Blogs from Champagne-Ardenne, France, Europe

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Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Epernay June 19th 2021

Unless you are a golfer or cyclist, you probably never thought about shipping your equipment ahead to your destination. Shipping golf clubs, to far off places like Scotland, Spain, or even Hawaii is a lifesaver, particularly when I have other stops along the way. It was a real pain to carry our clubs through downtown London before heading up to Scotland for a week of golf. The same is true for cycling, even when renting a bicycle. My recent cycling trip to Bordeaux involved one stop prior to the week of cycling, and two stops after. I hate the thought of carrying my equipment up three or four floors without an elevator.I shipped my cycling equipment ahead to my first hotel in Bordeaux. My bag included: helmet, cycling shoes, spindles, cycling clothing, extra ... read more
Ship It!

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Epernay February 16th 2021

How many of your shop at Trader Joe's for your wine and spirits? Generally, they have some interesting and well priced deals. Their wide selection allows me to try some new varietals from places I might not otherwise try. Next time you are there, just go to a different country, like Argentina, Spain or Italy, and pick a varietal that you have never heard of. Oh, and make sure the price is around $10 or less. You will thank me. The local wine expert has a column on Wednesday, and always touts his bargains, or "steals" as he calls them. And the place he touts is none other than Grocery Outlet, rapidly becoming the place to go for bargain wines across a wide spectrum. Of the 18,000+ growers in Champagne, only 4000+ own their vineyards 100% ... read more
Domaine Carneros, an all time favorite
St Germain

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Reims February 13th 2021

The map is very interesting. Have I purchased any of those items? See below for the answers.Again, I tend to buy very little these days, but I still buy T shirts and refrigerator magnets, wine, and some candy, like Turkish Delight, wine gummies, and chocolate. But you will see that over the years, I have purchased some things that I still have.United Kingdom Yes, I have an umbrella from Wimbledon, as well as a cap, polo shirt, tennis ball, and coffee mug. I went a little crazy. Stick to strawberries and cream! Netherlands I have brought home goud... read more
My Lanson from Reims
Turkish Delight
Chocolate shop in Bucharest

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Reims February 11th 2021

From time to time, a review of basic champagne is a good idea. Information is always a good thing: The Champagne Method Also known as the “Traditional Method,” the “Champagne Method” of sparkling wine production requires the wine to undergo two fermentations, wherein sugar is converted into alcohol.Primary Fermentation - After harvest, the grapes are carefully pressed, and the juice goes through an initial alcoholic fermentation - usually in stainless steel tanks. The result is known as the “base wine.”... read more
Love the bubbly
One of my favorites

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Epernay January 28th 2021

Here is a brief collection of insights I have found about my favorite sparkling wines. Regarding drying your champagne glasses: As a matter of fact, in order to maximize you Champagne’s effervescence, leaving a tiny bit of lint in your glass is paramount. As we all know, popping a Champagne cork reduces the tremendous pressure maintained in the thick bottle and releases the carbon dioxide dissolved in the wine. The gas molecules come suddenly out of solution and must collect together in order to form a bubble. Gerard Liger-Belair, a physicist (or “fizzisist”?) at the University of Reims and the world’s leading authority on bubbles, filmed Champagne using high-speed video and a microscope, and discovered that bubbles can form at a rate of 400 per... read more
Clinking glasses
A visit to Moet

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Epernay July 19th 2020

So, how does brut rose' champagne get its tint? From Bubble and Flute: The quick answer is they totally ignore that pesky little “pressing to avoid colour taint” rule. All red wines are made from prolonged contact with the black skinned grapes. For rosé champagne, there are three specific ways it can be made…Blending (or “Rosé d’assemblage”) when still red wine (in varying amounts between 5 and 20%) is added to the champagne at the blending stage. The still red wine must – of course – be from champagne grapes t... read more
Domaine Carneros brut rose'
Love Taittinger too!!!

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Reims July 7th 2020

I do not really have a wine blog per se, but I do like to share wine and sparkling information with you. I feel I have other things to say and share. But, with wine, people are fanatics. There is an estimated 1700 wine blogs worldwide in 2019. One of the original wine blogs—Alder Yarrow’s Vinography—began in 2004, and by 2009 there were over 700. Today, the vast majority are penned by so-called “citizen bloggers,” versus winery or press blogs. Of these citizen blogs, 60% are in English with the rest divided among other languages including Italian, French, Catalan, Portuguese, Czech, German, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, Chinese, Hungarian, Norwegian, and Indonesian.This is just great, invented by a wine lover with too much time on his or her hands. Rosé the Robot is an innovative ... read more
Many Champagnes to Choose
Lovely visit to Taittinger

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Epernay July 5th 2020

According to Winespeed: Non-vintage Champagne (designated NV on the wine’s label) is a blend of wines from different years’ harvests and from different vineyards and villages (crus) within the Champagne region. Non-vintage Champagne wines represent the vast majority of Champagne wines produced. (By contrast, vintage Champagne represents a little less than 6% of exports). Non-vintage Champagne wines are valued for their consistency year to year. By blending multiple vintages, each Champagne maker can maintain a “house style” that consumers can depend on. Amazingly, in some cases, the range of vintages in a non-vintage Champagne can span up to 20 years. By law, non-vintage Champagne wines need to age on the yeast lees fo... read more
Why not celebrate?
Mumm is a good medium priced bubbly!

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Reims June 5th 2020

Did you hear about this? From CNN: A cognac from a 1762 vintage sold for £118,580 ($146,000) at an online auction on Thursday.The "exceedingly rare" Gautier cognac is one of the oldest surviving cognacs in the world, and only three bottles of it are left, according to Sotheby's auction house. This bottle is the largest of the three, known as "grand frère" or "big brother," and had remained in the same family for generations. The "petit frère" or "little brother" was sold at an auction in New York in 2014 and the "petite soeur" or "little sister" is found in the Gautier Museum, in Cognac, southwestern France.And now this from Karen at Winespeed: TWO (in millions of U.S.$) for a bottle of Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Gra... read more
In honor of Hazel
And the Director

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Epernay May 21st 2020

Buy It With a $20: NV Campo Viejo Cava Brut Reserva ($13) A surprisingly good Cava given that it’s from a producer much better known for Riojas, this refined sparkling wine offers bright green apple flavors and a dry, lightly saline finish. NV Cleto Charli Lambrusco Vecchia Modena ($16) Crisp, dry and even slightly tannic (in a good way), this red spar... read more
My splurge, Domaine Carneros, Napa Valley
Coastal fav, Laetitia in Arroyo Grande, CA




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