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3 May

Celebrating 20 Years of Marriage: A Look Back on Our Wedding Day

Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000

April 8th marked our 20th year as Mrs. & Mrs. Jason Smith. It’s been a whirlwind two decades for sure. While some days have seemed like they’d never end, mostly the years have joyfully flown by with unrelenting speed, despite my valiant efforts to slow everything down to savor every drop of love and laughter as my boys grow up.

Now that we have all been on lockdown during this global pandemic for the last two months, the one bright spot for me and my family is that I finally got that slow-down I’ve been craving. During these weeks, with the big parties, playdates and endless school sports gone, it’s just been me and Jason and our boys, all day, every day. And even though it’s been positively crazy adjusting to the new norm, it’s been manageable, and I have Jason to thank for that.

Jason is my rock and the glue to our family. He has a consistent, even-kill personality that exudes positivity, even during the most stressful times, he is calm and looks to the bright side. He isn’t controlling and he gives me room and space to be 100% me, including putting up with the messy piles of projects and stuff that accumulate in our home. As I reflect back to our wedding day 20 years ago, I’ve been thinking more and more about how much he means to me, not just as an amazing dad and the head honcho of our home, but as a person. As my husband. I can’t imagine doing this life without him.

The Early Years

It was 1992 when we first locked eyes at a stoplight right in front of Hulen Mall. You can read the full Fort Worth Star-Telegram article on how we met HERE. We were friends first because – obvi! I was 17 and a sophomore in high school, and he was 25 — an old fart man with his own apartment and his own business. Although it wasn’t love at first sight, we did become friends, and we’d meet up for lunch or dinner every once in a while, always in a group with my friends.

Then one day, just after New Year’s in 1996, he called me out of the blue. I was now a student at SMU and living in my grandparent’s guest house in Preston Hollow. I just so happened to be planning a dinner party at Sipango in Dallas, so I invited him to join. At the time, I had a boyfriend that I had been trying to break up for a while because the relationship wasn’t going anywhere. But I wasn’t thinking about that when I invited Jason to join us. I really was just being nice!

I still remember the moment I opened my door. I forgot to mention this, but when Jason and I first met in the early ‘90s, he had this long hair – I mean, middle-of-the-back long. I am a pretty preppy, conservative girl, and dating someone who seemed separated at birth from Kid Rock was NOT my jam. But here he was, four years later, standing at my doorstep, looking totally clean-cut and hot with his big green eyes and megawatt smile. I remember thinking, “Holy moly, I have to fast-track my breakup – this guy is YUMMY!”

By the next month, Jason and I were officially a couple. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing to the altar. For the next two and a half years, I had to date every eligible bachelor in Dallas and Fort Worth before we could be exclusive!

Christy Dunaway's 21st Birthday at Sipango Restaurant in Dallas 1996
Christy Dunaway Smith SMU Delta Gamma
Christy Dunaway Smith SMU Delta Gamma
Christy Dunaway Smith SMU Delta Gamma

Let me explain. I was a Fort Worth Steeplechase debutante, which required me to attend countless events and parties from October 1996, to May 1997. My mom wanted me to attend every other party with someone other than Jason. Then, I made my debut as a Dallas Symphony debutante, which started the entire process over again, but this time, I couldn’t bring Jason as my date to anything. For more than two years, I was living this surreal double life, not as a spy but as a deb! Some days I attended two and three parties, back-to-back! It was a good thing I turned down the opportunity to make my Idlewild presentation in Dallas in 1998 (I sometimes regret in hindsight), and my presentation at the International Debutante Ball in New York City. Becoming a professional debutante was not high on my list.

1996 Fort Worth Assembly presentation with Bryan King and Christy Dunaway
1996 Steeplechase Debutant Ball Christy Dunaway
Steeplechase Debutant Ball 1996 Carol and Jim Dunaway Christy Dunaway

For Jason to be able to put up with my extreme social schedule, well, it was just phenomenal. He was never jealous, and he never made me feel awkward. He never criticized my decision to debut, he just stood by me, secure in himself and in us. I knew he was the one after he passed the crazy societal test with flying colors! 

The Proposal

After more than three years of dating, he proposed to me, at Golden Eagle Inn, our favorite restaurant, while we were vacationing in Beaver Creek, Colorado with friends and family. As he read these wonderful words to me, all I could think about was: Cue the wedding planning! My mom and I went into hyperdrive mode to plan an unforgettable celebration for our closest family and friends, with the ceremony at University Christian Church and the reception at my parent’s home. 

Marriage proposal at Golden Eagle Inn Restaurant in Beaver Creek, Colorado
Marriage proposal at Golden Eagle Inn Restaurant in Beaver Creek, Colorado
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000

Just two weeks before we were scheduled to tie the knot, the epic tornado of 2000 ravaged the Westside of Fort Worth, plowing through Monticello and down 7th Street and eventually slamming into downtown. The tornado had actually touched down across the field in front of my parents’ house and tore through the neighborhood, but for some reason, it lifted up just before reaching their property. It was an absolutely devastating moment for many people on the west side of Fort Worth, and I don’t know what we would have done had our reception zone turned into a disaster zone, but thanks to God’s Grace, we were able to keep moving forward with our focus on the Big Day.

Getting Ready on the Big Day

So many memories flooded in while I worked through all our wedding pictures. It was an all-day production for me and my bridal party, beginning at the home of one of my parents’ best friends. Kim Rozell of Dallas, makeup artist to the stars, and her assistant made the entire wedding party look camera-ready. And Christy Michaelis, who had been doing my hair since high school, got everyone coifed in no time flat. After brunching and beautifying, we all headed to the church to get dressed, final touch-ups and pre-ceremony photography.

Dallas designer Michael Faircloth made all of the bridesmaid’s dresses, the flower girl’s dress, my gown and my mom’s. Also, that is Karen Briggs with Lilly Dodson retail store in Highland Park Village in Dallas helping me with my veil.

Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Michael Faircloth and Karin Briggs with Lilly Dodson of Dallas helps Christy Dunaway on her wedding day
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000

The Wedding Ceremony

Three, two, one … The doors opened to the sound of Jeremiah Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary — aka classic bridal music — being played on the University Christian Church organ.  Because both my parents were such an equal and integral part of my upbringing, I wanted my mom to walk me down the aisle, too. Dr. Scott Colglazier and Dr. Ted Kitchens officiated our ceremony, and during the 30-minute ceremony, I cried tears of sadness (not having my maternal grandmother be alive to see me get married) but also – and mostly — tears of joy.

Christy Dunaway wedding 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Morris Gene and Charlene Smith Family Fort Worth Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
James R Dunaway Punkin and Sally Dunaway Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Francis Warren Winn Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Ted Kitchens Scott Colglazier Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000

The Reception

It was 8:30 by the time our wedding party arrived at my parent’s home for the reception. I remember being completely surprised and shocked by the most amazing sight. The side of their yard had been transformed into a tented wonderland, complete with floral candelabras, chandeliers and footmen dressed in 17th-century attire in powdered wigs.

Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000

Just when I thought I could sit down and enjoy myself for a bit, I had to snap back to the demanding schedule of standard wedding traditions before I could relax and cut loose. First thing’s first: the important dances. We kicked it off with our official first dance as Mr. and Mrs. Smith. And then, of course, came the father-daughter dance and mother and son dance and so on.

Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Jim Dunaway Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Charlene K Smith Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000

Next on the wedding reception timeline was the cake cutting and the Champagne toast. And let me tell you, this might have been one of my favorite parts of the evening. For years I had dreamed of having Sylvia Weinstock – called the “Queen of Cakes” by the New York Times– make my wedding cake. I mean, if her gorgeous wedding gateaus were good enough for Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones, one would work for me, too! I told my mom about this dream, and she thought it was a great idea. We booked a flight to NYC and met with the legend herself. She listened to all our ideas, and my mom and I sampled a lot of cake. Just that experience alone was such a treasure.

When it was time to cut the wedding cake and enjoy our first bite as husband and wife, a plate and forks were nowhere to be found. So in true Christy fashion, I didn’t want to wait, so I didn’t: I ate the slice of cake right off the cake knife!

Sylvia Weinstock Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Sylvia Weinstock Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Sylvia Weinstock Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000

Jason and I thought it would be fun to have the groom’s cake shaped like our first house, which was still under construction. It was fitting since, at the time, Jason was the owner of Jason Smith Custom Homes and he was the contractor building our home. We shipped off a set of elevation plans to New York City so the “Queen of Cake,” Sylvia Weinstock, could build our home out of cake and buttercream. (Weinstock’s made cakes for Kim Kardashian and Martha Stewart and has appeared on Netflix’s Nailed It!).

Fun fact: Sylvia sent an assistant to accompany our cake on the flight from New York City to Dallas. Each section had its own box and its own seat on the plane. When the plane landed at DFW, my parents had a rented refrigerated truck waiting to pick up the cakes and the assistant. They drove to my parents’ house, where she began the assembly process and made some final decorating touches – she then flew back to New York City, all in the same day!

Sylvia Weinstock Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Sylvia Weinstock cake for Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Sylvia Weinstock Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Sylvia Weinstock Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000

One of these things that were really important to us on our wedding day was to still have everyone at the reception when it was time for us to leave. I knew that if we stayed until the very end to enjoy our own wedding, there would be a skeletal crowd left. So as soon as we cut the cakes, we prepared a “faux departure” so we could capture all of the excitement on camera and on film.

We loaded into a horse-drawn carriage and did a champagne toast as our band positioned themselves behind the carriage to perform, “When The Saints Go Marching In.” Everyone at the reception had been given silver mint julep cups filled with rose petals (which doubled as their party favors). Amidst the rose petals and the music, we began our journey from one end of the circle drive to the next – right back to the reception, where we got out of the carriage and partied the night away!

Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000

Ahhh, now that all the boxes were checked off our “I Do To-Do” list, it was time to have some real fun. I finally got to take my veil off and my wedding coat. Yes, I was wearing two dresses! The coat was actually my train, which I didn’t want to bustle for the reception. After removing the wedding coat, I had a more simplified floor-length dress underneath, which allowed me to cut loose on the dance floor!

T-Byrd Gordon rocked the reception and we danced until midnight – until, in true Christy fashion (yet again) — I grabbed the mic and, as the last notes of the last song faded, I yelled, “I’m ready to consummate this marriage!” The expression on Jason’s face was priceless!

T Byrd Gordon Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000 T Byrd Gordon Band Jim Dunaway
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000 T Byrd Gordon Band
T Byrd Gordon Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000

NEVER BEFORE SEEN BONUS FOOTAGE:

Ok, I know this is the longest blog post ever. It was actually supposed to end here, but while I was going through my wedding box and digging through my parent’s storage for photos, I came across some never before seen photos. There were just a few of them. I flipped one over and found a photographer’s name and number from Dallas on the back. I called and gave her all the info I had for the wedding. She was doubtful she could find these in her archives.

Within twenty-four hours she got back to me in total excitement. She told me that our wedding was one of the first digital shots she had done and still had the photos. All forty-four of them. I was so excited, I could hardly stand it. I’ll spare you by not posting all of them, but here is a wonderful selection that captures the moment before people arrived.

Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Sylvia Weinstock Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000
Dunaway Smith Wedding Fort Worth 2000

Growing up, my mom gave me an invaluable piece of advice. Actually, two pieces of advice. One: Marry a nerd. Two: Marry someone who loves you more than you love them. Well, I definitely didn’t marry a nerd, but Jason was by far the freshest breath of fresh air compared to all the poop heads I had wasted my energy on. The love scale has definitely balanced over the years, and I just feel so blessed to still be in love with him. He makes being married so easy.

I hope you enjoyed taking a peek into our wedding day, as much as I enjoyed sharing it. It’s hard to believe this precious day was twenty years ago. I prayed since I was a little girl that one day I would find a Godly man, a good man, a kind man, and the right man. Jason is that man – in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer. Then, now and always.

SoFortWorthIt GIVEAWAY!

Speaking of brides and wedding dresses, I have something very special to share with you. During these unprecedented times, many businesses have switched gears to develop innovative ways to keep their businesses afloat while also helping our community.  That’s exactly what Stanley Korshak Bridal has done. “Hopeful Heart” is the beloved bridal boutique’s new venture, and owner Mackenzie Brittingham launched the nonprofit to produce elegant-yet-essential face masks for the general public and front-line workers.

Sewn by the boutique’s talented seamstresses, Hopeful Heart offers three different styles: a fleece one-piece with ear holes, a pleated cotton mask with elastic loops and space for you to add a filter, and a cotton double-layer design with a wire sewn inside so you can shape the mask to your face and also space for you to add a filter. Prices vary by design from $6.30 to $25, and they’re sold in multipacks. All masks are black, and all have a precious little red heart embroidered at the bottom corner (a perfect touch!). But here’s the best part: For every mask pack you purchase, Hopeful Heart will donate a box of masks to medical workers, police departments and other front-line workers. It’s the very best of bridal, beauty and BoGo! To order, go to www.mackenziebrittingham.com

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18 Feb

MasterClass with Tata Harper Skincare at Neiman’s

My new favorite all-natural skincare line 

I have a confession to make. I, Christy Smith, am a skincare product addict. Just a little habit I picked up around the ripe age of twelve, thanks to my mom introducing me to the Beauty Terrace at Neiman Marcus in the 80’s.

Of course, my friends already know this, especially if they’ve seen all the lotions and potions I keep in my bathroom drawers. And if you happen to work in the skincare department at Neiman Marcus, well, then this is not news to you. At all.

My Skincare Additions

For years and years, I’ve been in love with three brands almost exclusively: La Mer, Sisley and my friend Lisa Alexander’s vegan skincare line, LA FACE SKINCARE. Now, I added Tata Harper to that list last Fall and it has transformed my skin.

So here is the scoop, and why I have fallen head over heals for Tata Harper! This skincare line unites health with beauty through all-natural and organic ingredients. It’s 100 percent free from GMOs, toxins, fillers, artificial colors, artificial fragrances and synthetic chemicals of any kind, and everything’s bottled in glass (recyclable and reusable!). Plus, it’s all formulated and packaged on a 1,200-acre farm in Vermont by a team lead by, who else, a woman named Tata Harper.

If it’s Good Enough for Gwyneth …

If you read the label of a Tata Harper product, you won’t find any ingredients with names you can’t pronounce. With that said, I didn’t really bother reading any of the labels myself either. I let Gwyneth do it for me. As in Paltrow. You know, the queen of clean beauty and founder of the Goop Empire. 

Well it turns out, Gwyneth is a Tata Harper superfan, and now, I am, too, thanks to Neiman Marcus Fort Worth and my own personal skincare seminar with Tata Harper herself.

Going Gaga over Tata 

That’s right – I met Tata! Here’s us together. Which means I am now only one degree of separation from Gwyneth! I mean, we are practically a squad now!

Seriously though, it was so inspiring to learn about natural skincare from the very woman who developed the line. She shared so much info about quality, natural skincare and beauty that I wanted to leap out of my chair and scream, YAAS GUURLL!! while giving her a big sloppy kiss and a dry hump to boot. I didn’t, of course, mainly because I wanted Neiman’s to invite me back again, but you get it. I was pretty much, blown away. 

The Dirty Truth

  • Here’s the deal, everyone is trying to live better and look better. Although you can’t make time stop, you CAN make sure you’re aging in an amazing way. Chemicals and unhealthy crap don’t accomplish this goal. We also know this when it comes to food, and the same is true when it comes to the stuff we slather all over our skin for our bodies to absorb.

 

  • I’m talking about parabens like isobutyl and isopropyl, formaldehyde (which is a known carcinogen), triclosan (a hormone disruptor) BHA, BHT, dyes made from coal tar and siloxanes and more. This is just a small list of the thousands of chemicals used in skincare formulations today which can range from not great to actually harmful.

 

  • European countries have banned over 1,300+ of these harmful ingredients. Here in the U.S., only eleven have been banned. Yup. Eleven Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice health for beauty thanks to Tata and her trademarked blends of hundreds of botanicals and all-natural ingredients. 

Beauty is a Process

Tata taught me that just using a natural product isn’t enough – the how and how much also matters. It’s all about finding the right routine for your skin, and layering products to ensure that your products are working for your face.

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As important as layering is to lavishing, Tata believes more is more. Don’t scrimp on product – slather your skin forehead to chest, then take a moment to let all the goodness sink in and be totally absorbed into the skin before starting the next layer.

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Oh, and one more tip: SUNSCREEN!!! If you wear sunscreen on a daily basis, this should be the last step, not the first step, of your morning skincare routine. If you put it on first, it blocks all of the beauty products from absorbing into your skin and doing their job. 

Does all of this take a bit more bathroom time? Maybe. OK, yes. Yes it does. But aren’t you worth it? Yes, my friend. Yes you are totally and absolutely worth it!

Wanna Get Started?

Are you ready to get down with your very own customizable Tata beauty routine? Then check out this really cool feature on how to personalize your very own Tata Harper regime.

Full disclosure!!! I am not getting paid for writing this blog post, I just want to give you the tools and the power to be healthy and to feel as beautiful as you already are. Besides, it’s not often I fall so head over heels about a beauty line, that I literally arm swipe all the products off the shelf and into a box.

Check out the 8 products below that have transformed my skin.

You can also watch my entire Tata Harper beauty routine in my Instagram highlights!

 

If you’ve tried Tata and want to share your experiences or have any comments about the importance of natural skincare in general and your thoughts, please post below!

SoFortWorthIt x Tata Harper x Neiman Marcus GIVEAWAY!

Oh my gosh y’all, I am thrilled to share this Tata Harper giveaway with you. The Tata Harper MasterClass at Neiman Marcus Fort Worth wasn’t just a blog-worthy experience, but it was incredibly educational! I wish everyone could have been there to further their knowledge on healthy beauty.

 

With that said, I am giving one lucky winner a lovely start to build a Tata Harper collection of their own!

6 Feb

Make Valentine’s Day Sparkle with Ruinart Champagne

Nothing says love quite like Champagne.

To commemorate Valentine’s Day, I am devoting my entire post to the best of the bubbly stuff. And y’all, when I say Champagne, I mean real Champagne. No Prosecco, Cava or “headache in a bottle” for this girl. It might bubble and fizz like a Champagne, but it’s only a Champagne if it’s from Champagne, France. And one of the shining jewels of Champagne is Ruinart.

A couple of months ago, Chester Cox reached out to me and asked if I was interested in learning more about Ruinart. You might recognize Chester from his five-year run as Fort Worth Magazine’s best wine expert, but he’s also the sommelier and retail wine specialist at Ellerbe Fine Foods. Chester invited me to bring a group of my most favorite peeps to experience a tresspecial, tresexclusive Ruinart Champagne tasting lunch.

Christy-Ruinart-lores-186

Let me just stop this story and give you some advice: If someone offers you and your crew an exclusive lunch featuring one of the world’s most exclusive wines, say yes.

So y’all, that’s exactly what I did! I said yes! So I am going to stop again and say, if this sounds like something you would love to do, you totally can. As you know, Ellerbe is owned by sommelier Richard King and executive chef Molly McCook, but Richard has teamed up with Chester on an amazing wine pairing event venture called White Gloves, Purple Teeth. Molly remains the mastermind behind the food and flavors in the kitchen, but Richard and Chester stand at the ready to direct a decadent evening of oenophilia for groups large and small.

EllerbeFineFoods_MollyMcCook
EllerbeFineFoods_RichardChester

OK, now back to our wine lunch. Jason and I arrived at Ellerbe with eight of our most connoisseur-y friends. This group has literally seen it all, and our jaws all dropped when we saw our elegantly appointed table. Like, Carol, queen of tablescapes,  would have been proud.

One more thing I know y’all want to know – how do you pronounce Ruinart? OK, repeat after me: Rwree narrr. And again, but this time pretend you have a stuffed up nose: Rwree narrr. Tres bien!

Once we were seated, Chester introduced us to Jeridan, our tasting guide for our champagne-paired course and the official U.S. Ambassador for Ruinart Champagne.

30 seconds later, the white gold began to flow!

In between bites and sips, I soaked up the back story behind the Ruinart Maison and everything beautiful about the bubbles.

The History of the House

Ruinart, located in the town of Reims, is the oldest established Champagne house in France. Nicolas Ruinart founded it in 1728 right after the King of France decided to allow Champagne to be transported in bottles rather than barrels.

Reims Map
RUINART-Ruinart

Ruinart was the first Champagne house to cellar its wine in the region’s famous chalk caves, which were dug out by Roman prisoners over 2000 years ago. They’re 125 feet underground and span over five miles – big enough to house Ruinart’s entire production.

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Fun fact: It’s not just Arkansas where everything is relative. Nicolas’s uncle, Dom Ruinart, was a Benedictine monk and equal contemporaries with another wine lover, Dom “Donny P” Perignon. They were monks together in the same church, and they are also buried in the same abbey.

Also, Nicholas was the great grandfather of Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, better known as the Widow Clicquot, or Veuve Clicquot.

Dom ruinart
Dom-perignon
Veuve_clicquot

Today, Ruinart is owned by LVMH, which also owns Louis Vuitton. (I knew there was a reason I loved this Champagne!)

We drank a range of wines, including a Blanc de Blanc with our salad and soup course. A Blanc de Blanc is 100 percent pure Chardonnay. (And it’s also 100 percent pure vegan! Win!)

Their Chardonnay is the finest in the region sourcing Premier and Grand Cru fruit from our estate own vineyard in Sillery in the Montagne de Reims along with the vineyards in the Côte des Blancs.

 

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We also sampled the Tête de cuvee Ruinarts Vintage Champagne while dining on our main courses.

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Another fun fact: Ruinart was not just the first Champagne house, they were also the first to make rose, way back in 1764. We sipped Dom Ruinart Rosé, which is an amazing balance of Chardonnay & Pinot Noir while we enjoyed Chef Molly’s amazing third course.

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You may be thinking, Christy, it’s great that you were drinking the good stuff, but what in the wine cork could you eat? Turns out, a lot! Chef Molly and her staff were so amazing, the kitchen coordinated a selection of special vegan dishes just for me to enjoy.

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Tasting Notes

  • Our group loved all three wines, especially since they were all specially blended to pair perfectly with food. Champagne was actually made for food – its acids breakthrough meat fats and cream sauces. It’s great with charcuterie, chicken and duck. The rose is great with steak, pasta, cheese and pizzas. It’s especially great with fried foods like French fries and fried chicken. Not that I know, but I’ve been told!
  • Now here’s a fun fact that’s actually crazy: The only thing that doesn’t taste good with Champagne is chocolate. For reals! The tannins in the Champagne are too big a taste and too bitter for the chocolate. Better bet is to go with a port. You’re welcome.
  • Want me to keep going? Here goes: Ruinart uses just under 8 grams of fruit and beet sugar per liter of alcohol, which is equivalent to about a sugar packet. Champagne also is the least caloric of all wines. Just 74 calories per glass! Just be careful if you decided to indulge in the bubbly while exercising.

And at the very end of our experience, our group had the opportunity to purchase the champagne we tasted, including rare specialty bottles we didn’t get to taste, at below wholesale cost! You can just imagine how many cases of champagne this group took home. I have to officially say, my wine refrigerator is filled with Ruinart!

Thanks to Ellerbe’s wine program, White Glove, Purple Teeth.

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Ruinart GIVEAWAY!!!

Who wants to win more fabulous freebies compliments of yours truly and Ellerbe?

We’re giving away a bottle of Ruinart Blanc de Blanc and a Champagne-fueled lunch for 2 at Ellerbe. $300 VALUE