Several years ago, a co-worker wondered if I would like to meet her single brother. Not another blind date! He was moving from Lodi to Southern California. Groan! He was a winemaker. Hey! This is getting interesting. They were starting a winery in Temecula. Sold! I’ll meet him.
I’m a wine enthusiast from way back. In spite of being a Midwest girl, my wine journey began when my brother moved to San Francisco and I fell in love with the Napa wineries. Later, another brother bought land in Paso Robles and turned eleven acres into a vineyard. I guess you could say that wine was in my blood. Needless to say, the blind date turned out to be a match made in wine country.
Where else would a winemaker go on his honeymoon but France? France it was! However, we only spent an afternoon in Bordeaux. The rest of the trip we were immersed in the Champagne Region. Imagine our thrill when the people at Moet Chandon learned my husband was a winemaker and gave us our own private tasting….in the Napoleon room! My husband was supercharged and immediately began planning the release of his very first sparkler. It had to be a French name. It had to be romantic sounding. It had to be unique! Amour De L’Orange! It quickly became one of our best selling whites. Hmmm, could it be the special ingredient he infused into it?
Besides our time in France, we spent almost a year researching champagnes and sparkling wines (our work is never ending!). It was fun and enlightening. I encourage all of you to take your own champagne journey. Each time you go to one of our Temecula wineries that boast sparkling wine or stop by your favorite wine shop, pick up a different kind of champagne. Compare a brut to a blanc de blanc or a cuvee to a blanc de noirs. Notice the differences in sweetness, bouquets, or dryness. Compare French to American to Chilean and so on. Expand your champagne knowledge and discover which one most suits your personal tastes.
When the famous monk, Dom Perignon, discovered his amazing champagne creation, he was quoted as saying, “Come quickly, Brothers! I am drinking the stars!” What a beautiful quote. I could end there, but aren’t you the least curious as to what that secret ingredient is in my husband’s sparkling wine? The answer is, “When you drink our Amour De L’Orange, you’re drinking love!”
A favorite, musical artist and friend of mine, Kiki Ebsen, has a CD that she released several years ago entitled, “Love Loud.” That pretty much sums up my life!! I hope the same for you! Until next time, love loud! Sante!