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February 2007


WINE & SPIRITS

Bubbled Over
By Baroness Sheri de Borchgrave

FORGET CHOCOLATE: THE BEST WAY TO SEDUCE IS WITH CHAMPAGNE

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Though most Cupids wield a chocolate arrow come Valentine's Day, my poison-tipped weapon of choice is Champagne. Few preprandial rituals are more seductive than those surrounding the unveiling of bubbly. First, consider the curvaceous, translucent, evocative bottle. Take your time. Move your hands up its form and unwrap the cork. Ease it out. Enjoy the pop. Pour a few sips as fast as you can, then put the bottle on ice. It'll hold while you get down to business.

As any proper Casanova knows, one of the keys to seduction is the clever use of surprise. Apply that principal to your Valentine's bubbly choice? Sure you could go with the mainstays, but why not turn things up with a more understated connoisseur's choice. In my travels last year, I came across some gorgeous new brands. (Well, new to the American market). These are truly seductive Champagnes for more reasons than one.

In matters sexual, men tend to be entirely visual creatures, while women can be seduced entirely by words—or so it's said. I buck the stereotypes with my visual proclivities, which is one reason I found Champagne Ruinart so enticing even before I had taken my first sip. Ruinart has a distinctive bottle that looks like a relic with its rounded, voluminous body mimicking a voluptuous woman's form. Though it hasn't been available this side of the Atlantic for years, two cuvées were reintroduced recently.

The blanc de blanc, made exclusively with chardonnay grapes, features soft honey and mineral notes and a nose redolent of citrus, brioche and toasted almonds.

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