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With the James Bond movie Spectre being released today, no time could be better to drink Bollinger. The most suave spy in the world has been sipping on Bollinger since Moonraker in 1979. While we can’t all drive a fully loaded, customized machine gun having Aston Martin, we certainly can chill down a bottle of Bolli! The 2004 Bollinger "Grande Année" Brut Champagne ($109) is as good as Champagne gets; all barrel fermented and full of masculine, Pinot Noir power and high class elegance. We even have a few bottles of the limited 2009 Bollinger "James Bond 007" Brut Champagne ($195) in stock for the diehard fan of Bond & Champagne!

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Food-Pairing Friday: Vegetable Crumble

Photo courtesy of Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites.

Every week, before I load a rainbow of reusable bags and rickety crate-on-wheels into my dusty green Subaru and head out to one of the many Los Angeles-area farmers' markets, I sit down and I menu plan. And every week I promise myself that I'll make at least one entirely vegetarian meal for Meatless Monday. But it rarely happens. I was, actually, a vegetarian many moons ago, but it's something I grew out of, like patchouli oil and tie dyes. I no longer believe meat-eating is an all-or-nothing proposition, and I prefer to have some on my plate -- J&J Grassfed beef, Jimenez Family Farm's lamb and pork, Lily's chicken -- at most meals because I find a lot of vegetarian mains less than satisfying. That's why I was super-excited when my friend Matt Armendariz at the blog Matt Bites posted a recipe for a vegetable crumble. Like Matt, I love crumbles but have never thought to make a savory one. Matt's recipe uses summer vegetables like zucchini and tomatoes, which sound fantastic (especially given the balmy weather persisting on the West Coast), but I've been in Boston for the last week where it's been a brisk 30 degrees in the morning, and that's got me craving Kabocha squash, parsnips and Jerusalem artichokes. 

With a richer, earthier root vegetable version of this crumble, I'd seek out a fuller wine with plenty of acid, like the 2009 Weingut Allram Gaisberg Grüner Veltliner Kamptal Reserve ($19.99). From one of the top sites in the Kamptal, this wine is made by the young Michaela Haas, the fourth generation of her family to run the Allram domaine. Its lemon-pepper character carries over from nose to palate, fleshing out with muskmelon flavors, white pepper spice, minerality and plenty of acidity, though it's a bit rounder than some of the other Grüners we sell. A delicious wine to add another dimension to your veggie crumble that's so good, that combined, you might not even think about what's not on your plate.

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