For a long time, I viewed Valentine’s Day as a perfect time for Petite Sirah… PS I Love You et al.  And, I still think Petite is a great wine for the heartiest of beings among us… Those who crave only RED wine. I can’t blame them for that.

I have a love for all wines; red, white, pink, bubbly, or still. If it’s made well, and I can enjoy its flavors. Bring them on.

Now, with Valentine’s Day, even though I put on a huge party for Petite Sirah lovers each year, I’m coming back around to bubbles being my most fun choice for celebrating a romantic night with the one I love.

Bubbles celebrate everything special: from the holidays with family and friends, to special celebrations flike wedding and anniversaries, to the birth of babies and subsequent birthdays. Then there are those that are specially created situations: like when Matt Czuchry and Vitalie Taittinger opened the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® Red Carpet with a Champagne Taittinger Toast, on Sunday, January 29, 2012.

This was the 13th year Champagne Taittinger was the official Champagne of the Screen Actors Guild Awards.  The 18th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were on Sunday, January 29th, and featured Taittinger Brut la Francaise during the awards show, backstage in the green room, and at the after parties.

Grab your bubbles, boys and girls, and be prepared to celebrate this Valentine’s Day in such glitzy style.

(If all goes well, stop by at Dark & Delicious on February 17, at Rock Wall in Alameda, and keep your party going with some PS I Love You.)

FROM THE CHAMPAGNE HOUSE: Champagne Taittinger’s new global ambassador, Vitalie Taittinger, is the Champagne house’s Artistic Director. A trained artist, Vitalie develops and enhances the image of Champagne Taittinger through its visual identity, design and strategic communications. Vitalie is pleased to be making her U.S. debut with the Champagne Taittinger toast at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®. “Elegance, beauty, and passion define Champagne Taittinger and make the SAG Awards such a dazzling night. We are thrilled to toast to actors-as their gifted performances have the power to move and inspire, like Champagne,” says Vitalie Taittinger.

Here are my Taittinger picks for this year’s special lovers’ day, because this image is just so sensual, and deserves a lot of attention… Good job for whomever thought up photographing this one…

Born in France, and raised in California, Domaine Carneros Le Reve 2005 was created by Taittinger. I have to confess that one of the very first wine tasting experiences I had was at Domaine Carneros. Having traveled from Maine to California, one of the most romantic journeys of my life, I came to see if I wanted to move to California. I have to ask, was it even fair of Jose to bring me to the Taittinger house? It was the sensual toasting on their patio that became part of the deal breaker.

Domaine Carneros, with its French Provincial architecture of balance and symmetry, creates wine of the same ilk. They use only certified organic, estate grown grapes and have been a leader in sustainable winemaking. Their tête de cuvée, Domaine Carneros Le Reve 2005, is a Blanc de Blancs produced according to Champagne’s méthode traditionnelle. I relished this bubbly, when the bottle was open; and the finish lingers still, as do my earliest, romantic of memories of learning about this house of sparkling wine. With the tiniest of bubbles, given its age and being on its lees for five and half years, this wine was very complex, yet very refreshing. Generous aromas of honeysuckle and lemon cream will tempt your palate, while full flavors of white fruit and crème brûlée will lead to a very silky finish. I think this fits the sensual category, don’t you?


Taittinger Brut La Française ~ Upholding my traditional French family lineage of Bernier and Ouellette, this Champagne delighted my French senses. (Don’t feel like you have to have a French Connection to enjoy this Champagne, though. My Spanish husband enjoyed it with as much joie de vive as I had. Taittinger Brut La Française NV is a perfect example of one of the best. Persistent bubbles, the refined Chardonnay fruit flavors of apple and pear, carried by a long, toasty finish, gives this wine such delicate style and grace… Grace Kelly type grace… wrapped elegantly around my palate.

Taittinger bubbles are produced from one of the few remaining family-owned Champagne houses. Family to family, it doesn’t get any better for me. Someone at the helm still really cares. Being in the wine business, I’m learning that it takes an incredible family with high emotional intelligence and fortitude that can hang onto a family wine business. Not every generation is up for the challenges and staying on pointe…. Like a ballerina, it takes patience and persistence, and in the end it’s quite the performance. My hat is off to Taittinger for another brilliant delivery!

May you share much joy and love this Valentine’s Day!

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