This Easter, my family and I will be drinking a toast to grandparents, whose families emigrated from France to Canada, then moved to Maine. Peter Bernier and Abby Ouellette Bernier were two of the most powerful influences and joys of my childhood in Maine… So, we’re starting with a Domaine.

A favorite of mine is Domaine Carneros… Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine brings me right back to one of the most romantic journeys of my life. As tourists from Maine, Jose and I were driving from Sacramento to San Francisco, we saw Domaine Carneros in the distance. With its French Provincial architecture of balance and symmetry, I felt connected and asked Jose to stop. So 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 in the late 1980s. The wines at Domaine Carneros were then, and continue to be today, fabulous and a favorite of mine. This is a Taittinger House, after all.

NV Carneros Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine ~ made in the classic méthode champenoise manner.

FROM THEIR SITE: The Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé Cuvée de la Pompadour, celebrates the life and times of Madame de Pompadour (the great courtesan and mistress of Louis XV) who is credited with introducing Champagne to the court and was an influential tastemaker in the matters of art, architecture and philosophy–famous for her comment, “Champagne is the only wine a woman can drink and remain beautiful.”

The Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé is beautifully balanced. The wine’s floral characteristics and flavors of delicate rose pedals and strawberries on the nose become more pronounced on the palate, along with peaches and violets. The blend is 58 percent Pinot Noir, 42 percent Chardonnay. Although it’s pale pink in color, don’t let that fool you. This Brut Rosé is a true, dry Brut. This sparkling wine retails for $35.00 a bottle and is highly recommended.

From sparkling to Beaujolais, whether it’s going to be lamb or ham, or even a bird… 2009 Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages is this year’s choice. Established in 1859, Louis-Jadot has a rich history of producing excellent wines.

2009 Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages ~ The Beaujolais Villages area is located to the South of Beaujolais, in the Rhône region and close to Lyon.

FROM THEIR SITE: Our Beaujolais Villages comes from two main sources: young wines from local growers with whom we have long time contracts blended with wine from the Regnié Cru. This wine is supposed to be drunk young although it can be kept easily up to 5 years or more.

This 100 percent Gamay wine is dark, red purple, with hints of dark cherries on the nose, which leads to rose hips and licorice, with a slight grey pepper spicy on the palate. This Beaujolais is really well balanced, and has great acidity and delicate tannins on the finish. I imagine this wine doing really well with a cheese course, with hard cheeses that have bolder flavors, or with a meat course… which is what I’m planning to do with it.

I was very fortunate to taste through a series of Louis Jadot Beaujolais, and am still savoring that moment.

Happy shopping this weekend for all your holiday needs.



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