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Friday slippin' so we're Saturday sippin'

November 10 · Issue #5 · View online
demi & brut
Sip on This
Once upon a time, I was the friend who would grab a knife to uncork a bottle of wine. If there were a yearbook for my 20s, I’d be listed as “most likely to push the cork into the wine bottle and have particles floating all up and through the bottle.” I had a tactic. I would pour a glass of wine, use a spoon to fish out the cork pieces and go about my business devouring my glass of wine.
Feeling defeated and tired of swallowing cork pieces, I started to solely rely on my husband to open wine bottles. That is, until the day my aunt came to a family party I hosted and shaded my whole entire existence. She asked me to open her bottle of wine. I pulled out my old school corkscrew opener and told her I had to get my husband. Her jaw dropped, her eyebrows raised and her voice elevated, “You NEED to invest in a wine opener and you NEED to learn how to open your own wine.”
There’s nothing like a black auntie reading you for filth in your own house.
My aunt telling me I need to get my house in order.
And you know, even at my big age, I was not about to back talk my aunt. So I just sat there and tried to collect my thoughts while putting the broken pieces of my life back together.
She could've at least pulled me to the side.
I knew it was time to step my game up. And I did. I am now the proud owner of a Rabbit and I can open any wine bottle you place before me. So please, stop by with you favorite vino and I’ll gladly do the honors. And yes, your cordless electric opener may be fancy, but trust me, my Rabbit gets the job done.
Me looking at my aunt when she visits and I whip out my Rabbit.
Now that I understand the importance of having the proper tools and accessories, I’m checking my champagne service list twice to be sure I have everything I need for the holidays.
Here are my essentials:
Ice Bucket
You already know I’m a fan of a champagne bucket with a stand. So far, I used it to chill champagne and prosecco. I even whipped it out in October to chill water bottles for a kid’s Halloween party I hosted. I love a dual purpose accessory. But if you’re looking for something a little fancier, that can hold more than two bottles, try this multi-bottle holder from Z Gallerie or this polished silver holder from Pottery Barn.
Bubble Stoppers
I have a bit of policy: if I open a bottle on Friday night, I finish it that same night (or during the wee hours of Saturday morning). But there are some nights, like last night, where I’m done after two glasses. So I have these champagne stoppers on hand to keep the bubbles bubbling for an extra day or two. Regular wine stoppers don’t seem to do the job. I tested, and they failed. They let too much air into the bottle and the bubbles go bye-bye.
Champagne Opener
I’m debating whether I should invest in a champagne opener. I really want to avoid the wrath of my aunt, but is the opener really worth it? I kind of like the thrill of holding the bottle at a 45-degree angle, pressing my thumb against the cage and cork and rotating the bottle until it lets out a slight whisper. Alas, I’m exploring this Rabbit champagne opener. The set includes the opener and a bottle sealer.
Drinking Games
Do I need to prepare for holiday guests who want to play drinking games? Are people really treating champagne like beer? I present to you: Chambong and prosecco pong. If you’re visiting my house during the holidays, I assure you we will not be fooling around with the possibility of spilling bubbly deliciousness all over the floor. Get a glass and sip like you have some decency about you.
Tulip-Shaped Flutes
Speaking of glasses…
Yes, there have been many farewells to champagne flutes, and it’s true some people simply use white wine glasses to drink their bubbly. But I love a flute, especially the tulip-shaped ones. It’s something about those effervescence points that really excites my eyes. Tulip-shaped flutes get praise for giving the bubbles space to dance and enhancing the aroma of the champagne. Here are a few of my favorites: CB2, Williams Sonoma, Crate&Barrel, Jet and Amazon.
Pretty (Absorbent) Kitchen Towel
And last but not least, it’s ideal to have kitchen or bar towel on hand in case you have an eruption of bubbles after you pop the cork like I did Thursday night. Sure I have regular kitchen towels but I want to get something special for the holiday season. I’m checking out these holiday-themed kitchen towels by Kate Spade: sassy mischievous fox, bah humbug and toast in a pinch. And these champagne-themed kitchen towels: but first, bubbly, pop, fizz, clink and I only drink on two occasions.
I'll Have What She's Having
Shayla Varnado, the founder of Black Girls Wine, combines Black Girl Magic and wine through events, wine tastings, a curated quarterly wine lifestyle box and her weekly Wednesday Wine Down on Instagram live. A passionate entrepreneur and wine lover, she recently celebrated the two year anniversary of Black Girls Wine with a celebration in Washington, DC. As 2019 approaches, she remains committed to expanding Black Girls Wine to showcase the Black female experience in the United States. 
Shayla pictured with her ONEHOPE bottle
Her current favorite bubbly is ONEHOPE Brut Sparkling Wine from California. She says:
I tried it recently for my three-year wedding anniversary. It could’ve just been the sparkles but I absolutely enjoyed every drop! 
Shayla, thank you for introducing us to this sparkling delight! Beyond their commitment to wine, ONEHOPE is dedicated to supporting causes like global health care, forever homes for shelter animals, meals for children, life-saving vaccines and more. ONE HOPE suggests pairing this selection with everything from seafood and sushi to desserts and cheeses.
The Champagne Times
I'm trying to get on his level.
In this week’s bubbly news:
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And what’s Christmas without a little bubbly. Sip this delicious Fall-inspired mimosa while you write your Christmas list. Shopping for stocking stuffers? Try these Jelly Belly Champagne Jelly Beans. Want to be the most loved guest at dinner? Arrive with one of these holiday-themed champagne boxes. Planning a holiday trip? Set your sights on New Orleans and stay at the Ritz Carlton. They just added a Moët & Chandon champagne vending machine. And listen, if you’re going to try to saber your champagne bottle, do not do this.
Clink. Clink.
Dear Texas, have I told you I love you lately? Raising a glass high to the nineteen brilliant, beautiful brown judges who are sprinkling a whole lot of #blackgirlmagic around TX: Sandra Peake, Ramona Franklin, Maria Jackson, Germaine Tanner, Angela Graves-Harrington, Cassandra Holleman, Tonya Jones, Dedra Davis, LaShawn Williams, Latosha Lewis Payne, Linda Dunson, Toria Finch, Erica Hughes, Lucia Bates, Ronnisha Bowman, Michelle Moore, Sharon Burney, Shannon Baldwin, and Lori Chambers Gray.
Listen, I know they’re doing serious work, but can we also see their under-the-robe fashions? I secretly want them all to post outfit of the day pictures on Instagram with Cardi B captions. #theyseepicturestheysaygoals
And finally, cheers to Gabrielle Union on the birth of her daughter. My heart is still doing somersaults for her and Dwayne Wade.
Who Said That?
This week, we add my fellow Sagittarius, Nicki Minaj, to the  demi & brut Spotify playlist.
“They know that Nicki a poet, pop me a bottle of Moët /They said I couldn’t, but I did it though/Tell ‘em I still got that hourglass figure though/Can’t stop me, don’t watch me” - Win Again by Nicki Minaj
Here’s what’s making me #bubblewithexcitement this week:
P.S. If you have fun reading, send me a note. I love notes. And don’t forget to share with your friends!
*all .gifs are shared with love from giphy
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