Champagne for Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is the ideal time to celebrate the people we love most. This holiday, which comes every year on February 14th is without a doubt, my favorite. Perhaps I like it so much because there is little expectation associated with Valentine’s Day; unlike Thanksgiving and Christmas, which I also adore but simple, they are not! Full disclosure, V-Day encompasses all of my favorite things; the colors pink, and red, cherubs, chocolate, the promise of romance, flowers, and of course champagne.
While traveling in France and studying its culture, I have learned many powerful lessons. One of the most important of these, and I believe the key to true happiness and contentment, lies in fully embracing what brings me joy. Taking the time to enjoy life in its small moments rather than an overarching need to have things in order before I can feel happy, is one of the greatest gifts the French have given me. As a confessed perfectionist, albeit deep in rehab, taking in the present moment and finding peace in small twinkling’s of joy is the life I strive for now. Of course, if these moments are close together and unceasing, well, that is heavenly.
As February 14th approaches, you may be toying with the idea of creating a celebration to set the tone for romance or a jovial evening with friends. Why not pick up a bottle or 2 of French Champagne? There is something magical about this effervescent elixir that sets a festive vibe. Maybe it’s the color, so clean and crisp, or the tiny bubbles that dance across your tongue that elicit an automatic happy dance to the sound of the cork popping.
French Champagne is an expense so it’s a good idea to put some thought into what label to choose. If you’re not sure, there are always the tried-and-true brands that can be trusted for superb quality such as Moet and Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Taittinger to name a few. For this post, I’m going off the map a bit to introduce you to a few of my favorites you may not have tried before.
By far the most elegant of these is the Ruinart Blanc de Blanc. In 2019, Mark and I were lucky enough to do a tasting at the Ruinart champagne house located in Reims. I found all of their champagnes to be of excellent quality but the Blanc de Blanc, made 100% of chardonnay grapes, was so elegant. I could not get this bottle out of my mind. You will expect to taste well-rounded champagne with excellent freshness, notes of citrus, nectarines, and a long refreshing finish.
If the price tag on the Ruinart is too steep at around $80.00, consider a relatively new favorite of mine, G.H. Mumm Brut Cordon Rosé. This wine gets its beautiful watermelon color from the addition of a bit of red wine from the region, unlike its still counterparts that get their color from contact with the grape skins. Mumm rosé is round and rich with balanced flavor at about $45.00 a bottle. It’s creamy on the tongue with bright acidity with notes of grapefruit, cherries, red fruits, and a warm finish of toasted buttery brioche. This is my current favorite bottle!
My final suggestion for champagne for Valentine’s Day is from a small grower, producer in the champagne region called Jean-Noel Haton. This wine is a traditional one with beautiful rich color. It’s tightly knit, making it creamy on the tongue with notes of black raspberry, brioche, and lemon zest. A great value for the price, around $30.00.
This Valentine’s Day, I plan to surround myself and the cherubs in my life with pink, red, chocolate, and of course some champagne. I challenge you to think about the small things in life that bring you happiness and do, taste, or experience some of these things this week. And if you’re willing, share some of YOUR favorite things in the comment section, so we can all enjoy them!