Vintage Beacon: Giggles and Bubbles

 I’ve been thinking about POP Champagne bar in Pasadena for a few months because…well…we don’t have a Champagne bar in Santa Clarita yet.

scvbeacon logo squareWith dozens of Champagnes, by the flight, glass and bottle, also doing the same for sparkling wines, fortified wines, pink wines, vintage champagnes and regular wines…I figured that I would get over there someday to taste a sampling for myself.

That day was last Wednesday as it’s the first weekday they are also open for lunch.  Why go to Pasadena for lunch?  Well…it wasn’t just the bubbles.  It was also for the giggles.

Dana T., the T. standing for a middle name I never knew but made it that much easier to find her in Facebook, was meeting me there.

Dana T. was a friend of mine from before wine writing, before husband, before daughter.

Dana T. was my friend from …gasp…retail.

Dana T. (and I promise to make this the last paragraph that starts with a name that I just love repeating) was in retail for a reason.  I found out from Facebook that she had graduated from the Fashion Institute of Merchandising and Design in 1982 as a designer and spent several years catering to the clientele at Saks Fifth Avenue Beverly Hills; I had worked retail because I couldn’t even dream of making a living writing about what I was drinking back then: Myer’s Rum and OJ.

Then via e-mail I learned that Dana had moved on to become a Fashion Consultant/Stylist/Designer.  She is currently building a business designing clothes, consulting about fashion and even just helping clients with what’s in their closets. (If you want a little oomph in your step you can find Dana T. on Facebook like I did – just add the last name, Glover.  Or do it the old fashioned way and e-mail her at

We picked POP because it was my first choice for a celebratory reunion.  The store, in the quaint old section of Pasadena about 35 minutes from SCV, was a welcome sight of brick walls, antique chandeliers, velvet lined booths and what Dana would awe over: tables designed as showroom jewelry cases filled with the owner’s family heirlooms of jewelry, hair adornments, playbills and photographs.  It was the perfect focal point of the room; outside of the endless rows of wine.

As Dana stepped in the chandeliers twinkled off of the dynamite smile I remembered as always open and honest – I was happy to see she still had it.  And, after 25 years my Dana was still the classiest, best dressed woman in the room. 

And then the roar of her…giggles?  To be discreet I had forgotten about Dana T.’s signature laugh.  But it all came back to me with a dignified, irrepressible…snort. 

And there we were, 25 years withstanding, laughing, snorting and hugging.  What a great time to have champagne. 

The Champagnes

As we caught up we ordered the White Bubbles trio tasting of Coppola Sofia Blanc de Blancs 07, Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Blanc de Blancs and Guy Charlemagne Blanc de Blancs.

They came in the expected Champagne flutes, with enough bubbles that they appeared to be from freshly popped bottles.  Each had its own unique taste; delightful and festive for our occasion.  Admittedly, had we had drivers, or at the POP brunch, we would have had much more.  But for a light lunch selection ranging from small bites to salads and sandwiches and to-die-for desserts, while pouring over years of photo albums and memories, it was absodamnlutely perfect.

Tasting flights also listed that we couldn’t take in were the After Dinner Delight that included Quady Deviation, Jackson Triggs Vidal Ice Wine 07 and Badia a Coltibuono Von Santo 08.  The Fortified Flight had Trentadue Viognioer White Port 06, Deco Chocolate Port and Duet Hazelnut.

Other flights came under the titles of International Bubbles, California Bubbles and Pretty in Pink Bubbles.  All made us giggle even more.

Beyond the flights, on the legal-sized elegant menu with a list filling both front and back were: 187ml, 375ml and, by the glass selections.  Bottles are chilled to order so may take up to 13 minutes after ordering.

In the red and white sections you will find some wine selections, if you didn’t want champagne.  There is a Santa Barbara Chardonnay, Hey Mambo Swanky white and red, Volver Tempranillo 05 and Stellenzicht Shiraz South Africa to name a few.

Then if that dares not to do it for you there is draft, domestic and imported beers including a selection of Belgian Ales, Lambics, Sakes, Champagne cocktails, hot and non-alcoholic beverages.

There is a lunch menu, a Sunday brunch and weekly specials, so I would recommend checking their website: or calling 626-795-1295.