Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Champagne Day!

As far as I am concerned, every day is champagne day, but today is actually the official day of celebration for this bubbly from France.

I’ve spent a lot of time with one of my favorite beverages in the past year. Last fall, I left my home in Champaign, Illinois, and took a trip with the French tourism board to Champagne, France. I spent four days there learning all about the beverage and the region. During that trip I was able to spend a wonderful night at the Veuve Clicquot estate, Manoir de Verzy. I also had a tour of the winery and went through my first champagne cave.

My trip to Champagne also included a chance to sit down with the Krug winemaker Julie Cavill and learn about the process of making champagne. I came home with a bottle of their Grand Cuvee and opened it up on my birthday (it’s wonderful). Krug Master Sommelier Roger Dagorn had his own celebration in New York a few weeks ago when he was honored for his lifetime achievements.

In March, I had the pleasure of being invited to Paris for the 200th Anniversary Celebration of Perrier Jouet. It was a black tie affair, full of celebrities and a dedicated piece of art by Daniel Arsham to the champagne. It was then I got to taste what has become one of my favorites, the Belle Epoque 2004.

Champagne should be savored whether or not there is a special occasion. It will certainly be a part of mine.  I actually enjoyed a glass of the 2002 Laurent-Perrier Brut with my dinner at Bernardus Lodge in Carmel. My first Wine and Spirits Travel Guide will actually be about champagne (the drink and the region) and I hope to have it available in the next few weeks. In the meantime, pop the cork and celebrate the day!

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