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Widows and Winemakers: A Culinary Experience at Rienzi

Journey through time with the women who revolutionized Champagne, from the 18th century to today. Sip on Veuve Cliquout and learn about Madame Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin Cliquot, the founder of the famous champagne house, Veuve Cliquot. Embark on a culinary experience with the Clark Cooper Concepts Team and the Madames of House Pommery, House Bollinger and House Duval-Leroy over a four-course meal paired with champagnes of the centuries.

Champagne and culinary expertise come to life as guests learn about the Madames, who were widowed at a young age and established support systems for themselves through the making of champagne. Only widows in France in the 19th century were permitted to establish companies and thus the champagne houses became one of the first industries in the modern world where women played a prominent role. As an ode to these madames, the Clark Cooper Concepts team has created a four-course culinary and sensory experience to be shared at Rienzi, the MFAHs house museum for European decorative arts, on Tuesday, May 16th beginning at 7:00 pm. 

Chef Brandi Key and the culinary teams of Brasserie 19 and The Dunlavy will guide guests through a meal of elegantly prepared and progressive French cuisine paired with champagne. General Manager of SaltAir Seafood Kitchen, Wendi Lambert will guide guests through the evolution of the champagnes in parallel with the cuisine as Chef Key highlights the progression and development of French culinary technique.

Upon arrival, guests will be invited to tour the historic River Oaks house set in the midst of the four-acre wooded garden and take in a substantial collection of European decorative arts, paintings, furnishings, porcelain, and miniatures.


When: Tuesday, May 16th, 7:00 PM

Where: Rienzi 1406 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX 77019

Tickets: $165 Adults, 4-courses with pairings 

For more information and tickets, please visit

*Dietary restrictions can be accommodated with 48-hours advance notice.  Please share dietary restrictions upon ticket purchase by emailing

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