Warning: Mary is revealing her inner snob in this post… reader beware.
I’ve been training for months to run my first ½ marathon, and this past Sunday was the big day! I flew to Madison Wisconsin to meet a friend whom I have not seen in over 3 years. This was our idea of a reunion… running 13.1 miles together.
Hard work? Yes!
Worth it? Hell yes!
Am I going to do another someday? Hell yes!
I’m not gonna lie to you, we didn’t finish with what some in the running world would call “good time”… but we stuck together every step of the way, and Kristin even stopped and waited for me when I took a 7 mile marker potty break. I just couldn’t hold it for 6 more miles (must have been race day nerves), plus we were conveniently located by Martha’s house (whom I will discuss later) so I didn’t even need to use a gross port-a-johnny.
Of course after running 13.1 miles you must hydrate afterward. Our first method of hydration was beer - Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat to be exact (I was in the mid-west). And we were, after all, at the Worlds Largest Brat Festival (they conveniently hold the Madison Marathon in conjunction with the Worlds Largest Brat Festival each year). After our beer and (Boca) brat, we ventured home for the real celebration.
(That's me on the right enjoying my Leinie's, and yes I was wearing a green terrycloth headband, thank you very much)
I understand that we do live in tough economic times, and that not everyone wants to spend their hard earned cash-ola on Gods true nectar - real Champagne... even though I did just run 13.1 miles (eh-hem, I think I've earned it!). But when in doubt, and when in Madison Wisconsin with few options, and with less than $10 to spend on bubbles, I say go for Cristalino or Segura Viudas Brut Reserva. Now for under $10 you do have some options for bubbles. Not too many mid-west grocery stores, however, carry everything that I could mention to you. But they do carry lots of bad options (eh-hem Cooks & Andre, to name 2).
So during our little post-race bbq Martha (she who kindly let me use her bathroom during the race) showed up with a congratulations present for Kristin and myself… our very own ½ bottles of Cook’s. Thank you? Now, she meant well in bringing us bottles of bubbles, and I did sincerely appreciate the gift, but let me share with you why this stuff gives bubbly a bad name. Why? Because I care about your bubble choices!
The truth - Cook’s is the reason people blame their headaches on the “Champagne” they drank the night before. First of all, Cook’s is not Champagne okay so stop calling it that! Second, I am here to tell you that it is not “Champagne” that gives you headaches; it’s poorly made carbonated sugary grape juice that gives you the headache. For a few more bucks you can buy something that actually tastes good and won’t give you a sugar-induced headache!
If you want my opinion, and you don’t want to spend more than $10 on a bottle of bubbles, and you’re in the mid-west at a grocery store with few bubbly options, go for these 2 that are widely available and I have seen at most grocery stores all over the country:
Both retail at approx $8 (and are usually on sale for closer to $7), and are solid everyday “go to” value bubbles! They won’t let you down, are great for any style Mimosa, and equally pleasing while drunk on their own.
Otherwise, stick to beer!
At the end of the day, however, I did run 13.1 miles and was damn proud of myself… so out of sheer appreciation for the gesture, I happily drank my ½ bottle of Cook’s and was okay with suffering the inevitable consequences. But when I got back to Portland, you’re damn right I celebrated properly with a bottle of one of my favorite domestic sparklers, my trusty go to Gloria Ferrer Brut Rose (also a fantastic value if you ask me). Yum!