Sparkling wine, spontaneous proposal leads to Valentine's Day wedding

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Sparkling wine, spontaneous proposal leads to Valentine's Day wedding

By Bill Judson

It all started at last year's Wine and Food Affair. I was happily playing tour guide for an out-of-town guest for this fantastic two-day wine and food fest.

We were relaxing on the cozy patio of Trentadue Winery when the conversation turned to how men lack the ability to be spontaneous. My guest sought support for her claim from the couple sitting nearby.

The gentleman did not agree and found the best way possible to prove his point. At that moment, he knelt down on one knee and proposed marriage to the woman sitting next to him. In a moment of shock and joy, she accepted.

Debate quickly turned to celebration. Trentadue produces a great California sparkling, so we were able to immediately toast to the new engagement in fine style.

The story does not end there.

As if John Steele, the man who proposed, had not already made his point, he again let spontaneity take control. On Valentine's Day, he suggested to his fiancé, Shannon Haralson, that they not go to work and instead go get married. Again she embraced the moment.

They decided to tie the knot in Sonoma County; in what they thought would be a low-key civil ceremony. Little did they know they would become part of the county's history by being the first couple married by a sitting county supervisor.

Supervisor Shirlee Zane officiated the wedding, which was covered by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat newspaper. A revised statewide law gives county supervisors the right to marry, adding them to the list of religious leaders, and legal and elected officials that have that power.

'Congratulations to John and Shannon, my first couple,' Shirlee said. 'I'm honored to be the first Sonoma County Supervisor to officiate a wedding. And I'm particularly pleased to be part of such a lovely Valentine's Day story.'

Sonoma County is an incredibly beautiful and romantic place. Add a little wine into the mix, and … let's just say, guys, you have been warned.

Tina Luster