Tea Time By The Sea Side

File Feb 05, 5 42 39 PMSoooo…..this post is not about wine. Well, it’s not all about wine. I know, I know, this is a wine blog, but sometimes, not often, I do drink other things. And last Sunday, I had the opportunity to drink some non-alcoholic beverages in the most glorious of settings. So of course, I want to tell you about it.

File Feb 05, 5 45 39 PMHusband’s Aunt was celebrating her birthday and a fancy tea party was planned at Inn De La Mer. If my personality has come through at all on this blog, you’ll know that I love any excuse to get dressed up, especially if it involves wearing fancy headwear[1]. So I made my way down to the sea shore and pulled up to my destination. It was an old church that has been lovingly converted into one of the most beautiful bed and breakfasts I’ve had the occasion to visit. One of those places where your jaw literally drops the moment you walk in the door.

File Feb 05, 5 43 06 PMWe had lots of tea and lots of lovely little bites, all of which were delicious[2]. From avocado stuffed cucumbers to turkey, brie and cranberry puffs, we ate like Queens. For dessert there was a trio of chocolate mousse cupcake, fresh fruit drowned in fresh whipped crème, and a lemon meringue mousse tart. Heaven. The presentation was spectacular, every detail was planned out and executed beautifully. Even the weather cooperated and we enjoyed a record-breaking 60 degree Sunday. In January. In New England.

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Once the party games had been played[3], and the guests said their goodbyes. I broke out the bubbly[4], offered our host a glass, and went around on a photo binge. I couldn’t not photograph this place, and I might as well drink some bubbly while I was at it. Am I right? The owner and I had a great chat, but I tried not to overstay my welcome, so I only popped one bottle, but I can guarantee you, I will be back. I’m thinking a #WineEsquire wine dinner. What do you think?

#SundayFunday at its finest folks.

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] My fascinator collection is extensive. I even have a few from Jolly Old England.
[2] If this were my tea party, we obviously would have had some #bubbly too, but alas, it was not my tea party.
[3] An exciting rendition of What’s In Your Purse, and Draw a Tea Pot on Your Head. I won the tea pot drawing game after a tie-breaking second round with Gram. #artist. I really wish I had a photo.
tea party tweet[4] Yes I brought bubbly. You just never know. A bottle of my go-to, always keep a bottle in the fridge, Segura Viudas Brut Cava.

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This chandelier is glorious. We learned that the tin ceiling and walls were original to the church and had survived there since the 1800s
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Looking down on the festivities from the old choir loft
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The appropriately named European Suite
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I can just imagine curling up by the fire for hours with a bottle of wine and a good book
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In the third story bell tower they’ve created a lovely sitting nook with floor to ceiling bookshelves featuring photos of couples that were married at the church. How amazing is that?

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Celebrating In Style

Musings on Lawsuits, Trademarks, Lawyering, Veuve Clicquot and Buying a Castle in Scotland

Sometimes it’s really awesome to be a lawyer. Like two days ago when I got notice that a federal court judge ruled in my client’s favor on a summary judgment motion effectively ending the case[1]. This has been a long, drawn out, emotional and bumpy ride, and my clients were finally vindicated.[2] It was great to deliver the news that the decision we’d hoped for[3] had finally arrived! Not only was this big for the clients, this was big for me. This case was a huge undertaking, the first case of this magnitude that I had ever done, and it was one that I could not have done without the expert assistance of my co-counsel who guided me through every step of the process. It was an amazing IMG_7705learning experience, from taking my first deposition[4] to arguing (multiple times) in federal court, to drafting and submitting literally thousands of pages of discovery and legal argument.

When I thought things couldn’t get better, I realized I was about to hit 5,000 followers on Instagram, a milestone I thought called for a celebration[5]! How fitting to celebrate with the delicious bubbly gifted to me by another client! #lawyerlife

To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               July 17, 2015
Wine:              Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Vintage Brut 2004 –
A Veuve Clicquot Review
IMG_7698Let me paint the scene for you. It’s Friday afternoon in mid-July; the weather is gorgeous, no sweltering heat or mugginess to be found. The breeze is blowing, the garden is blooming, and the sun is setting. Husband is home after a few days away, the week is over weekend is beginning, and we’re celebrating. The feast before us consists of truffle infused goat cheese, duck liver pâté, salty cow’s cheese, a crusty baguette and some Medjool dates[6]. We pop the bottle of 2004 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, pour it into our creepy awesome crow’s feet champagne flutes, and instantly know this is not your run-of-the-mill bubbly. The bubbles are super refined. The fizz is delicate. It is absolutely effervescent. I get notes of pear. Husband gets the smell of ionized water, like at the bottom of a waterfall. It’s an experience. One I’m not likely to soon forget. So get out there and work you’re a$$ off for a client and maybe they’ll buy one for you. If that doesn’t happen, then drop the 60 to 80 beans to buy a bottle and have an absolutely amazing evening!


Wine Dossier: A Brief History of Vueve Clicquot
I had always assumed Veuve Clicquot[7] had a long history of making delicious bubbly. I hadn’t realized, however, that its fascinating time line dates back from 1772 when Philippe Clicquot, who owned several vineyards, decided to start a wine business. By 1798 his son François had joined him in running the company. Upon François’ death in 1805, his widow[8], or veuve in French, Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin[9], took over operations, a groundbreaking move in a war-torn world run by men, especially since she was only 27. Madame Clicquot led the company to storied greatness, starting with the debut of theIMG_7704 first vintage champagne in 1810 and the creation of the riddling rack, a crucial step necessary for the efficient production of champagne. She quickly became known as “La Grande Dame” of Champagne among her bubbly peers.

Fun Fact: The oldest unopened bottle of Veuve Clicquot is from 1893. It was discovered in 2008 inside a piece of furniture at Torosay Castle on the Isle of Mull in Scotland[10]. The priceless bottle, thought to be in perfect condition due to its storage in a dark cabinet, is now on display at the Veuve Clicquot visitor center in Reims, France.

The bottle label’s unique yellow coloring has been around for more than a hundred years. As a trademark attorney, I can tell you that it’s rare for color to be deemed a trademark, or source indictor[11]. In must what have been one of the earliest such filings, if not the earliest, the company registered the yellow label as a trademark on February 12, 1877. Trademark protection for the colored label continues today, more than 138 years later, in the US, the EU and Australia.[12]

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] #copyrightinfringement
[2] Yes, yes, I know. There is a 30 day right to appeal. I am not counting my eggs before they’re hatched, but either way, this was a big win.
[3] For more than two years!
[4] Which lasted more than 8 hours and went until about 10 p.m. My second deposition, with an expert witness, was about the same.
[5] Though these exciting events happened a few days ago, Husband was away and I couldn’t bring myself to open the bubbly without him!
[6] Thanks, Whole Paycheck Foods.
[7] Word to the wise, it’s not pronounced voovey clee kwot…it’s voov clee coe. Listen to the correct pronunciation here.
[8] Their fathers’ businesses were next store to each other and they thought consolidating would be better for everyone. It was an arranged marriage. For more of Madame’s inspiring history check this out.
[9] Hence the name, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. Fascinating, right?
torosay[10] Another fun fact: Husband and I plan to buy Torosay Castle someday in the near future. This photo of it has been on our fridge for the last seven years, ever since we heard about this Clicquot story. #lifegoals
[11] Tiffany’s (the “Tiffany Blue Box”), Christian Louboutin (“Famous Red Soles”), and Owens Corning (pink insulation) are among the few that have successfully obtained color based trademarks.
[12] Now that’s some serious #lawyering