Friday, December 30, 2011

Champagne 101

New Years Eve wouldn't be the same without raising a glass of Champagne and toasting in the New Year. But as much as we love it for it’s sophistication and crisp flavor, many of us don’t know much about this bubbly favorite. Read on for a quick tutorial on everything from the grapes that make it pop to the proper glass for serving.

History Lesson
The name Champagne can only be used for a sparkling wine that is produced in France, specifically in the Champagne region. Legend has it that Dom Perignon created the first bottle in Champagne, France and was also the first to use cork from a cork-oak tree to seal the bottle. Once the bottle was sealed, fermentation continued and was completed, creating the first bottle of Champagne.
Today, authentic Champagne still comes from France. But vineyards from around the world create sparkling wines that mimic the taste and sparkle of traditional Champagne with grapes grown in other regions.

Making the Bubbly
Champagne is most often created from three separate varieties of grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. There are Champagnes made solely from Chardonnay grapes, others made only of Pinot Noir Grapes, and still others that are created from a blend of all three. Though most of us know Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier as red wines, their juice is actually white and is surrounded by a red skin. Therefore, Champagne is traditionally white unless the juice is allowed to come into contact with the skin of the dark grapes. When that contact occurs, Champagne Rose, or pink Champagne is born.

If you’re wondering just what makes Champagne bubble, the answer is quite simple: Champagne is given its trademark fizz through the process of fermentation. While all wines undergo fermentation, Champagnes go through a second fermentation process once it has been bottled due to excess sugars from the grapes. The fermentation causes the release of carbon dioxide, and presto! You have sparkling bubbles that dance on your tongue.

Glass Perfection
The proper glass is also essential for serving Champagne correctly. The glass should always be long and somewhat of a flute shape to retain the flavor and fizz of the Champagne bubbles. If you’re not keen on quite so much fizz, simply stir the Champagne with a silver spoon to dissipate some of the bubbles.

Pop the Top
While it’s exciting to hear the loud “pop” of a champagne bottle as you remove the cork, be very careful when opening the pressurized bottles. Begin by removing the foil, and then direct the bottle away from any person or object before gently removing the wire cage that holds the cork in place. Finally, lightly twist the cork from side to side while pulling up. You’ll still hear the celebratory pop, but you shouldn’t see the cork whizzing by or champagne spilling from the top of the bottle.

What's the Blanc?

 Blanc de Blancs refers to wines made from white grapes, chardonnay, in particular when it comes to Champagne. These tend to be crisp and elegant with vibrant orchard-fruit tones.

Blanc de Noirs refers to white sparkling wines made from red grapes Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in Champagne. The flavor of the wines retains hints of red fruits and tend to be somewhat richer than their Blanc de Blanc cousins.

Rose sparkling wines are pink to quite red wines, much like the still version. Roses can be among the richest of sparkling wines and have fruit flavors that lean decidedly in the berry direction.

How Sweet is it?

Brut Natural, Nature, or Brut Zero have less than 3 grams per liter of residual sugar and are considered dry.

Extra-Brut have up to 6 grams per liter of residual sugar and still taste dry but are richer and fruitier than Brut Nature.

Brut have up to 15 grams per liter of residual sugar and can begin to be noticeably sweet, though producers generally keep Brut fairly dry.

Extra Sec, Extra Seco, or Extra Dry have 12-20 grams of sugar per liter. These wines seem even sweeter as they tend to be at the upper end of their range.

Sec or Seco have between 17 and 35 grams of sugar per liter and are noticeably sweet.

Demi-Sec or Semi-Seco have between 33 and 50 grams per liter and are fairly sweet to quite noticeably sweet and and very near dessert level in their sweetness.

Our Favorite Go-to Bubbles!!
Let's just say it, we all love Champagne, I personally could drink it everyday. Mimosas for brunch and a few sips late in the afternoon with the girls.
Here are a few of my favorites. They range in price from $15 to $150. Any of these would be a great choice for NYE. 

Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut Champagne (Our publisher Dena's fave!!!)
2. Mionetto Prosecco Brut (my favorite under $15 choice)
3. Perrier Jouet Champagne Flower '00
4. Perrier Jouet Rose Blason de France (My fave!!)

And then there's the always favorite Dom Perignon, for those special, special occasions.

Photo ©Bob Hoffman Video & Photography

Fashion Friday!

2011 Bridal Fashion Review

It's our last Fashion Friday of 2011 so we thought we would do a little recap of our favorite styles and designers from the year. Which one is your favorite?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Fab Offer From Nothing Bundt Cakes in Temecula

Here at San Diego Style Weddings we are obsessed with all the tasty treats from Nothing Bundt Cakes! All the flavors are super yummy and we especially love the little Bundtinis (a perfect little pick-me-up treat.)

They are a great idea for a wedding sweet or feature a showstopping tiered cake at engagement parties, showers or rehearsal dinners or intimate weddings celebrations. They will personalize your cake, there are so many options.

Nothing Bundt Cakes flavors include: Chocolate Chocolate Chip, White White Chocolate, Red Velvet, White Chocolate Raspberry, Carrot, Lemon, Marble, Cinnamon Swirl and Pecan Praline. Each month a new cake flavor is offered to 'round-out' the choices. 

Lucky for you, the Temecula location is running an AWESOME special for brides and grooms!
Here are the details:


Nothing Bundt Cakes in Temecula
would love to be part of
the festivities for  
your upcoming wedding! 
Our bundts are great for the BIG DAY along with, engagement parties, bridal showers and bachelor / bachelorette parties! They are also great for those, “day before jitters” at your rehearsal.   Check us out in San Diego Style Weddings Magazine where we are currently being featured.

Print this... bring in a copy and ask for your “complimentary bridal assortment bundtinis”!! 
Offer valid only in the Temecula store. 
We are located off of Rancho California and Ynez Road
in the Target shopping center. 
Don’t forget to like us on facebook!! 

Last summer we did a photo shoot at Faulkner Winery in Temecula and we got some great shots of the cakes, bundtinis and Bundtlets. Check them out!  Yummmm!
Photography by L Parker Photography

A NYE Wedding Celebration

 Kim and Eric's 2010-NYE Celebration

I was going through all the awesome photos that are submitted to us of weddings and ran across these awesome shots from Kim and Eric's, New Years Eve Wedding last year, photographed by Scott Lawrence Photographs.   I just love, love the fun party vibe, don't you?

Also, check out their E-session at the end of this post. 

Check out their awesome e-session!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fashion Friday!

Today I thought we would share the beautiful images from one of the fashion shoots that appear in our current issue.  We love these modern gowns modeled by Corrin and Amy, photographed by Scott Lawrence Photographs.

Pretty and Pink
Corrin wears a Ysa Makino gown with intricate crystal beaded and embroidered bodice. This regal look is perfect for the uptown bride of this year.  The drop waist is embellished with a full feathered skirt which adds fun to any bride. She accessorizes with a heavy Rivini necklace and diamond studded earrings.  Gown and Accessories can be found at Here Comes the Bride in San Diego. Retail pricing is $5,100 for the gown. She holds a large pink peony and calla lily filled hand held bouquet from Flowers by Coley. Hair styled by Brides by Blondie and Make up by Chandra Campos.

Red Haute
Amy’s look exudes style and class. This Ysa Makino gown has a flitted corset bodice full of crystal and delicate beading, full skirt with chiffon and feathers fit for any playful princess. She carries a deep red and dark burgundy bouquet form Flowers by Coley. Hair styled by Mel and Kim of the Mermaid Salon. Makeup by Chandra Campos. Gown and accessories from Here Comes the Bride and retails for $5,100.

Wonderful White
Corrin fits perfectly into this strapless sweetheart mermaid gown with asymmetrically pleated bodice and cut organza blossom hem with blizzard beading by Vera Wang named Gemma. She finishes the look with a Rachel Lorraine designed hair accessory. She carries an artistic bouquet from Moments in Bloom.  This gown can be found at Bliss Bride in Del Mar and retails at $5,600. Hair by Joie at Brides by Blondie and Makeup by Chandra Campos.

Beaded Bliss
Stately and stylish, Amy shows her confidence in a strapless, heavy beaded , A-line gown from Stephen Yearick. This gown retails for $4,100 and is available at Here Comes the Bride in San Diego. She wears a bold choker necklace from Nordstrom and carries a full deep red and burgundy bouquet from Flowers by Coley.  Hair by The Mermaid Salon and Makeup by Chandra Campos.

Shreaded Edges
Corrin sits dainty as a princess wearing a strapless Ysa Makino gown with shredded A-line skirt. She has a crystal beaded hair band both gown and accessories are from Here Comes the Bride. This gown retails at $4,800.  Hair styled by Brides by Blondie and Makeup by Chandra Campos.

Playful Romance
Playful and fun is this white shortie gown made of silk white rosettes finished with a large crystal belt which ties in the back. The gown also has the option for a full detachable skirt to wear and remove later in the evening as the reception turns to dancing. This gown was designed by Jaime Stephens from elyseREUBEN Custom Couture Gowns and retails at $1,550. Her hair is accessorized with a feathered hair piece from Rachel Larraine. She carries a spring colorful bouquet from Moments in Bloom.  Hair styled by Brides by Blondie and Makeup by Chandra Campos.

Romantic Waves
Amy is ready for her walk down the aisle in this Junko Yoshioka’s wedding dress named Emma.  This ivory A-line dress with a strapless neckline flows to the floor elegantly.  This stylish gown is embellished with ruffles down the front of the gown and sash and may be available in beige, champagne and white. This classic bridal is sure to fit any modern day wedding. This gown can be found at Bliss Bride and retails at $4,390. She carries a full bouquet of purple and lavender flowers designed by Flowers by Coley. Her stylist hair was styled by Mel and Kim from the Mermaid Salon and her Makeup by Chandra Campos.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Real Wedding Inspiration

A beautiful wedding held at Rancho La Jolla Private Estate with beautiful ocean views.

Desiree Sherod & Cory Rohlfs   
Rancho La Jolla Private Estate

When Desiree Sherod and Cory Rohlfs began planning their wedding day, they envisioned an outdoor space with an amazing view. Rancho La Jolla Private Estate was the ideal choice to set the stage for their “Bling meets a Mid-Summer Night’s Dream” themed event. This was executed with an abundance of white fabric, dazzling crystals and candles with hints of delicate pink and purple throughout the reception. Culinary delights to wow the guests included wood-fired pizzas, osso bucco, and organic cupcakes with custom wrappers made by the bride, featuring an embossed motif and a single rhinestone in the center. A European honeymoon in Italy and Greece followed.

 Desiree’s Advice:

“Enjoy the journey towards your special day!
Choose vendors based on chemistry and
connections you make with them.”

Ceremony and Reception Venue Rancho La Jolla Private Estate    
Coordinator Liz Beck Weddings
Photography True Photography Weddings
Video Jason Taylor Films 
Florist The Floral Palette 
Linens La Tavola
Entertainment Bollotta Entertainment and The Rising Star Band 
Catering Authentic Flavors
Wedding Cake Cups La Jolla 
Invitations Plus One 
Hair Trisha Vine 
Makeup Flirt Make-up
Jewelry/Rings David and Sons 
Rentals Affairs Party Rentals