Good American sparkling wine

Champagne Cork Roederer Estate

“When in Rome, do like the romans”. I’m still in America and should do like the Americans. When choosing some good sparkling wine for this new years eve I could happliy choose a good bottle of the real thing, Champagne. Because the US is one of the worlds biggest markets for genuine Champagne. And yes, Champagne is a sparkling wine that is made, and only made in Champagne, France. No other sparkling wine should ever be called Champagne.

But, they make wine here in the US as well. Even sparkling ones. After tasting some of them I could have gone to the conclusion that they are all crap, but they’re not. Some of them are far too sweet and full bodied for my taste but it’s all about knowledge. Knowledge about finding the good ones.

Knowledge that I don’t have. Fortunately I have a brother-in-law that is one of the world’s best tasters and a living encyclopedia of wine. One phonecall later: “Look for Iron Horse or Roederer Estate.”

Champagne Roederer Estate

So I did, and today we tasted the Anderson Valley Brut from Roederer Estate. At $15 it is remarkably complex and very good. Not like really good true Champagne, but a very good sparkling wine indeed!

Tomorrow we’ll taste the Roederer Estate Brut Rosé and for the evening dinner: Iron Horse Clasic Vintage Brut 2000. And what’s our new years eve dinner down here in sunny Florida?
Fresh shrimp from the gulf tossed in lots of freshly ground Malabar Pepper and grilled…

Granita

If you for some strange kind of reason should have any leftovers you make this lovely
Granita with Pink Grapefruit

1/2 cup (1 dl) water
1/2 cup (1 dl) sugar
Cook and stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Chill to room teperature.

Add:
Juice from one pink grapefruit
1/4 cup (1/2 dl) sparkling wine

Freeze for about one hour (until you have a thin layer of ice on the top and around the sides). Take out of the freezer and stir around. Mix the ice shards with the liquid. Put back in the freezer.
Repeat this process until the granita is icy and granular.

Should be served within a couple of hours.

Iron Horse Champagne

As a curiosity I also want to mention that I found it very flattering that at age 35 I had to show an ID before I could buy these bottles of great American sparkling wine over at “Total Wine”. By the way, the biggest wine store I have ever visited.

Update:
And if you can’t afford sparkling wine at all head over here. LOL…

Good American sparkling wine

Flying 8 hours with a video iPod and a kid

iPod in a plane

To stay 8 hours in a plane isn’t fun for anyone. Especially not for a kid. To stay sane on a direct flight from Oslo to New York you have to bring every possible time killer available. No comparison necessary, the winner was the new iPod with video playback. Loaded with lots of Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, Teletubbies etc.

Griffin iPod Juice

Only one problem. It gives you 4-5 hours of video playback on one charge. As mentioned earlier – I’m in the US. It’s gadget time. CompUSA to the rescue. A little external box from Griffin Technologies. It’s called TuneJuice and is yours for $14.90 right now. One standard 9V battery gives you about 4 hours of extra juice.

I also considered a box from Belkin running on four AA batteries giving more power, but went for the small Griffin box after reading some reviews. Of course I can’t give you a proper description of my experience yet. You’ll have to wait until I have done the hard test: 3 + 8 hours on a plane on my way back from Florida to Oslo…

Coming up soon on eirikso.com:
My experience in converting DVD and video to iPod files
The Griffin PowerMate – why I love this little wheel
Sleeptracker – does it work?

…and other stuff that I for some reason want to share. :-)

At the same time I recommend you to subscribe to my email updates or RSS feed. As you may have noticed, I don’t post huge amounts of articles. Checking back and checking back just to find nothing new is boring. An update subscription solves that!

Flying 8 hours with a video iPod and a kid

This picture is not from a zoo

Do not feed

Context is everything. This picture is of a sign that is fairly common here in Florida. Quite exotic for a norwegian that lives in a country where a tiny snake is one of the most dangerous animals you can bump into. A tiny snake that will hurt you slightly more than a common bumble bee if it bites.

If this sign was placed in a zoo it would not be very interesting. Context and expectations are important for all stories. For marketing. For blogs. For podcasts. Don’t underestimate the value of a good backgound story. A story about yourself, about the situation around what you are communicating. The story about Herkko Heitanen and Lehtovaara is not that interesting without the background information that tells you that Mr. Heitanen is a lawyer specialized within IT-law and a founding member of one of the biggest cyber rights organization in Europe. The movie Super Size Me is of course not very interesting if you don’t know that it is a true story and that the maker of the movie actually did eat all that junk.

I have a brief About Eirikso page here at my blog. It is brief, but I think it is important. I think it adds value to what you read here if you have at least a little bit of background on the author.

Don't feed the alligators

Back to the alligators. To the right you can see the picture of the sign with a bit more context. The last time we where here we had a big alligator called Ollie living in the small lake at the golf course outside our window. He is not there anymore. Rumor says that he started a diet that included one of the gardeners at the course. Bad idea.

Anyway, I managed to snap this picture back in 2004:

Ollie the Alligator

Of course I didn’t feed him. And I don’t need the threat of a $500 fine to not consider feeding a gator like Ollie…

This picture is not from a zoo

It’s gadget time!

Sleeptracker

I’m currently in the US and will be here for about a month. I will mostly stay at the same place. What does that mean? People living in the US will of course not see any obvious and revolutionary advantages from this fact. Apart from the fact that being in the US is quite fun in general.

I’ll give you some hints: Amazon, eBay, Best Buy. Webshops! Ordering stuff from the fantastic assortement of Amazon when you live in Norway is OK, but it always include huge amounts of waiting, payment of taxes and hideously expensive shipping.

Now, for the next four weeks I can order stuff for something close to half the price compared to buying the same goods from my home in Norway.

I don’t have unlimited amounts of money, so I have to consider each purchase carefully.

That’s why I kick this off with a product that I have absolutely no faith in. The Sleeptracker. I have read fantastic reviews. I understand the concept. Still, I don’t think it can help this seriously sleepless blogger.

But if it can. I mean – wake me up after my not-even-close-to-enough hours of sleep at a moment that makes the horrible exercise of getting up slightly easier. It’s worth every cent.

Of course I’ll be back here with more info when it arrives.

It’s gadget time!