Cuvée Cruise

Several lucky boaters enjoy a tasting lesson from Champagne Thiénot during a Sea Ray outing.

Picture the setting: The Chicago River, deep green and snaking under bridges and between buildings of impressive height. The air thick and balmy as summers in the Midwest tend to be, cut with a cool breeze coming off of Lake Michigan. At intervals, breaking through the quiet churn of boat engines, a peal of laughter, a clink of glassware.

This August, several contest winners were treated to a lesson in pairing and tasting from the experts at Champagne Thiénot. The event took place onboard a gorgeous new Sea Ray 470 Sundancer, an ideal party venue for the afternoon. As the sport yacht made its way along the city’s watery thoroughfare, a representative from Thiénot guided the group through a lesson in the many flavors and sensations swirling in each bottle, including:

Thiénot Brut: This blend of the three classic Champagne grape varieties forms the signature Thiénot style of finesse, fruit and freshness, offering springtime notes, magnificent balance and a lingering finish.

Thiénot Rosé: An elegant & delicious wine with a distinctive, delicate aromatic style, it showcases Thiénot’s exacting standards in crafting Champagne driven by red fruits, freshness and great finesse.

Cuvée Stanislas 2005: A magnificent blend crafted exclusively from Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs, Alain Thiénot has dedicated this Vintage Champagne expressing all the complexity and generosity of Chardonnay with great elegance, to his son Stanislas.

Cuvée Alain Thiénot 2002: This stunning blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir shows great complexity and perfect harmony, and is only crafted in outstanding years.

Cuvée Garance 2007: “Garance” is the name of a plant from the rubiaceae family, whose roots were used in the past to produce a red dye, which is a bright, clear shade of red. The wine is a unique blend of the finest Pinot Noir from Montagne de Reims, with significant character and finesse.

La Vigne aux Gamins 2004:
The ultimate expression of the signature Thiénot style, the aging of this single varietal vintage cuvée retains the specific character of the terroir, the year and natural Chardonnay aromas. La Vigne aux Gamins is a highly original Champagne, full of flavor.

Guests agreed they would be hard pressed to pick a favorite; all in all, it was a magnificent chance to sip their way through an afternoon. To learn more about the tasting menu, visit

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