expensive.

20140216_200147I tried to make it up to her another night with a Prosecco, as seen in the top image, along with a bit of yummy stuff to bring her around.  A really good Prosecco too!  Produced by Santa Margherita, it was springy and full of life with lots of apple-like flavours that danced about.

“You didn’t get Champagne again?”

Another night I tried to be different and bought us a lovely Jaraman Shiraz from Taylors.  It’s full bodied with grippy tannins that carry loads of juicy fruit.

“Will you just pick up some bloody Champagne”

I must listen to my wife more. I don’t think I quite got the message.

Author: Conrad



  1. Ah Champagne! It makes for bubbly stories. Yours is fun. Now my turn…
    Many many years ago a guy who wanted to impress me drove through Paris to get “something you will love,” he said. It was very late and most shops were closed except a couple on the Champs Elysees. He parked half on the street half on the sidewalk, ran inside a store, and returned with a bottle of …Champagne.
    I didn’t want to be mean and so I never told him that I didn’t really like Champagne. Our story was brief and shortly after I met the guy who is now my husband. Once in a while we drink Champagne because his family is from this area of France and because our American friends think it’s very chic to drink Champagne. But together we prefer other wines to Champagne.


  2. “Now you know why Champagne is so expensive.”
    Oh, now I know.

    About the Corona, the main factory is at the next neighbourhood of where I live, its pretty big and theres some big chimneys of what its supposed to be water vapor.
    They sold it to a belgium company last year for a bunch of millions.
    Many years ago I went inside, there were industrial metallic pots cooking, other containers to let it settle and also the bottle packing. Later they put us in a living room with snacks and free beer, I dont really remember much, not that I was drunk, hopefully.
    I had some dices and cups to play but give them away already.
    Long ago they put a free drinkable water faucet for people just to take, specially since the neighbourhood behind it is very poor, but I think some people were reselling it and they removed it.

    I dont think its supposed to have a lemon inside, I blame the bartender.


  3. About the beer, the lemon are served from the bartender…..

    I’m not a big fan of champagne, but one glass at special occations is okay. Everything famous are expensive, and France have had problems with the weather in the latest years, which did destroy a lot of grapes, then the rest become more expensive. Champagne is produced in the special area called Champagne, otherwise it is not allowed to call it champagne, only sparkling like the rest of the world.

    Tell your wife, that real champagne is tough for the stomach, the other sparklings from more warm countries don’t have so much acid and a much better taste. And for you a much better price.



  4. AuAu says: “I don’t think its supposed to have a lemon inside, I blame the bartender”. I lived in Albuquerque for quite a few years and have never NOT seen a Mexican put a lemon slice in their Corona!


  5. Hahaha! You really should listen to the wifey more! Yeah, champagne is quite expensive and my family rarely buys it. My dad likes to look at them in the wine shop and nine times out of ten walks out with…a Jacobs Creek red. And speaking of lemons, I’ve had a few bottled fizzy drinks where they had a slice of lemon squashed down there. No idea what that’s for :/


  6. Champagne has to be expensive cos of the way it’s made, but doesn’t mean you have to like paying for it!

    Yarra Valley, Tasmania, and Adelaide Hills make awesome sparkling, do a blind tasting on your wife next time if she’s up for it, see if she can tell the difference!


  7. Um, it’s supposed to be a LIME in the Corona. What is with this lemon nonsense?
    Or is that regional? I’ve never seen it with lemon. I also always do lime with tequila.


  8. We buy champagne to drink on New Years’ and that’s it. Tradition, I suppose. Personally, I prefer the tradition where I drink the leftover champagne in mimosas!
    Love Prosecco, totally prefer it — but it’s not champagne 😉


  9. Just a couple of things… Valentine’s Day is overrated but it’s nice you’ve heard of it. 🙂 Now, the last person I said this to, well, Tragic Lady’s trying to keep dark clouds at bay so, wine is good for your blood and tolerance for alcohol varies anyway. I was raised with a glass of wine with dinner, diluted of course when I was a child, so my perspective on alcohol, hmmm… I think is a good perspective. It’s part of a good meal.

    I’m not a beer drinker but it’s perfect for warm weather, which in the states is summertime. I like ales and since Italy, Belgian, however after drinking the goblet it’s served in I appreciated having the mountains to work it off.

    There’s nothing like Prosecco. Traditionally for brunches Mimosas are served, champagne and orange juice, but Prosecco would work for that too.


  10. Yes, Corona here is always served with a lime (like Blue Moon beer is always served with an orange wedge). Corona’s competitor is Dos Equis, which features the ads for the World’s Most Interesting Man. I prefer my fizziness in a Coke; Champagne always makes my tummy hurt.


  11. I love your post! I go through more “dry” periods than I’d like these days, but I’ve had to accept the fact that the things in life don’t always allow for a daily bottle of something great (although many jobs, including mine, would lead many to drink something even not-so-great on a very regular basis – but I digress…). I took a little time out for green beer this week (it’s a rule, you have to do it). I’d have to say that I’m in my bubbly phase right now, too. As for the “real” Champagne, well, I’ve had some wonderful offerings, and found a few French bubblies that don’t technically qualify as Champagne, but are just wonderful (like Willm NV Brut Prestige Crémant d’Alsace). I enjoy cavas and proseccos, but also found some nice California bubbly (like J Cuvee 20). All fabulously prices, I might add. On a personal note, you can have a technically fabulous, highly rated bottle of real deal Champagne and enjoy it, but the finest bottle of bubbly – any bubbly – is the one shared with those you love, and the moment makes the bottle. Sante!


  12. Sorry, too much wine due to not being able to chew (see post). As I was saying, did you see our post about LAMB MACS, We figure in Oz you may be looking for lamb sun shades or personal parasols!!!


  13. I have only recently been introduced to champagne although I have enjoyed sparkling my whole adult life.
    I really cant justify the cost of the french stuff and lately have preferred to walk away with a chilled bottle of Janz over much of the other stuff.
    However, I wont say no when the sister inlaw opens the Verve


  14. I’m quite the stubborn old coot, so I can’t criticize anyone on either side of this equation for sticking to his/her ‘plan’. The only fault that would’ve been truly blameworthy would be if you two hadn’t taken advantage of whatever good sips were available at the moment, something I suspect neither of you is foolish enough to do no matter what Plan A was on the occasion. 😉


  15. Personally, I love our Washington State champagne – and yes I’m calling it champagne. It has bubbles. It’s champagne. To me. Champagne is a region, I know. I even sort of understand their desire to keep it exclusive (and thus expensive) but I think calling it ‘sparkling wine’ is lame sounding. We need a better word, Conrad!


  16. You guys need to go on holiday to Reims or Epernay. Then you can drink all the local cru as much as you want, for a reasonable price (40 Euro Krug anyone?)


  17. Years ago at some casino in Holland (are they called casinos there?) we won a bottle of really expensive Champagne. Everyone was going nuts and raving about how great it was going to be; it wasn’t. I thought it tasted like I was sucking on a copper penny. – Fast forward to last weekend; the husband and I go to a little restaurant under a bridge called The Boat Shed. We bought a $12 bottle of local wine (Washington state here in the U.S.) and it was absolutely beautiful!
    Proof that just because something is hyped doesn’t mean it’s worth the money. Sometimes perfection is found locally …. and sometimes it comes in a bottle of Corona … just like the little boat thingies. 😉 Cheers!


  18. I think you are too creative and she wants the same old ‘guaranteed’ flavor of champagne! You are fun to read and hope to be better at keeping up with you! I have only two hours a day or less at the library! Alas! But it allows me to be ‘free’ of technology, (except the phone and television! Ha ha!) Smiles, Robin


  19. First of all: this post made me laugh out loud several times :), I love a good, citric, sparkling wine. I’m not a huge fan of the yeasty stuff. This past Valentine’s Day, my love brought home a bottle of R. Dumont & Fils Brut, Champagne. Have you tried it? It’s relatively inexpensive and was oh so refreshing…a little too refreshing! I’m almost embarrassed to admit this next one but I’m a sucker for Barefoot sparkling Pinot Grigio. It sells for around $9 or $10 per bottle and is crisp and acidic with just a hint of sweetness and smallish bubbles. I’ll take a Corona too though. I think I just like booze!


      • Not a novice but also not an expert. In my previous role as a restaurant manager, I was very fortunate to help select and create the wine list. Being inundated with free samples is always a plus! I’ve studied and completed the “Windows On The World” course book and was offered the chance to have my former company pay for my sommelier certification. The hitch was that they would only pay if I passed. Not willing to pay out of pocket if I failed, I let go of the opportunity…for now. At the moment, I just enjoy wine, whether it’s D.O.C.G, Premier Cru or out of a Black Label box. I never thought I’d say it but I like boxed wines. There’s no risk of corkage and the packaging allows the producers to offer a good product at a fraction of the cost of those winemakers who pay for glass bottles and natural corks. Synthetic corks and boxed wines are the wave of the future because they just make sense financially.


  20. Oooh Prosecco…your description above made me crave a well-balanced, not too sweet Prosecco along with petit delights. It is one of my favorites! I actually prefer it to some champagnes. Mmmmm lovely.


  21. I do enjoy a little “bubbly”… but pretty flexible on where my bubbles come from. Like you, I know more about wine. Going forward, just remember the American saying – “Happy wife, happy life”. Teehee!


  22. Hahahaha! Yes, you guys tend to not get the message quite often. But we love you for it anyway. I had to laugh when you mentioned having Coronas and kept finding lemon slices in the bottle! I live in Texas so we have alot of Mexican ‘cervezas’ here and that’s very common to include a citrus wedge. Try it with lime next time. Much better with limes! Tecate with lime is good too, although I’m a fan of the lighter Corona. Fun stuff!


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