But I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo.
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here.
~ Radiohead, lyrics to Creep
I live by the motto that “normal” is nothing but a setting on the dryer. I dance to my own tune, am irreverently opinionated and wear clothes that make people go “Hmmmmmm…” One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong describes me to a fault. So, if ever there was a bubbly with my name on it, it would be Freak of Nature. Lucky for me, I am not the only weirdo around.
My friend chef Cleetus Friedman, the one I call Jewish Santa, is definitely one of a kind. His food is creative and sometimes risky. The risks he takes usually pay off big time in flavor. Cleetus’ larger-than-life personality is splayed across the plate anytime you eat at City Provisions, his one of a kind Chicago deli. Needless to say, he brings a dose of that certain something unusual to any collaboration that he enters.
When I heard that Cleetus was working on a sparkling wine with Illinois Sparkling Co., I was intrigued. What will this bubbly be like? Any bottle coming from this one year old local company is already unusual. “Traditional method, un-traditional wines” is the name of the game. I have been a huge advocate of Illinois Sparkling Co. wines from the very first sip. That’s how unusually wonderful they are, in my humble opinion. Who better to help create the bubbly Freak of Nature?
So here he is, the lovely Freak of Nature. Grapes, tea and traditional method. A first ever sparkling wine with a touch of very special Oolong tea in it. Sounds just crazy enough to work. With the help from Rare Tea Cellar, the Freak was brought forth and I couldn’t be happier. This unusual bottle is only sold at City Provisions and with only 120 bottles produced, it is in very short supply.
Illinois Sparkling Co. gurus suggest you pair this gorgeous golden hued Freak with smoked meats, peach pie or a bowl of cornflakes. Cleetus served it with his smoked hummus, roasted tomatoes and grilled pita. I paired it with a new episode of Grey’s Anatomy and braised rabbit. Suggested music pairing: “Twin Earth” by Monster Magnet… and an air guitar. However, for me Radiohead says it best. “You’re so f*cking special!”