I love visual art. Growing up, I would attend museums whenever possible, and pour through coffee table books of famous paintings. Good visual art – whether one likes it or not – makes one think and feel. A couple of years ago, while conducting some online research, I stumbled upon a recreation of Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting Starry Night – completely made out of bacon. This version of Van Gogh’s masterpiece combined two things I love – fine visual art and pork.
As one can see from the photo above, the likeness between the bacon matches the original pretty well. A step-by-step process on how to fashion the Bacon Starry Night can be found here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Van-Gogh-for-Breakfast/ Another amazing bacon pairing I recently attended was Bacon and Bubbly, a monthly event held at WineExpo, a boutique wine and spirits store in Santa Monica. This event pairs five gourmet bacons with five scrumptious champagnes.
Completely concealed from the street, a large tasting room is located in the store. A rotating collection of elegant art adorns the walls.
Once seated, my party and I were treated to a little rose to cleanse the palette, and then we started off with our first champagne. Unique and eclectic tableware is used throughout. I really want to get a set of those rooster plates.
And then the bacon arrived. Five different selections, with bread, crackers, peanuts and olives completed the offering. I really like that they serve all the bacon to you at once, because it let’s one taste each kind of bacon with each champagne at their own pace. Now, I do believe these change per month, but here are the ones we sampled:
- For the Love of Hog! Apple Cinnamon Bacon – Subtle hints of apple . Sublime.
- Bourbon Street Vanilla Bourbon Bacon – My favorite of the group. This was the perfect yin and yang combination of savory and sweet. Highly delectable – I could eat this every day.
- Rocco’s Private Reserve Sun Dried Tomato Bacon – My second favorite. I would add this to spaghetti or carbonara pasta. The tomato influences highly dominate. Rich and sun-kissed.
- Big Daddy’s Cracked Pepper Garlic Bacon – Ideal for breakfast, this is a bacon classic. This would be great on BLT’s. Robust and tasty.
- Coastal Calliente Chipotle Bacon – This was served to us as a country-cut, which is a much thicker piece of bacon. Spicy and sultry. I loved it.
And then there were the five champagnes, all of which were delicious. My two favorites were:
- Arunda Metodo Classico Extra Brut Riserva, Alto Adige Italy – This beguiling bubbly beverage uses grapes harvested in the Alps. Sweet, lush, and addictive.
- Gardet Selected Reserve a Chigny-les-Roses – One of two rose sparkling champagnes we tried this had the perfect amount of sweetness. I love that pinot noir and chardonnay are the two main components,, creating a flavorful luxuriousness to the drink.
Crostini – As assortment of various crostini can be ordered on their select menu, in addition to selection offerings from Pizzas of Venice.
Bacon Brownie – This tantalizing morsel was our dessert for the tasting, Available from Bacon Freak, it’s a divine treasure and currently, they’re on sale for $1.00 each right here: http://www.baconfreak.com/bacon-brownies.html
It wasn’t just the champagne and bacon that allured me to WineExpo, but also the art on the walls. In feng shui, art is vital in creating a peaceful and rejuvenating environment. There is good, beneficial art for the home, and there are paintings and art that are not good for the home. All the art here is displayed in a museum-like setting, and the current display is highly auspicious. One good example is pictured above. A peaceful landscape is brilliant for nearly any room in a home. Here are some other tips when looking for ideal feng shui art:
- You Need to Love It – Art is subjective, and if there is a piece of art displayed in your home that you despise and loathe, I suggest removing it, or relocating it to a place where it will not be seen often. Art for the home has different meanings, depending on the room and environment. But regardless, if one doesn’t like the art hanging, it will only attractive sha (negative energy) to the area.
- Landscapes – As I said before, beautiful landscapes are brilliant for attracting chi (good energy) to a home. Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, and John Singer Sargent are a few of many brilliant landscape artists.
- No War or Shipwrecks – Images portraying war, hunting, or sinking ships are generally not auspicious for most rooms in a house.
- Severed Limbs are Bad – The same goes with paintings of dead bodies or severed limbs. This is especially true for kitchens and dining rooms where food is prepared. This type of art can literally ruin a person’s appetite, and dissuade people from using the space. Even if it’s a Salvador Dali, if there are arms and legs just hanging about in the scene, the art doesn’t belong in a room where people eat or prepare food.
- Romancing the Stone – For the bedroom, find art that is sensual in nature to you. This will help to attract more romantic chi.
- Winnie-the-Pooh – For children’s rooms, find art that is pastel in colors, and images that are calming and peaceful. Winnie and his group are great examples.
What do you see? In this painting from the tasting room, I see a woman in a ball gown about to shoot an arrow. But there can be several different interpretations.
WineExpo has an enormous selection of choice wine, beer, and liquor. I was fortunate to also attend their 20th Anniversary Celebration, where I sampled even more of their scintillating libations. My favorite hands-down was the Tirle ’04 Rosso Tuscano, a heavenly Italian red. A bottle of it came home with me. (Notice that there is a small vineyard landscape on the label.)
The staff here is absolutely excellent, Alicia, Nick, and Roberto were all friendly, humorous and highly educated about wine and spirits. Speaking of education, they also offer wine classes among the many great events at WineExpo. Others include their 20 Wines for $20 Nights, where one may sample twenty wines for the unbelievable price of $20.00. These occur on Mondays and Thursdays. The other five days of the week they have their Happy Hour, from 5:00 – 7:00, which glasses of wine are 50% off. And on Tuesdays, for beer lovers, they have their 15 Beers for $15 Night. Bacon and Bubbly has become an incredible hit, and is now a monthly happening! Live music performances, gourmet food trucks, and other exciting ventures color their social scene. More information about future events can be found here: http://wineexpo.com/events/ Their website is updated often, and contains a wealth of wine knowledge. A small lot provides ample parking.
My next visit will be during the month of October, when I will be attending the next Bacon and Bubbly. I wonder if such a thing as pumpkin bacon exists? Hmmmm….
2933 Santa Monica Blvd Santa Monica, Ca 90404
Wine Store Hours: Monday – Wednesday 10:00 am – 10:00 pm, Thursday – Saturday 10:00 am – Midnight, Sunday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Tasting Room Hours: Sunday – Wednesday 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Thursday – Saturday 5:00 pm – Midnight