There are two constants in my house these days: breasts and HGTV. After years of claiming in all sincerity that we never watch television, seven weeks into parenthood Wifey and I now know all of the commercials by heart. Night and day, as she nurses the baby, we alternate between the stereo and the television. And while I’m not sure that this is how the term originally came into use – it’s finally dawned on me why they call it the “boob tube.”
Some day in the not-to-distant future our son will learn to hold his head up properly and our repertoire of daily activities will expand. Now, though, our options are pretty much limited to walks around the neighborhood, excursions to the supermarket, and time spent on the couch. I’m contended by the rare moments when I’m allowed to change the channel to FX. (Which for better or worse I can get away with for longer when the programming is such as Kung Fu Panda – which it was on Sunday – than when something like Iron Man is on. That night, as we fed Little Dude, ourselves, and then the little guy again, we even enjoyed the sequel together, Kung Fu Panda 2.)
It’s like parenthood flipped the switch – during the pregnancy it was hard for me to sit still long enough to watch a half an hour of television, let alone an entire movie with commercials. Now I’m just dying for more control of the remote.
For Hanukkah this year Wifey and I have decided to forgo the exchange of material goods in favor of something far more precious: some time to ourselves. I get Saturday night and she gets Sunday afternoon. Originally, I was sure I would want to take myself out to dinner somewhere fun, maybe drink some special wine with friends.
Now I just can’t wait to watch an action movie uninterrupted from start to finish in solitude – with the volume blasting – followed by a solid eight hours of sleep.
I’m not sure that these are the kinds of bubbles kids are supposed to enjoy. But this is my son we’re talking about here.
Thanks to the celebratory gifts we’ve been receiving from our generous friends, he’s already had a lot of exposure to bubbles – of the good kind. As The Winedad, however, I think it’s important that he understand even at this early age that not all bubbles come from Champagne, France.
Luckily, the timing is right – I’ve got plenty of bottles around to prove the point. To further Micah’s education I’ve even themed an entire wine collection from Le Metro – Wine. Underground around it – our first annual holiday bubbles collection (Volume VII: “Underground Bubbles”) will be available December 1.
I thought it would be fun to take a moment and briefly expose Little Dude to some of my favorite sparkling wines. Perhaps you’ll learn something too. This list is by no means definitive – it’s just here to turn you on to some styles that I personally love.
Lambrusco is one of my favorite sparkling surprises. An effervescent red wine from Emilia-Romagna, Italy, it ranges from sweet to completely dry and runs the full quality gambit. My love of this style was cemented a few years ago when a certain Lambrusco producer accompanied me to Bologna on the hunt for wedding shoes. (He will remain nameless for now as one of his wines is included in Le Metro Volume VII).
Moscato comes in all shapes and sizes. Not always sparkling – and not always Italian – it’s usually delicious, although it can sometimes be cloyingly sweet (and industrially produced). The best news: traditional sparkling Moscato comes in at only around 7% alcohol by volume. This is what I like to call “breakfast wine.”
Prosecco is one of the best-known sparkling wines in the US, and is reputed for great value. Every Italian restaurant in the country serves at least one (except for New York City’s Dell’Anima, L’Artusi, and L’Apicio, where my old buddy Joey Campanale buys the wine and bucks trends; by being a bit of a rebel, he’s assembled some of the best wine lists in the country). However, inexpensive doesn’t have to mean un-tasty. There’s some wonderful Prosecco to be found if you know where to look. (hint, hint…)
Crémant de Bourgogne represents perhaps the closest alternative to true Champagne. Burgundy and Champagne share their two main grape varieties – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – and although the former is famous for wine made without bubbles they sure do know what they’re doing when it comes to secondary fermentation. Like Champagne, Crémant is produced in both white and rosé styles.
Sparkling Torrontés from Argentina is a surprise entry on this list; honestly, it probably wouldn’t have been here a month ago. Although I was aware from my time in Mendoza that there are a lot of awesome bubbles down south, very few of them make it to North American shores. However, shortly before Micah’s birth my friend Kent from Vinos del Sol sent me home with a special bottle to enjoy. The whole family loved it – myself included. The rest is history.
Now, are you thirsty yet? I’m going to go have a glass of Moscato for breakfast with Little Micah. But if you want to learn more or try any these wines, please check out Le Metro or contact me directly!
My sister Samara calls the early days of parenthood “The Twilight Zone;” as far as I’m concerned this first month of being a Dad is a hell of a lot like the first month of college.
Our home is scattered with empty take-out containers and vomit-covered clothing – not mine or Wifey’s, I promise – and we rarely change out of our pajamas. The whole “lack of sleep” thing is only the beginning. Just like Freshman year I’m awake all night and sneaking in naps during the day, and just like back then I somehow manage to feel guilty about both. Of course in college it was easy to blame the delirium on other factors; now I’ve learned that compounded exhaustion really is enough to make you hallucinate (and/or shed spontaneous tears of laughter whilst convulsing on the floor at 3 AM).
Once again I’m living off of noodles and pizza; I’ve graduated from insta-ramen to delicious phô from the OB Noodle House and I’m proud to say that the stuff we eat out of the freezer was usually home-cooked the first time. But I almost never leave the neighborhood, and when I do I spend the whole time wondering what I’m missing out on.
Just like when I was 18 I’d give just about anything to have somebody to clean up after me. And just like when I was 18 that’s the last thing that I can afford. There’s lots of work I should be doing, but – once again – I’m convinced that the new relationship(s) I’m forming are far more important. (I’m still pretty sure I’m right about that in both cases, incidentally.)
My days and nights brim with both excitement and anxiety, just like when I first moved to New York City for school. After all, this is only the beginning. But for better or worse – unlike my undergraduate experiences – this adventure will last a lifetime.