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In This Issue

Weekly Column

Come join the editor Jennifer Barnick as she searches for the Champagne Life....

click for daily column

Sparkling Wine

Feature Speaking with Fred Frank about his father Willy Frank

Sparkling Wine Review Real champagnes with real terroir by John Euclid

Arts & Sciences What's the deal with sulfites in wine and why the warning? byTimothy Smith, PhD

Industry News ...a brief survey of sparkling wine news

First Person

HelloGoodbye Cassandra H. Katsiaficas says hello and Wayne Scheer says goodbye

Passion Forum Suzie Sims-Fletcher shares the joy blue fake fur and PB&Js

Under the Goldlight—True Tales of Drinking ChampagneDave Brown sets out to see if lightning can strike twice

Life Before Ten The sneaky mean bully exposed by Rose Tolstoy

Art & Literature

The Marcia Reed Virtual Gallery The paintings of Marcia Reed

Drinker's Poetry Deborah M. Priestly and Robert Slattery

"The Woman" by La Vonne Schoneman

TRUE new non-fiction by J. Blake Gordon

Film in ReviewAnna Luciano reviews a current release; Fritz Voigt ponders a current DVD rental, and David Sirois gives us a great movie that won't be checked out

Other Goodies

Founder's Page Greeting from Dr. Timothy Smith

Letters to the Editor click for full list

Photo Gallery Click for Pics


Picture of Jennifer Barnick

In Search of the Champagne Life
by Jennifer Barnick

 Click here for introductory column




The Summer Issue is Finally Out


Frantic Breaks Can Tell A Lot

         Just a month ago I was reminded of my usual belief that things always happen for the better…and while I may not know it at the time…when I find myself wishing things were different periodically the universe shows her hand and I laugh at all of my previous worry. I was at the park with some of my lady friends enjoying a break from the city heat under a tree. One of the ladies had actually scooped the house I had set my heart on in the neighborhood and I remember at the time feeling disappointed and frustrated that I could not land the quaint little house. I had never mentioned this to her and I do not even think she knew that I had been her competitor. During our conversation I told her how she had won the place from my earnest clutches and she laughed and said that I was lucky. She then told me that she now calls her home “the house the Job built” and that everything that could go wrong with a house had and things only seemed more grim as the alcoholic neighbor’s son had been recently sprung from prison only to be even louder and more disruptive than his beer swigging mom who apparently spends the whole night in her driveway drinking and yelling out for her wayward cat Strawberry. “Straaaaaaw-berrrrry…Straaaaaaaaaaaw---BERRRRRY!!!”

         For all of my staff writers and anyone else trying to get in contact with me over the last couple of months this has surely been one of the more trying times for me—them—and The Better Drink. Everything that could go wrong did and even my own personal life took more twists and turns than a treacherous road scene in a Hitchcock movie. As the time dragged on with the magazine still not released, my column gathering cobwebs (sorry to my dearest sailors and patrons) and my email continuing to not let me send out messages for the first time I intentionally took a step back and wondered if this little electronic magazine was something I really—truly wanted in my life. After all, before The Better Drink I was living what I already thought was a fabulous existence of writing sordid tales and painting portraits of charming gents and ladies alike with the occasional dramatic romantic personal upheaval. I was the strange bird who changed streams when the stream I was in was perfectly sublime. With everything going wrong left and right I decided that this would be the perfect time to take a step back and question everything. I even, in a sort of charming, over-dramatic move returned to my hometown and viewed with the clearest eyes possible where I had come from and where I now was.

         The Champagne Life I do not believe is still. And I believe in all of my thinking and viewing as everything was sort of caving in (which by the way is an ideal backdrop for any type of serious pausing) I came to see that actually what I really like to do and have always been doing was to search for the Champagne Life and then perhaps to share with anyone who cared to listen or perhaps to laugh right along beside me, all that I have come to discover. And I suppose that somewhere in that realization The Better Drink makes complete sense for in working to create a new issue with each turning season I am able to make contact with, learn, and be inspired by amazing artists, thinkers, wine makers, business men and woman, writers, poets, and even a few insane—all under the auspice of publishing their words, thoughts, feelings, and even sometimes their souls in an effort to offer the world something sincere and hopefully entertaining.

         I would like to deeply thank all of my contributors for this issue. You have all been the model of patience and I truly am sorry for all of the trials, absences, and delays that this issue endured. And to my readers know that The Better Drink is rolling full steam ahead and will continue to strive to bring you the best in the sparkling wine world as well as the best in true life stories, art and literature. For all of the trouble I am proud to say that due to the hard work of many—very often in the face of my all too dragging feet—this is truly a great issue and it is my hope whether you are waiting out a sunburn on your vacation or wishing you were that you will enjoy a few stolen moments on your computer enjoying this newest issue.

         The house that Job built…sometimes that was how I truly felt…but I realized as I re-walked the same steps I had as a child as I walked up towards Yosemite Falls that while I had at the time bemoaned many of the problems and felt both frustrated and disappointed that in truth I could not be more lucky. And I suppose that sometimes it takes a good bout of falling down to realize just how great and grand a cold glass of champagne and a serious tale of woe can be.

         It is my sincerest hope that you all have a wonderful summer and that you use all of your disappointments and frustrations over these terribly warm and sentimental months (truly can anyone actually be in their heart over eighteen in the summer?) to laugh out loud by how delicious and enlightening trouble can be.




Previous Columns Spring '06 Issue
A Ten Year Plan 6/1/06
Get It While It’s Hot? 5/26/06
How To Tame A Little Mouse 5/11/06
Strength Lies Beneath 5/4/06
Forget Freud—Just Open A Cupboard! 4/21/06
Lying: A Bold Experiment 4/18/06
On Having a Master Plan 4/11/06
Maybe We Should Sweat The Little Things 3/31/06
The New Spring Issue Is Out...Finally! 3/21/06
Previous Columns Winter '06 Issue
Forgetting the Splendor of Empty 3/8/06
To Fight or to Grow 2/24/06
Change and the Environment Part III 2/14/06
Change and the Environment Part II 2/13/06
Change and the Environment 2/3/06
Drawing A Line Part III 2/1/06
Drawing A Line Part II 1/31/06
Drawing A Line Part I 1/30/06
A Good First Step 1/27/06
The Winter Issue Is Here! 1/23/06



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