Sunday, February 12, 2012



“He who loves not wine, women and song remains a fool his whole life long.”

                                                              Martin Luther

By Doc Lawrence

With Valentine’s Day positioned right in the middle, February should be an uninterrupted celebration of love.  Getting started is easy and so romantic. Some of the greatest love stories-The Black Swan, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle- are told through dance, highlighted by iconic pairings of dancers, or pas de deux, a French ballet term meaning “steps of two,” in which two dancers perform together.

The pas de deux usually includes an entrée, adagio, two variations (one for each dancer) and a coda all throughout which the dancers communicate expressions of love and emotion. Wine pairing should have this same romantic balance and I have found few for Valentine’s Day more lovely than the sparkling wine named Pas de Deux.

The creator of this bottled treasure is Sharon Fenchak, a visionary winemaker at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. I asked her how this particular wine with the enchanting name was born.

“I was inspired, “ she told me,  “to craft this wine following a stint in Italy’s Veneto.  After enjoying some of the classic Moscato of the region, I dreamed of creating my own sparkler on home soil.” She added that her dream became a reality “when I landed here at Biltmore, a property where sparkling wine has been part of the culinary and entertaining tradition since George Vanderbilt opened his doors to guests back in 1895.”  Crafted in the classic Methode Champenoise, the wine’s lively bubbles, according to Ms. Fenchak, symbolize a celebration, while its delicate sweet flavors and crisp finish “are the perfect foil for the rich, creamy texture and complexity of chocolate confections and decadent Valentine’s Day fare.”

The slow, elegant, unfolding movements of two dancers mark an adagio. Pas de Deux serves as the perfect start to a Valentine’s feast. All great love stories must end. The coda, or conclusion, of your own Valentine’s Day with Pas De Deux assures a refreshing finale on a high note.

From Maldova's ancient winemaking tradition, Exclusiv Moscato Sparkling wine is a beatiful production, delicious and versitile. If a sparking wine is only part of your wine plans and because of the special meaning of Valentine’s Day, think about a lovely bottle of Rosé. No, this isn’t "white zin" that comes in a huge jug. Complex, yet gentle, food friendly, cool on the palate and memorable, look for bottles from New York, particularly Wolffer Estate, or from Provence, Spain or Italy. Rarely are they overpriced and be forewarned, that you likely need more than one bottle.

NOTE: Stories on the horizon include a visit to Biloxi/Gulfport on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, retracing the “The Great Locomotive Chase” in North Georgia, farm to table dining in Tallahassee/Thomasville, equestrian North Florida and new plays on the great stages in Southern cities. 

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