Champagne for Valentine’s Day? Oui!

Of course you’ll be breaking out some bubbly on February 14.

For help with the selection, we interviewed Dom Perignon’s Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy, who will be in town in February as the Lyric Wine Auction’s Honored Guest.

Why do we think of Champagne for Valentine’s Day?
Champagne has a deserved legacy of being the most special and beautiful of all wines. This comes from its delicate creation in which many varying conditions have to be perfect to achieve the intensity and harmony of its sparkling qualities. This combined with the power it has to bring people together, especially in moments of celebration, make it the natural wine of choice for Valentine’s Day. Yet, Champagne, like Valentine’s Day, should be enjoyed and celebrated everyday!

Why is rosé Champagne more expensive than its counterpart?
Rosé is more rare—the conditions for the delicate Pinot Noir grapes have to be just right to produce rosé. This results in a much smaller production making it more rare and thus priced at a higher point.
Rosé Champagne is especially romantic, because of course, it’s pink!

But what else makes it appropriate for Valentine’s Day?
Dom Pérignon Rosé is the crown jewel of Dom Pérignon. It requires much more love and care in its creation making it a poetic synonym for what couples toast on Valentine’s Day. Enjoyed alone or with a meal it is a symbolic choice. 
Our current Dom Pérignon Rosé is vintage 2000. This millennial wine boasts black cherry, cocoa and cardamom on the nose and smooth fruit flavors on the palate. Should it be paired with a Valentine’s meal, it’s delicate enough to work with fish and its Pinot Noir characteristics compliment heartier meat dishes.

Can you explain the difference between vintage and non-vintage Champagne?
A bottle of vintage Champagne includes grapes from one specific harvested year. Non-vintage or multi-vintage champagne incorporates base wines from multiple harvests; therefore, the bottle cannot be attributed to just one year. Dom Pérignon does not release a non-vintage champagne, and does not produce a wine from every year’s harvest. Only when the conditions of harvest are right for Dom Pérignon is a vintage declared.

And what’s the difference between sparkling wine and Champagne?
Only sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France is called Champagne.

You started your wine career in California, land of sparkling wine. Any favorites for the romantic who can’t afford Champagne this Valentine’s Day?
Chandon, which is a Napa sparkling wine, is a great option.