Cheap Champagne-palooza (part 2)

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Ok, I know it’s well past New Year’s Eve, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking bubbly. My intention was to get this out before the year changed, but we ended up in a bar with a bunch of crazy guys from Holland–I got distracted (and possibly a little tipsy playing the alligator game). Anyway, part one of this post covered prosecco and this installment is covering the cheapest of the cheap. My directions to the panel of Cheap Women was pretty much along the lines of “go find the cheapest shit you can and drink it”. So, let’s see what the bravest of the ladies picked and what they had to say about them.

Baby New Year knows how to start the year off.

Baby New Year knows how to start the year off.

Lil' Brut

Lil’ Brut

I chose to review Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée over the other options, thinking I might get a better “champagne”. Nope. The “crisp apple flavor” the label mentioned, tasted mainly bitter and somewhat sour, not exactly what I would call “crisp”. It was as if I were drinking a diet coke. I hate diet coke. I do, however, like Brut “champagne”, but this Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée, did not measure up. The Big Brute took one sip, compared it to Sprite, and then poured out the remainder of the glass. I hate Sprite. We went out to meet friends later that night for a New Years Eve celebration, and when the free champagne was passed around, I passed on having a glass (actually plastic cup). The Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée, put me off having a second sip of “champagne” for the night. I toasted the New Year with Modelo Especial and a long kiss from the Big Brute, instead. I give this 1 press on nail.

Jezebelle Noir

Jezebelle Noir

Barefoot Bubbly Cuvée. I like the name. It just sounds fancy… Without the fancy price! I bought this bottle of champagne after a long day of Christmas shopping with my three kids. Let’s just say I was already trying to pry open the bottle with my teeth in the car on my way home! But don’t worry–I didn’t. I don’t drink and drive with the kids in the car. Anyway, I made it home and popped that sucker open lickity split. I waited for the bubbles to settle after erupting from the bottle, then I took a swig. Sppppppppplahhh!!!! What the? It wasn’t even swallowable! It was bitter and dry and just flat-out nasty! Tasted like monkey vomit! Or how I would imagine monkey vomit would taste like. Rating: 1 press-on nail.

Fab photo courtesy of Kittie Tattinger.

Fab photo courtesy of Kittie Tattinger.

Kittie Tattinger

Kittie Tattinger

Cook’s Brut Grand Reserve Rocks! I was shocked, so was my dh! I really thought it would suck so I prepared myself with putting happiness around me. 1st- had it for breakfast on NYE. 2nd- pulled up London’s 2012 to 13 NYE fireworks on YouTube. 3rd- used a mustard jar from Paris. I’m missing Europe and really want champagne…. First taste? nice! Second? nice! Rest of the glass? Yum…gone! Dry but not too dry. No funky aftertaste. The rest of the bottle went down quick and wished I had bought more.

4.5 press on nails. (-.5 as no height on the cork). Would buy again and hide the label. Great cheap plonk for a boozy bird!!!

Sassy Bubbles

Sassy Bubbles

Cook’s Brut Grand Reserve. This was kinda decent for the price, & if I were a teenager again I’d have totally traded in my Purple Passion! I tried, but I just couldn’t talk myself into loving it. Not sure how it got its name, cuz nothing about it shouted grand or reserve! I tried it alone first & couldn’t drink it by itself – I ended up enjoying it as a mustache mimosa! Every cheap    Champagne/sparkling wine girl needs a mustache wine glass!  2.2 press on nails

Tipsy Tiffanie

Tipsy Tiffanie

In an effort to do something for my fellow man before the end of 2013, I dove head first into the world of cheap champagne last night.  By cheap- I mean Cook’s Extra Brut….$7.95.  My hopes were not high, but armed with my best friend and Dirty Dancing on tv who could go wrong?  I’m not one for fancy stemware all the time, but we figured this might be an occasion for champagne glasses.  The first glass was brutal, but being true alcoholics, we choked it down and persevered and poured another glass.  We unanimously decided it tasted a lot like sparkling apple cider.  You know- the kind in the Welch’s bottle in the juice aisle at your local Wal-Mart?  By the time we got to the end of the bottle, we were wishing Patrick Swayze was standing in the living room threatening anyone who puts baby in the corner! All said and done- I’d give it 1.5 Press on Nails.  Would I drink it again….in a pinch….HELL YES!

Moxie Mimosa

Moxie Mimosa

Cook’s Extra Dry: The Book Club ladies and I met Saturday morning for our Christmas party, and to taste test our champagne. While our omelettes in a bag cooked (recipe posted further down), we tried our bubbly. I do believe this is the first time we ever drank Cook’s naked – meaning without it being in orange juice first. Who knew it tasted like old socks? Dirty, old socks! Hold your nose, and keep drinking until the timer goes off and your omelets are done. Now, reward yourself by putting some orange juice in your dirty sick champagne!  If give Cook’s 1 press on nail by itself, and 2 1/2 in a mimosa. But, I give the ziplock bag omelets 4 press on nails!

Venus DeRiesling

Venus DeRiesling

To quote my best friend about our libations this fine evening: “they were both crapass!” I dug deep bc i had to play catchup and drink 2 champagnes: Cupcake Prosecco and Cook’s Extra Dry. After a trip to Walmart, a bowl of hearty homemade chili, and Memphis fudge pie, me, my bff and Dallas bestie set out to do our Hussie duty, Now my bff is visiting from Memphis and was pretty excited @ Prosecco bc she just loves Prosecco…. Well, not this one. To quote my other girlfriend tonight, “it tastes like alcoholic tonic water” and made us wish we were back in our crazy, broke, college days sucking down Boones Farm! Speaking of stuff we sucked down in our glory days gone by… Cooks was a step up in that we didn’t have to pour the entire can of peach nectar into our glasses to stomach this swill.  Our assessment: Prosecco rates 1 press on nail,  and said nail fell off and cracked in half. I should’ve used super glue to hold it on and it probably would’ve tasted better than that Prosecco.  Cooks rates 1 press on nail that stayed glued!

Sparkle Spumante

Sparkle Spumante

yellow tail sparkling white wine. I should have known to stay away from anything that’s name gave me a mental image of a fluffy dog’s pee stained ass (I know- but once you’ve had to scrub dysentery off a mean Pomeranian’s ass, the image never leaves you). Usually you do the walk of shame the morning after drinking; I did the walk of shame buying this one. I should have worn a disguise because my little wine guy looked at me with a very disappointed expression. This stuff comes from Australia. I like Australia and have had massive fun with Australian friends. This stuff they should keep down under–way under. Pour it around your tents to keep dingoes from stealing babies. I couldn’t make it through half a glass, but it did make great mimosas the next day. Save this for that purpose or to take your nail polish off with. 1 dingo-chewed press-on nail by itself but makes a 3 press-on nail mimosa.

Dom Bigolo

Dom Bigolo

yellow tail sparkling white wine: Took a sip. Looked concerned. Left room and came back with scotch. No nails for you.

Chardonnay-nay Jones

Chardonnay-nay Jones

yellow tail sparkling rose wine: It looks so pretty and pink in the glass with all it’s bubbles, it makes you feel a little sexy like when Matthew McConaughey suddenly swaggers into your dream. You start feeling all flirty and girly and the bubbles make you tingly, then you take that first sip and–Oh, My God!! Suddenly it’s Dallas Buyers Club Matthew–naked!! No matter what, you can’t get that image out of your brain or taste out of your mouth…unless you keep drinking. Eventually your tongue doesn’t care, you finish the bottle and go on to have dreams about Todd Bridges (Willis) taking you to the circus. 1.5 press-on nails.

The Lesson: Because Cheap Don’t Mean Stupid

Ok, usually I blow your mind with some trivia so you can show off at your next “Cousin So-in-so got out of jail” party, but not this time. I just didn’t feel like doing the research, so the ladies came to the rescue. Thee girls happened to send little extras in with their reviews, so I thought I’d include them here as useful tips. First a health tip from Lil’ Brut.

The more blueberries you shove in to your champagne glass, the more nutritious your "champagne" becomes. (backdrop courtesy of my daughter's princess petal dress).

The more blueberries you shove in to your champagne glass, the more nutritious your “champagne” becomes. (backdrop courtesy of my daughter’s princess petal dress).

Who knew that being healthier could be so easy. In fact, Moxie Mimosa supplied us with a healthy recipe that uses plastic bags and boiling water–cheap woman version of Julia Child!

Here is the recipe for an omelet in a bag wine tasting brunch:  Write your name on a ziplock bag, put your preferred omelet ingredients (already set out in bowls by your hostess) in the bag, then add 2 eggs and zip the bag. Smash it all up together and throw all the bags in a big pot of boiling water. Set the timer for 13 minutes and open your champagne. Open the bag with your name on it, and pour your perfectly prepared omelet onto your plate. Kids and old people will love ’em!

Now, that’s my kind of recipe. Sassy Bubbles didn’t send a recipe but she did send a nice photo of an accessory that makes any cheap bubbly or mimosa even more fun to drink.

Mustache glass!!

Mustache glass!!

All the cheap women of the blog hope your 2014 has started off great. We’ll be back soon with some recipes to help make the most of cheapest, nastiest bubblies out there.



Let go.

Let go.

I don’t like New Year’s Eve. I’m admittedly a “half-empty” kind of girl, so the holiday has been more of a big, flashy reminder of what I didn’t finish than a symbol of all the possibilities to come in the new year. I make resolutions on my birthday instead of the New Year. It’s only 30 days away, so it just gives my inner procrastinator a chance to lounge around in all the bad habits I’ll be sure to swear off in my infinite list of self-mandated improvements.

On my birthday I write out a list so long and detailed that even the most disciplined, type A personality would find it difficult to achieve. And then I spend the rest of the year failing to meet most of them and berating myself for my weakness and obvious shortcomings as a wife, mother, and woman. It’s a depleting and exhausting ride and I’m ready to get off.

This year I decided to make my resolutions on New Year’s Eve instead of waiting until the end of January. Why? Because I had odd senses of hope this year instead of dread and shame. It wasn’t a great year in many ways for me and my family, but instead I chose to focus on two simple things: I published a book and kept my children healthy. Then I sat down, ready to scribble out my insane list of all my resolutions. Goals and changes began to rattle through my brain at a machine gun rate. My inner voice considers me infinitely flawed, so it isn’t hard to dig up changes I need to make. But then something happened–I switched it off. The nagging voices stopped and one thought came through, “Let it go.” It was such a simple, pure thought that settled on me like the feeling of a blue sky and crisp air. I could breathe in that thought. I could hold my face up to it and feel it like the warmth of the sun.

So this is my resolution as its three small words encompass everything for me without the feeling of being overwhelmed.

I will let go of the comfortableness of distractions and embrace what is truly going on around me no matter how much it scares me.

I will let go of the shame of my unwashed dishes and cluttered house and embrace the reality that my children will remember how much time I spent with them more than the dust bunnies in the corners.

I will let go of living in the “should haves” of the past and the “need to’s” of the future and embrace the “I am” of the moment.

I will let go of obsessing over making projects perfect and embrace the joy of completion and the wisdom that comes with mistakes.

I will let go of the fear I have of loss and never having again that prod me to hang on to everything. I will embrace the feelings of how light I’ll feel when I’m able to release the clutter. I will let go off the shame I may feel when it doesn’t go as quickly as I want.

I will let go of comparing myself to others and always feeling less than. I will embrace the word “enough” and believe myself to be just that.

I will let go of the labels the schools and doctors put on my children and wash my hands of fretting over the fact that my kids do not fit smoothly into ranks of our education system. Instead, I will embrace all the gifts my children have and embrace the fact that it’s not the sheep who become the leaders—average cannot breed extraordinary.

I will let go of my need to apologize for things I have no control over.

I will let go of the chains of anger and hurt I feel for those who wronged and abused me when I was so vulnerable, for those chains keep me bound to them. I will learn to embrace forgiveness and the freedom that comes with it.

I will let go of the fear that comes with every wrinkle that I’m losing the only asset people thought I had. I will embrace the things inside me and not worry if others see them or not.

I will let go of the guilt I carry for the wrongs I’ve done—real and perceived—decades ago.

I will let go of my fear that I will make a wrong decision that will disappoint others or make me look like a fool. I will embrace the excitement of chance and the possibilities on the other side of that first leap.

I will let go of my hatred I harbor towards my hips and thighs. I will embrace that I am a woman with curves that my husband loves and that my thick thighs are full of ballet and track-trained muscle.

I will let go of the worry and anger over scuffed walls, stained carpets and chipped furniture created by my boys and embrace—truly embrace—that these moments are fleeting and will be missed.

I will let go of the worry that I’m not forcing my children into the adult-worthy schedule of activities that many kids around them have. I will embrace that simply allowing them to be children is the greatest gift I can give them.

I will let go of feeling like a victim and embrace that I’m a survivor.

I will let go of my desire to mirror the lives of others around us who I don’t even know. I will embrace the life that mirrors my soul and all its quirks and uniqueness.

I will let go of the fear that I will never leave my mark on this world and I will embrace the people around me who’s hearts I leave marks on every day.

I will let go of my angst over the dog hair on everything and the holes in the yard and spend more time marveling at the wonder that a species, so different from us, wants nothing more than to love her human pack.

I will let go the heavy weight of all the ugly memories, feelings and fears that I carry so that my arms will be free to embrace life.

I will let go of the security of keeping my feet planted. I will spread my arms and leap, embracing my dreams as I soar.

I will let go.

Let go.

Let go.