Last week, I had an unforgettable experience at Domaine Carneros with my new friend, James King, Owner/Founder of King Group Events. Well – James and I have actually been Facebook friends for a couple years now, but we met in person for the first time last week at Domaine Carneros.

Friends come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime and James King has inspired me to write again and to open myself up to new adventures. Thank you James!

Pandemic shutdowns, evacuating (twice) from fires in Sonoma County and discovering that I have an unfortunate allergy to red wine (sigh) all took their toll on me in the past couple of years and my creative juices dried up like our local aquifers in a drought. This is the first piece I’ve written in almost two years and it feels damn good to be sitting here at my keyboard, letting the words flow like Champagne, er, Sparkling Wine.

Enough about me – let’s talk about Domaine Carneros!


Domaine Carneros is visually stunning. You’re driving the gently curving backroads of Napa/Sonoma/Carneros and voila! There it is, prettily perched on a knoll, like it was teleported there from France. Well, it kind of was – The Domaine Carneros château was inspired by the classic 18th century Château de la Marquetterie in Champagne, France – home of Champagne Taittinger, Domaine Carneros’s parent company.

We climbed the stairs (there is also a wheelchair accessible back entrance), checked in with the friendly hosts and were seated at a table with a lovely view of a fountain. We later moved to a larger table, because we had so many glasses and plates on our table – more on that in a minute…

James had chosen the Bubbles and Bites Flavors of Mexico flight for us and it was fabulous – an explosion of taste in every bite! It was a flight of four savory bites and one sweet bite, paired with four of their Sparkling wines – Ultra Brut, Estate Brut Cuvée, Brut Rosé, and Vermeil Demi-Sec. Our wonderful host Sean Donaghue explained the wines and pairings in delicious detail and made us feel so special! This man loves his job and it shows!

After that, James ordered caviar and smoked salmon (OMG!), paired with the Sparkling Grand Tasting – Single Vineyard Sparkling, Blanc De Blancs, Late Disgorged Brut and Le Réve. We then tasted the Ultra Brut and Late Disgorged Le Réve. What a treat! After moving to a larger table to better accommodate all the glasses, I was doing my “Happy Bubbly Dance” in my chair.

If you ever get the chance, treat yourself and visit Domaine Carneros. They have several unforgettable experiences to choose from and you’ll be smiling for weeks afterward.

Here’s a toast to fabulous new friends, delicious foods and unforgettable times – Cheers!