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Side Door Lounge's Whitecliff Brut NV

When cheap champagne will do

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Tator Tot complains that with every mirror I pass by, I must stop and gaze at myself. Well, no s***. If you avert your eyes when looking in a mirror, you probably shouldn’t leave the house. And I think it’s this narcissistic tendency that draws me back to The Hob Nob’s Side Door Lounge, all mirrors along one wall. The better to see myself — and you, my dear.

Sunday we were in the mood for champagne, both of us feeling warmly celebratory after a Winter Solstice celebration, where we happened into a bar full of friendly Seahawk fans, two stumbling drunks, a table discussing an intervention (in a bar!) and upon a couple of cute, brooding 20-somethings. One of them was particularly delightful to watch, furiously doodling random squiggles of genius in his notebook, his cell-phone lying on the table.

Tator Tot and I opted for glasses of Sacred Hill Whitecliff Brut NV, a cheap, charming champagne perfect for the winter rain. And yes, snotty sommeliers out there, I’m fully aware that the only REAL champagne must be born in the French province of the same name, and I jovially break the rule of calling stuff of other origins sparkling wine.

We sat at one of the high tables, glaring at the two couples in the corner. The men wore matching goatees and beige golf parkas, and I thought for a moment I was experiencing an optical illusion; then I realized they were just dorks. Their dates, however, were far more interesting, all severe blond bobs and Regis-white teeth. The work put into their fall tans, their one-meal-shy-of-anorexia bodies and their one-shouldered fuschia and lime green shirts made me exhausted just watching. Tator Tot pointed out that my victims were quite aware of my incessant stare, but I couldn’t help it. Neon women fascinate me.

Our champagne was a reasonable $5. For a vintage Tacoma evening, visit the Side Door Lounge, where cheap champagne and many mirrors will keep you happy.

[Side Door Lounge, 716 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.3200]

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