I thought this Wine Wednesday post more appropriate today, as it being the last day of the year and lots of celebrating will take place in the next 24 hours. I also thought an homage to my beloved Veuve would be fitting to end the year. That it is Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame, makes it even better. This is one seriously special vintage bottle of wine. The one we will enjoy this eve is 2004, but any vintage year is going to be sublime. We had our first bottle of La Grande Dame in France many years ago when we went to Reims for my birthday, a cherished memory that made a life-long fan out of me.
Veuve Clicquot’s Prestige Cuvée, La Grande Dame, is a very great wine which pays homage to a very “grande dame de la Champagne,” Madame Clicquot. The incomparable finesse of this cuvée results from a blend of eight of the House’s traditional Grands Crus.
This wine has a fine, complex fragrance, blending sweetness and nobility. It is smooth and silky in the mouth, with considerable substance and structure. A remarkable balance, with a fresh, harmonious finish, and a unique aromatic aftertaste.
However you choose to celebrate this eve–whether with wine or water, a large party or solo, I wish you the very best. Thank you so much for following along on our adventures of life. My hope for all of us in this new year is that it be filled with experiences that make us learn, love & grow. To take time each day to give thanks, to laugh. To be all we hope to be.
Little jars of Veuve Clicquot vinaigrette were parting gifts last eve as guests left after Thanksgiving dinner. This is the time of year to collect any extra left at the bottom of bottles that is not consumed. Let it sit in the fridge uncorked for a few days or even weeks and then turn that liquid gold into a tasty vinaigrette to have on a healthy salad. It is a fun memory from the bottle of Champagne earlier enjoyed.
3 tablespoons Champagne
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Incredibly excited to report that we are now showing the sublime works of Seattle artist, Jeanne McKay Hartmann. Funny how life works. Jeanne has been a customer of Watson Kennedy almost since day one. I remember seeing her smiling face pop in and do a little shopping when she worked at Nordstrom and the Market shop first opened. Fast forward to now. She is also a dear friend with my lovely friend Elizabeth who was just visiting us from Rye, New York. Elizabeth is who writes the uber stylish blog Pretty Pink Tulips. I have long admired Jeanne’s work and asked her if she would consider doing pieces for the shop. She has put together pieces that have a very WK feel–with Veuve, scented geranium, Mariage Freres tea, tulips, tomatoes, sea shells and hotel silver a prevailing theme. A few of the vignettes are from things I posted on the blog or my Instagram feed, which tickles me to no end. Oh my, I was a tad light headed when she brought them all in the other day. Truly, just incredibly special works.
OK, here is the skinny. These are one of a kind works, but Jeanne can paint another/more if we sell out of one, that will look very similar. I did a quick IG post yesterday and we have already sold 2 of the Veuve bottles. She is making another 6 for me. The frames are a little over 8 inches by 10 inches. Each piece sells for $295. If one interests you, shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a ring during shop hours at 800.991.9361. We are thrilled & honored to have her work grace our walls, as a temporary home until they find their permanent one.
My inspiration in a certain color often takes flight from a single item. In this case it was the peony style tulips from the Market on Saturday that got my mind churning. The variation of oranges just so incredibly vivid and varied. From warm tones to cool, here is a bit of orange inspiration as we begin our Tuesday and I begin my week.
This Wine Wednesday post will be a shout-out to my very favorite bubbles, Veuve Clicquot. I thought I would try and keep the week French themed, as my love of the country, the people, and their joie de vivre runs deep. We were given a bottle of Vintage 2004 Veuve this Christmas, and it was such a delight. This is ‘serious treat’ Champagne. The below taken from my Google searching.
“In exceptional vintages Veuve Clicquot also produces a small amount of vintage wines. Gold Label Reserve was produced in 2002, preceded by 1999, and so on. The final cuvee will vary to reflect the character of the vintage, but the traditional blend is about 2/3 Pinot Noir and 1/3 Chardonnay, with a tiny amount of Pinot Meunier to round things out. Look for signature Clicquot power and poise, with added richness and intensity in this 2004 vintage production.”
Truly, if you ever get a chance to get your hands on a vintage bottle of Veuve, you are in for a memorable treat.
Last evening was an emotional night, with many of Whitney’s friends gathering to remember our beloved friend. It is coming up on a year since her death, and her sister thought it would be fitting to honor her at the shop that she spent so much time enjoying. We were honored too that she asked. It has been quite interesting learning to navigate life this past year for both of us when one of your closest friends is no longer part of your day to day. Being surrounded by so many people who loved & adored her felt so healing. You could feel her amazing spirit with us in some way. Her sister presented both of us books that have tremendous meaning to us. I was given A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. Mister Sive, The Wind in the Willows, which he read to Whitney the night before she died, him sitting next to her in her hospital bed. She found them for us at Shakespeare and Company in Paris, which gives them even more meaning. It was a night of cherishing friendship. A reminder to hold those you hold dear even closer and tighter as the years pass. To show them how much they mean to you. To let them know how much you love them.
Wow, where even to begin? Let’s just start by saying yesterday was a day I will never forget. Ever. It was a day filled with complete love. From start to finish.
During the day the pace was just lovely and steady with folks coming in from near and far to send best wishes and to get their books signed. The shop closed at 4 for an hour to get ready for the book signing party that started at 5.
And sign away I did. For 3 and a half glorious hours I was consumed with love. I was signing books that entire time. Seeing old friends. Meeting new folks. Truly, it was just amazing how many people came to get their book signed. Everyone was so patient, so kind, so happy. I was sort of on the verge of tears of happiness the entire time. Truly, an extraordinary memory I will treasure for the rest of my life.
I was able to have my picture taken with many of the people there in front of the Veuve banner. Veuve Clicquot played a very festive part of the evening. Which you all know holds a special place in my heart.
There was also a special Style & Simplicity cocktail with Meyer lemon we came up with that was a hit.
But ultimately it was about the people and about the love that filled the day. The above photo part of the Watson Kennedy family who worked so hard from start to finish. For those of you who attended–I say thank you. A very big thank you. I am humbled by the specialness of the day. For those of you not there reading this, I hope the photos in some way give you a bit of an idea. It was sublime. Just sublime.
Sending huge love to you all, both near and far.
From a very big smiling,
A lovely Sunday to all of you. If that means watching The Academy Awards this evening, enjoy, enjoy. If that means watching it curled up in your pjs or dressed up in a tux at a swanky party, enjoy, enjoy. I know folks who take this all quite seriously and others who think it is all completely silly. I think it is just a festive reason to hang with friends, laugh, drink a little Champagne, and watch the show. Such a fun night spent with Oscar.
Oh dear readers, it has been so helpful & lovely to have you along for the healing process of the passing of one of our very dearest friends/framily, Whitney. Your kind words in person and via e-mail have been so welcome and most helpful. Last evening we spent the most magical eve sitting in our living room in town with her sister Jennifer, who was up from Portland. Sharing stories and sharing glasses of Veuve, just as we did when our dear Whitney was among us. What comfort that brought. Life is just so very interesting with all of its twists and turns and connections–I am reminded of this fact each passing day. We have met her sister over the years, but we have really gotten to know her these last months going through this experience together. To hear her stories and for her to hear ours, was just a healthy tonic towards healing. The ‘W’ etched stone a gift from her that was a gift from the company that Whitney had spent her professional career with. It will hold a special place of honor in our home. I am actually sitting in my favorite leather club chair composing this post shortly after Jenny has left to catch her flight back to PDX. I rarely write my posts in advance, but writing this now just felt right. I had lit the votive candles that I had put on each of the window sills where I had placed them for a party we were to host on December 31 where Whitney was to be a guest. We called the party off just days before when we found out how sick she had become. They have remained there since. Unlit, just waiting for the right time. Tonight was the night. Having them lit just warms me and just makes me think of her. Her warmth, her light. The heavy rain hitting the windows creating a sort of natural music while the candles flicker about, I am transported. She is with us. Just in a different way. Oh how good it felt to see her sister gesture a certain way. Just as Whitney would have. To tell a witty story as she would have. It all felt so good. She would have loved every second of it all…
As we head into Thanksgiving week I find myself drawn even more to the colors red, yellow and orange. The Autumnal spin these colors take on this time of year just makes them a warming attraction. A quick scroll through my photos and I was drawn to bits and pieces of the trio of colors in a host of ways. Here is what caught my eye and energized me on this Monday morning.