Just In Time For Valentine's Day, Korbel Champagne Names Top Three 'Marry Me?' Moments of the Year

Two Lucky Romeos (and One Lucky Juliet!) Pull Off Perfect Proposals

With Help from Korbel and Blue Nile

Feb 10, 2005, 00:00 ET from Korbel Champagne Cellars

    GUERNEVILLE, Sonoma County, Calif., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Just in time
 for Valentine's Day, Korbel Champagne Cellars announces the winners of its
 third annual Perfect Proposal Contest by proclaiming this year's most
 unforgettable "marry me?" moments.  Hundreds of entrants submitted their
 unique proposal ideas, and Korbel selected three lucky winners to make their
 dreams a reality, complete with a Blue Nile Signature Collection diamond
 engagement ring.  The entries were judged on creativity, romantic theme and
 originality, and the grand prize-winning proposal earned one of the couples --
 Raymond Suarez and Maria Villar of New York -- an unforgettable seven-day
 honeymoon cruise to Hawaii or the Caribbean on Norwegian Cruise Line.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050210/CGTH009 )
     "The creativity and originality of our winners' entries made them stand
 out from the more than 300 people who entered The Korbel Perfect Proposal
 Contest this year," said Gary Heck, Chairman and President, Korbel Champagne
 Cellars.  "Korbel has toasted proposal moments for more than 120 years, so
 it's a natural fit for us to play a part in bringing these dream proposals to
     Grand Prize Winner:  Casino Casanova
     Twenty-seven-year-old Raymond Suarez, a physician from Yonkers, N.Y., and
 his girlfriend, Maria Villar of Bronx, N.Y., spent their first vacation
 together in Atlantic City.  While they didn't win any money that weekend, they
 took a chance on each other and have been happy with the returns ever since!
 So for his proposal, Suarez took a romantic roll of the dice at The Paris
 Hotel Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.  While wandering the floor of the
 casino, Suarez encouraged the unsuspecting Villar to pull the lever on an
 oversized, eight-foot tall slot machine.  What Villar didn't know was that the
 machine's reels were rigged to spell out "WILL YOU MARRY ME?"  Surrounded by
 Las Vegas showgirls and a crowd of cheering onlookers, Suarez dropped to one
 knee and offered Villar a beautiful diamond ring.  Luckily, it was a gamble
 that paid off -- Villar enthusiastically accepted!
     First Prize Winner:  Writing the Book of Love
     Window shopping took on new meaning for 31-year-old Andre Shina of Troy,
 Mich., and his girlfriend Kelly Keith of Roseville, Mich.  Having never
 visited a big city, Keith always wanted to take a shopping trip to Chicago.
 With this in mind, Shina dreamt up an elaborate proposal incorporating the
 famous windows at the flagship Marshall Field's department store.  Shina
 whisked Keith off for a romantic weekend in Chicago where they strolled past
 the unique display windows at Marshall Field's.  When the couple arrived at a
 curtain-covered window, two tuxedo-clad "Cupids" pulled back the curtain to
 reveal a magical "Book of Love"-themed display complete with an oversized,
 old-fashioned book page reading "KELLY, WILL YOU MARRY ME?"  Violinists
 serenaded the duo as Shina declared his intentions on bended knee, in front of
 a crowd of Saturday afternoon shoppers.  An elated Keith quickly exclaimed
     First Prize Winner:  A Twist on Tradition
     Though 64 percent of male respondents in a recent survey would accept a
 marriage proposal from a woman, only 31 percent of female respondents said
 they would propose marriage to a man.  Except for Kristin Dunn, that is!  The
 Boise, Idaho resident and her boyfriend Tim Szofran, also of Boise, are self-
 described "plant nerds" studying horticulture at Boise State University.  With
 their shared love of flowers and gardens in mind, Dunn dreamed of using a
 natural setting to eschew tradition and pop the question to Szofran.  While
 enjoying what Szofran thought was a typical weekend getaway in Denver, the
 couple took a tour at the Denver Botanic Gardens.  They stepped outside to
 view a special exhibit when Dunn turned Szofran to her hillside marriage
 proposal made of three-foot tall, flower-laden letters spelling out "MARRY ME
 TIM?"  Szofran was stunned, but recovered to embrace Dunn as he excitedly
 replied "Yes!"
     Tune in to The Jane Pauley Show on Monday, February 14 to meet the lucky
 winners and see how these amazing proposals came to life!  Visit
 http://www.janepauleyshow.com to check local listings.
     Established in 1882, Korbel Champagne Cellars has been a part of America's
 greatest celebrations for more than 120 years.  Korbel has been a supplier and
 licensee of the 1996 Olympic Games, the exclusive champagne of the past five
 Presidential Inaugurations, a supporter of Team Dennis Conner for the 1995
 America's Cup and the first global sponsor of Times Square 2000 -- a
 sponsorship that lasts through 2007.
     Korbel is an Official Supporter of the 2000, 2002 and 2004 U.S. Olympic
 Teams and the 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.  Korbel is the number
 one selling premium methode champenoise-produced champagne in America.  For
 more information, visit http://www.korbel.com .
     Blue Nile, the premier luxury jeweler online, offers consumers a better
 way to buy diamonds and fine jewelry. Blue Nile consistently receives honors
 from such distinguished publications as TIME, Forbes, and Real Simple, among
 others. Cut exclusively for Blue Nile, every Blue Nile Signature Collection
 diamond is hand-selected and cut to the most exacting standards, combining
 expertise of diamond craftsmen and the most advanced technology available
 today. This devotion to perfection guarantees maximum brilliance, sparkle, and
 fire. The Signature Collection quality is so exceptional that it is among the
 top 1% of diamonds found in the world.
     Celebrate responsibly.
      Allison Grenesko
      Margie Healy
      Korbel Champagne Cellars

SOURCE Korbel Champagne Cellars