Volume 92, Issue 29

Tuesday, October 27, 1998

purple haze


Making the next morning extra satisfying

It's going to be the most perfect evening of your life – after numerous dates, that special someone is finally spending the night at your place. All the planning and anxiety, setting the mood, making sure the sheets are clean, but wait – what are you going to do the next morning?

You haven't even given breakfast a thought. Left over pizza or cold cereal isn't going to tell them how much you really care. You've got the perfect opportunity to really show your partner what you're made of and prepare a full-blown quasar breakfast in bed.

Time is of the essence in this situation, you don't want your guest sitting alone in your room for half an hour staring at the teddy bear your ex gave you or wondering where you got that lava lamp.

Pancakes are the perfect solution. They're soft and warm, you can top them any way you like and they take just enough effort to show you care. Premixed is the way to go, if you have time you can even mix the batter the night before and keep it in fridge.

Whip cream and strawberries are the ideal toppings – Cool Whip is best, however, a can could be more suited to the situation. The best way to prepare the strawberries is to wash them, cut them into small pieces and give them a light sprinkle of sugar. If done the night before and left in the fridge you will have sweet juicy strawberries by morning.

The dish itself is only one piece of any great dining experience – libations are the other. Hopefully the night before did not revolve around alcohol (if it did this entire ordeal is probably not necessary). The only truly acceptable breakfast drink is the mimosa, a mix of half orange juice and half champagne.

It's important to note, however, the only true champagne comes from the champagne region of France, if made anywhere else in the world, it is simply a sparkling wine.

The key to selecting a fine sparkling wine is the method by which it is produced. To get bubbles in wine it must undergo a secondary fermentation and the gas from fermentation (carbon dioxide) must be captured in the wine. In champagne, this is done in the bottle and is known as the champagne method, traditional method or methode champenoise. Any bubbly made by this method will tell you on the label and will be of superior quality to a sparkling wine which undergoes secondary fermentation in steel vats (the charmat method).

Since you are mixing your champagne you don't neccessarily need to fork out $130 for a bottle of Dom, however, a quality bubbly should be used.

Some recommendations for sparkling wines and champagne available in the liquor store are:

¥ Dom Perignon ($127.60, Champagne) – only to be used if you plan on marrying this person.

¥ Pol Roger ($34.30, Champagne) – a personal favourite in this range, but again a little pricey to mix.

¥ Mumms Cuvée Napa Brut ($20.95, California) – the closest thing to the real stuff.

¥ Chateau de Charmes Brut ($19.99, Ontario) – tastes great and you're supporting Ontario.

¥ Seaview Brut ($9.90, Australia) – ideal for this occasion.

John Chirico is one of The Gazette's two new columnists. His column will appear biweekly on Tuesdays and will focus on the wine and food industry. Chirico's experience comes from nine years in the hospitality industry as well as having received his certification from the Wine Council of Ontario's Superhost Program.

To Contact The News Department: gazette.news@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1998