Happy Valentine’s Day from MyRecipes! Whether you're celebrating your romantic relationship or the fact that you get the entire bed to yourself, we think everyone deserves a glass of something special today. To prepare for the most romantic day of the year we tapped Michelle DeFeo of Laurent-Perrier, a Champagne house lauded for churning out top-quality bubbly for over 200 years.
What makes Champagne such a celebratory drink?MD: I think Champagne is rare, and for many years it was only from the Champagne region that you could really find bubbly wine. Unlike still wine, which is made throughout the world and has been for a very long time, Champagne was very limited and bubbly wines were very limited. So, of course when we have a very special, unique moment that we want to specifically commemorate with something very special we look for something that’s unique and kind of matches the uniqueness of the moment.
Do you think Champagne should be reserved for special occasions or should everyone have a daily dose?MD: I love the association of Champagne with special occasions. I just think that we need to recognize that our lives have more special occasions than we realize. I love the fact that when I drink a glass of Champagne I’m recognizing that it’s a special moment. And that moment might be that it’s an anniversary or it might be some particular celebration, but it may also be I’m seeing friends that I haven’t seen in a long time or I’m just spending a quiet night for no reason with my partner…I don’t think we stop and take note of those moments, and celebrate those moments enough.
Where's a good place to start when choosing a bottle of Champagne?MD: The basic Champagne that we imagine in our minds when we think ‘I want a glass of Champagne’–that’s going to be a non-vintage brut. So you don’t necessarily look for a year on the label. You just look for something that says "brut" and [a house] that’s got a history behind it and you’ll be in good shape.
Do you think rosé Champagne is appropriate for Valentine’s Day?MD: Oh, absolutely. Certainly the pink color just makes it even more special and really connects it to Valentine’s Day. And even though it’s a pink wine, I sometimes describe it as a very muscular guy in a pink polo shirt. It’s got this tremendous strength and power because it is 100% Pinot Noir. And even though it has some beautiful strawberry and raspberry aromas on the nose the Champagne itself is completely dry, so it’s not sweet. A lot of people may have the misconception that a rosé Champagne or a pink Champagne is sweet but that’s actually not the case—at least not with our rosé. So it makes for a really great cocktail wine but then also something that’s actually really great to drink all through dinner as well because it is Pinot Noir—it’s a serious wine.
What's your favorite unsung way with Champagne?MD: My favorite way to use Champagne, I will say, is actually as a mood enhancer. What that usually means is it’s been the end of a lousy week and you just want to stay home and order in pizza, and that’s all you can think of doing. So you order your pizza and you open up a bottle of Champagne. And that just kind of makes the week okay.
Michelle's Valentine's Day recommendation: Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut; laurent-perrier.com.