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This year’s drinking adventure has been an incredible learning experience about so many things, number one of which is spend wisely.  The rest do not fall in any particular order, but will be addressed.

Our guide

Our guide

This is week 52 in The Year of Drinking Adventurously and in the true calendar year.  A new year is upon us shortly.  Many of us will be celebrating the new year with some glass of bubbly wine, most common of which is champagne.  Champagne, which hails from the French region of Champagne, is very highly regulated.  Champagne is not the only region in France that makes a sparkling wine.  In the Alsace region, they make Cremant d’Alsace, which will give some of the finer champagnes a run for their money.

I’m a little disappointed to say, I have not yet completed this week’s assignment.  The holidays and travel got in the way, but in my defense, I have been drinking a lot of prosecco lately.  Prosecco is a sometimes sparkling wine from Italy.  I say sometimes because not all prosecco is sparkling; there is a still variety.  The ones I generally indulge in are bubbly, and cheap!  Part of their low price point is because a good portion of their fermentation occurs in steel tanks.

This leads me to one of the lessons from this year.  You must have balance in life and in flavors.  Prosecco can be sweet or dry, just like champagnes and life.  We have days where all we need is someone to be sweet to us and give us a hug.  Other days I just need you and everyone else to leave me the hell alone.  Headphones in, phone off, and a marathon of Midsommer Murders to get me back in balance.

The next life nugget I’ll share with you is mix a good cocktail.  There is nothing worse than something that tastes like… nothing.  Boring.  You should always keep your cocktails and your life in balance.  Back in 1948 at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy the Bellini was invented using prosecco and fresh peach puree.  A cocktail so lovely we still enjoy it at brunches all the time.  So, if you want to be invited back, you had better mix a good cocktail.

Now, we have all been guilty of this at some point, but don’t spend money just because the label is pretty.  This is a tough one, because it’s so fun to see a pretty label and buy the book, or bottle, just based on the cover.  Conversly, something being really expensive is no indication that the quality is any better than a bottle half the price.

I’m going to leave you with this final thought as we head off into a new adventure.  Life is to be savored.  There is something to be said for moderation.  The leisurely dinner, with lots of courses, is how we should be enjoying our lives.  Taste everything, leave no samples untouched, and keep an open mind.  You may find that the thing you thought you’d like the least, turns into your favorite.

Cheers to you all and to Meg who kep me company on this journey.  Let’s see what toasts our new year brings,  Here’s a brief look back at a few of this year’s drinks.

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