Sunday, June 7, 2009

Champagne, France

I decided to continue my wine tour of France by visiting the famed Champagne region, just 45 minutes by high-speed TGV train from Paris. I arrived at Reims, the regional capital.
I have to say that Reims is one of the few places in France that I dislike. This is because the city’s architecture is very hodgepodge, with both unattractive old and new buildings. I did, however, enjoy Reims’ gigantic Gothic cathedral with its stained-glass windows. This was the place where most of France’s kings were coronated.

At Reims, I visited one Champagne cellar, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, one of France’s most prestigious brands. Despite the prestige of the winery, I wasn’t impressed by the visit as I felt it was expensive, commercialized and formal, quite opposite from what I experienced in Bordeaux and in the Loire Valley. The tour consisted of an explanation of the Champagne making process, visiting the cellar and tasting one sample of Brut Champagne.

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