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food / travel

Roses In A Bottle: Wine (And Champagne) Picked For Valentine's Day

On Feb. 14, France matches up two of its specialties: romance and wine.

On the vine at Chateau Calon Segur (filtran)
On the vine at Chateau Calon Segur (filtran)
Bernard Burtschy

"I make wine in Latour and Lafite, but my heart is in Calon," said the Marquis de Segur, a well-known 17th century property owner nicknamed the Prince of Vineyards. Since then, the label of the prestigious vintage of Saint-Estephe has a heart on it, making it the wine of choice for Valentine's Day. To paraphrase famed French writer Edmond Rostand: There is no love but in the shade of a great wine.

The Chateau Calon Segur used Valentine's Day to secure a deal with 20 major French restaurants: They will create their Feb. 14 menu around the famous wine. It would be fascinating to compare Eric Frechon's (Le Bristol), Eric Briffard's (Le George V) and George Klein's (L'Arnrbourg) interpretations of love.

Beautifully located in the South Western region of Gironde, the Calon Segur is managed by Denise Capbern-Gasqueton. In 10 years, she has brought the wine back to the levels it had achieved in its glory years of the 1950s and 1960s.

Meanwhile, the Billecart-Salmon champagne has established a successful "Say it with bubbles" operation. In 300 restaurants, couples will get half a bottle of their famous brut-rose and will also get a chance to enter a competition and win gifts.

Rose champagne is always a hit for Valentine's Day. Duval-Leroy dressed its Lady Rose vintage "with an elegant and impertinent shocking pink dress and a delicate flower stitching." With a 25g/l dosage, this vintage, already popular in restaurants, will be sold as a special collector's edition for about 60 euros.

The ultimate gift

Still in the rose champagnes, Pol Roger made his own collector's box in association with restaurants, adding a pocket mirror as a gift. Other gift boxes include Henri Abele and champagnes from local producers. Rose champagne is the ultimate gift for this special day.

All vintages whose names have any sort of Valentine's Day twist are having specials. Some good deals include the roses L'Allegresse du chateau Bellevue La Foret (Fronton, 7.40 euros) and Le Plaisir de Mas Miel (Cotes-du-roussillon, 8.50 euros), the wines L'amant du chateau Saint-Amand (Sauternes, 19 euros), Caprice de Bastor Lamontagne (Sauternes 12 euros) and Gentil de la cave de Pfaffenheim (Alsace, 6 euros).

As for restaurants, other than the 20 locations for the Calon Segur and the 300 for Billecart-Salmon, independent wine producers from the Eastern Alsace region are also giving out half bottles of their gewürztraminer in their partner restaurants for couples to enjoy at home. The reason: the gewürztraminer, one of Alsace's seven grape varieties, is known for its rose aroma, the symbol of love. Their slogan: "Alsace's independent wine producers give you roses in a bottle."

Photo credit - (filtran)

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Influencer Union? The Next Labor Rights Battle May Be For Social Media Creators

With the end of the Hollywood writers and actors strikes, the creator economy is the next frontier for organized labor.

​photograph of a smartphone on a selfie stick

Smartphone on a selfie stick

Steve Gale/Unsplash
David Craig and Stuart Cunningham

Hollywood writers and actors recently proved that they could go toe-to-toe with powerful media conglomerates. After going on strike in the summer of 2023, they secured better pay, more transparency from streaming services and safeguards from having their work exploited or replaced by artificial intelligence.

But the future of entertainment extends well beyond Hollywood. Social media creators – otherwise known as influencers, YouTubers, TikTokers, vloggers and live streamers – entertain and inform a vast portion of the planet.

✉️ You can receive our Bon Vivant selection of fresh reads on international culture, food & travel directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

For the past decade, we’ve mapped the contours and dimensions of the global social media entertainment industry. Unlike their Hollywood counterparts, these creators struggle to be seen as entertainers worthy of basic labor protections.

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