I am a self-confessed wine lover! However I never thought I would also become a major champagne lover. When I turned 30 there was a huge change in my life. Instead of throwing a wine party I decided to go wild and go for Champagne. I was 30, I deserved it! Of course the bonus to this decision was a research trip for pre Champagne tasting in the Champagne region of France. Suddenly turning 30 didn’t seem that bad!
+ Champagne walhalla Reims
Betsy (my car) was coming with me on this big trip from Amsterdam to Reims. The ride was 4,5 hours. Reims is a small city in the Champagne region and a good place to book one or two nights and explore from there. In Reims there are some big Champagne houses such as Taittinger, Pommery and Ruinart.
The famous Champagne houses don’t allow you to do spontaneous Champagne tasting, so you should book a tour in advance where you get to taste the Champagne afterwards. I would have loved to go on a one of these tours, but could not wait for a booking as I was on a mission to find the best Champagnes and bring them back in time for my party.
+ La route du Champagne
It’s quite hard to decide where specifically to go as there are so many Champagne houses. For no reason in particular, I chose to drive to Verzenay. In reality, there is no need to plan your route! You will find dozens of amazing Champagne houses everywhere in the region.
My first Champagne tasting was instantly a winner. Champagne house Hervy-Quenardel in Verzenay is maybe not the fanciest looking but the Champagne is excellent. I went for the Grand Cru Brut Prestige with 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay, and it was fantastic.
The owner arranged the next stop which was just uphill and, yes, again amazing Champagne. Fracinet & Fils is owned by a lovely couple and they kindly advised me in the Champagnes made for easy drinking at a party. Francinet Grand Cru Brut & Grand Cru Rose were the top ones for me. With 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, these Champagnes are full bodied but still very light and of course delicious to drink.
The Brut Reserve from Champagne Godme Sabine was the champagne which I would choose to kick off the party. With 70% Chardonnay 15% Pinot Noir and 15% Meunier this is the perfect aperitif Champagne. A big plus when visiting this place would be the Champagne tasting area outside on the terrace which overlooks the vineyard. I could have stayed here all day but there was more to taste…
One of the highlights of the trip was the atmosphere in all the different Champagne tasting rooms. On my last stop in Champagne house Claude Carre et Fils the tasting was in the owners own home! This was quite a cool experience I must say to enjoy a tasting with the owner in their own living room. The Blanc de Blancs with 100% Chardonnay went home with me and Betsy. A perfect Champagne to end a night.
And what a night it was…Champagne, oysters, music and friends. The perfect way to kick off your thirties!
Of course you don’t need to turn 30 to go on this trip. Champagne is always a good idea, enjoy!