Roaming Through Reims and Epernay, Champagne Region, France

If you get the chance to take a day trip to the Champagne region of France, you should go!

The region is located northeast of Paris and takes about two hours to get there by car. We left the hotel at 10am and were in the countryside by noon. 

Our first stop was Moët and Chandon. We toured the caves which they keep at a cool 11° C (52° F) so it’s a good idea to bring a light jacket. Keep in mind, planning ahead is key since the champagne houses operate by appointment only. 

Here are a few things I learned about the historic house from our tour guide, Ivan, who has worked at Moët and Chandon since 2014:

  • You pronounce the T when you say Moët because it’s not a French name, it’s actually Dutch. It’s pronounced “Mo-ET”. Who knew I’ve been mispronouncing it my entire adult life?! 🤷🏻‍♀️
  • You do not have to drink champagne out of a flute, you can actually drink it out of a wine glass. I learned that in the early days of making sparkling wine, they could not remove the sediment that is produced from the added sugar and yeast. Flutes were used to keep the sediment at the bottom of the glass so you didn’t drink it. Nowadays, the sediment is removed by machines during the fermentation process. That means you can simply drink champagne from a white wine glass (which also gives the sparkling wine space). Cheers to that! 🥂
  • Every bottle is still turned by hand, everyday, during the maturation process.
  • The biggest difference between small champagne houses and large ones (like Moët and Chandon, Dom Perignon, and Veuve Clicquot) is consistency. 
  • The house aims to create sparkling wine that has the lightness of a bird, not a feather.

After visiting Moët and Chandon, we dined at L’Assiette Champenoise. Chef Arnaud Lallement’s dishes did not disappoint, even the vegan options that I was served were delicious and the presentation was well above par. In true French fashion, our meal was edible art and our taste buds exploded with delight upon each bite.

Once we finished our 3-hour meal, we headed to Veuve Clicquot. Although our afternoon arrival made it too late take a tour, we took advantage of the outdoor tasting room, which, I should mention, was super low-key and laid back as the champagne was served out of an Airstream trailer. 

During the ride back to Paris, we spotted a beautiful field of sunflowers. Of course we had to stop and, yes, I frolicked in the field of gold.

Cheers to a perfect day trip just outside Paris.

 

 

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