The smaller the bubble the finer the sparkling wine. Don Ho's homage to this fact, "Tiny Bubbles," Hollywood Palace 1/21/67
I most savor a good time after paying it forward. 'Down time' is best served up with hard work first. This translates into having something fun and exciting to look forward on the calendar horizon at all times. A weekday soiree after a long day at work is just as, or even more, exciting as plans for a Saturday night.
Imagine my delight when I saw an email from Stacie Hunt of Share a Glass. Like so many cultural creatives Stacie's day job is making imaginative videos for all kinds of innovative clients. While her main profession puts a floor under her lifestyle, being a sommelier and wine educator is her passion.
With Stacie is in charge I knew making new friends and meeting old ones would be a forgone conclusion. She hosts events at one of the most storied co-working spaces, 'Rita House' on Third Street in West Hollywood, California. Throughout the evening found lively conversation in the living room with its comfy couches, soaring picture window overlooking a garden and a hand painted ceiling. There was a clutch of therapists like myself in attendance. Most others I spoke with like Stacie and me thrive in life with super engaging fun side hustles.
The vintage French champagne we sampled came with an heretofore unknown interesting historic fact Hunt shared. Besides France, California is the only other place on the planet able to use the term champagne in making fermented wine. This is the consequence of terms set out in a treaty which ended WWI.
There were other sparklers from the world: dry, off dry, sweet. red, rosé and even blue. "Summer camp," was on the agenda, as Hunt said, with the opportunity to concoct our own signature prosecco cocktail. I reconstructed a taste memory that I learned about in Sicily. Using prosecco as the base I added one pipette of Amaro and one of Aperol squeezed into our flutes from an array of elixirs including another favorite derived from Elderflower.
Since this fanciful event started at dinner time, there would be food pairings suited for perlage, a new word I learned for fizzy. It's a good day when I learn a new words or new uses for words I already know. For instance, mousse. Who knew it also denotes the experience of the foaminess created in your mouth from imbibing?
Back to the vittles. Turns out runny cheeses such as La Tur, Tallegio, and Fresh goat brie should be served room temperature to release hidden essences. The Camembert rises with time. While choosing one peek under the lid at the store such as gourmet grocer Bristol Farms. For best results Stacie told us to choose the one that sits highest in the box. If you plan ahead a few days you can make your own gravlax that pairs nicely with cucumbers and even a green salad or cocktail shrimp and your own horseradish sauce. Prosciutto with Charentais a cantaloupe like melon (only better IMHO) is perfect, as in dark chocolate with an anise pastry bread for desert. Yeasty baguette rounds out this fare which matches the nose of fermentation in the drinks. For a more casual approach to food pairings, the crunch and salty is in order. Think popcorn and spicy fried chicken.
A few words about the atelier of the late costumer Rita Riggs for whom Rita House is named. A costumer by trade she took over a former prop house and turned it into a live/work space in the 1960's, years before the current culture of multi-use shared working spaces came roaring into vogue. Currently the idea is that rent both commercial and residential is just too damn high. It's rather unprofessional to bring clients and colleagues into your home, especially with roommates. Hence, the explosion of alternatives that double as social clubs with event programming. It doesn't hurt that the current owners architects Scott Strumwasser and Tash Rahbar are the anchor tenants who lovingly attend to the house a kind of grand dame and architectural gem.
Tara Fass, LMFT #35078, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles, California. She treats adults and couples dealing with a broad range of issues from navigating the legacy of divorce in one's life, to the quarter life crisis and conscious aging. Together we attempt to make meaning [...]