You just know that I’m going to say Petite Sirah, don’t you? And, you’d be right. Why else would I have a food and wine event always right near February 14th? We never have PS I Love You’s annual food and wine event, called Dark & Delicious, right on that day, because being with about 800 people is far from intimate. However, by scheduling it close to February 14, we’re extending the love and romance!

If you need a list of great Petites, just visit the member page of PS I Love You, where you’ll find the most comprehensive list of the best Petites anywhere on the World Wide Web.

So… let’s talk about other wines of passion, now that I’ve got Petite Sirah covered.


Bubbly is an obvious choice, and I’m thinking that anything Pink might outsell all other styles of sparkling wine for Valentine’s day. I just received a Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine, and it brought me right back to one of the most romantic journeys of my life; namely, the week I was flown to California by Robert Fuller of Fuller Jeffrey Broadcasting.
Bob Fuller was Jose and my boss at the time, and he wanted to have me fall in love with California, because he was moving us here. He allowed Jose to bring me to the best of the best places, while visiting each radio station. In a week we covered Sacramento, Tahoe, Chico, Santa Rosa, San Francisco, Monterey, and Santa Cruz… Driving like crazy people. The places we stayed blew my socks off, and so did all the places we visited. It was truly one of the most romantic get-aways of my life.
As we were driving from Sacramento to San Francisco, we saw Domaine Carneros in the distance. With its French Provincial architecture of balance and symmetry, I was fascinated with the winery and asked Jose to stop. I began my passion for wine and wine country at Domaine Carneros as one of our first wine country experiences. Every time I pass that winery, my emotions are brought right back to that wonderful introduction to California and wine country. The wines at Domaine Carneros were then, and continue to be today,  fabulous. This is a Taittinger House, after all.
From their Website:

In the late 1970’s, Claude Taittinger, the president of Champagne Taittinger, proclaimed his faith in the future of American wines and began the search on U.S. soil for a suitable winery site. In 1987, Champagne Taittinger, along with partner Kobrand Corporation, selected a 138 acre parcel in the heart of Carneros, a viticultural appellation they recognized to have the potential to produce world class sparkling wines. Also in 1987, Claude Taittinger selected Eileen Crane to oversee the planning and development of the property, as the winery’s first and only winemaker.

CEO/Founding Winemaker Eileen Crane has been at the helm of Domaine Carneros since the first harvest and continues to oversee and direct winemaking and operational duties.

It is quite remarkable that Eileen Crane has remained at the helm, but this seems to be a very European mindset… When it’s not broken, don’t go trying to fix it… I love traditional European thinking on this level in our business world. Europeans seem to have a very loyal culture, from my American perspective.

Domaine Carneros always falls into my most highly recommended sparkling wines.

And… this romantic bottle of wine was just enjoyed at a celebration over the weekend… A small wedding reception was given to my daughter Lyla and her new husband Jamal Moore by some of their friends, upon returning from their Caribbean wedding and honeymoon. Just married in St. Thomas on the beach; is this image of them romantic enough? I can think of no better bubbly with which to celebrate. It was my falling in love with Domaine Carneros that played a part in moving us from Maine to California, (notice the word “Maine” in Domaine), where these two newlyweds met and will now continue their romance.

[Their wedding photographer is Alain Brin, of Blue Glass Photography.]

Pinot Noir

Who isn’t passionate for Pinot? I know I certainly am. I was first introduced to Pinot while working in Russian River Valley at Belvedere. Winemakers Kevin Warren and Erich Russell definitely turned me onto their styles, long before Rex Pickett wrote his book which later became the  film Sideways. (I’m so glad Rex did, though, because now many people just “get it” when it comes to Pinot.

Another odd ball connection to Pinot, that falls into the category of “Whoda thunk it?” is that my Petite Sirah group and Barbara Drady’s Pinot Shootout have just joined forces to collectively market our events in February.


Because while it might seem odd for two wine festivals to co-sponsor each other, it’s actually a natural happenstance. Both PS I Love You and Affairs of the Vine have events in the most passionate month of the year…February. Both Pinot and Petite Sirah are winemakers’ wines. “We feel that being united in wine helps our fans to fulfill all of their wine passions, from one end of the spectrum to the other,” says Barbara Drady, Affairs of the Vine’s Wine Evangelist.

Another wine that I received recently is a 2008 Wild Rock Pinot Noir from Central Otago region of New Zealand. This wine is affectionately referred to as Cupid’s Arrow. From Wild Rock to Wild Honeymooners, another wine for us to celebrate their adventurous union, and a recommendation for you to also enjoy this Valentine’s Day.

I love the label: A diver midair, leap of faith, wonderful Pinot… what more could you ask for?

The PINOT: Color is beautiful, able to look right through the garnet opulence. The aroma is filling my room like incense. The nose reminds me of rose petals and plums… very Valentine-ish. It tastes of plums and blueberries, with a soft, silky finish. Yup… I can see this one being a perfect wine for lovers everywhere.

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