When in Champagne… champagne!

Last weekend, me and my friends took a break from studying and preparing for finals and decided to finally go on a champagne tour (since we live in Champagne). Most of the exchange students did that in their very first month here, as we should have done when we were completely free. But you guys know how it is, we always think we are going to have plenty of time to visit local places and end up prioritizing traveling to farther places and forgetting about the interesting things that you can do in our town.

I thought the champagne houses were quite far from Reims, that is why it took me a while to have the initiative to go look for them, but it was actually just a quick 30min walk from where we live. We choose to visit Mumm champagne house and did a cave tour. They offer tours in five different languages! The tour guide was a lovely lady that had all the patience in the world to answer my million questions about the art of making champagne. The tour includes a visit to the caves and finishes with a little champagne and cheese tasting of their iconic Mumm Cordon Rouge. Although I didn’t use to be very fond of champagne before living here, I really enjoyed this one. It was so smooth and wasn’t as dry as most of the brut champagnes I have tasted so far.

(I would like to clarify that Mumm champagne did not offer me monetary incentives to write this review post in their favor. Nonetheless, if a Mumm champagne representative happens to be reading this right now and would like to compensate me for my positive remarks attesting the quality of their champagne, please contact me at 789-09…. Haha! Jokes aside, their champagne is terrific and you should try it!)

Now let’s take a look at the tour and tasting:

This is an interesting technique they use to “clear” the champagne. It’s called “remuage.” They leave the bottles upside down in order to have the impurities that remained from the fermentation process deposited in the top of the bottle, so they can remove it.

This is cool: apparently they have these covered roads that go all the way to Paris in order to ensure the transportation of the champagne is made on time and under perfect conditions!

All smiles here after having a great time with my friends at the champagne tour.

On our way back home, in the spirit of “trying things locally that we haven’t had the chance of experimenting before,” we decided to try the French classics foie gras, escargots, and kir royals. My thoughts: foie gras tasted somewhat like a pâté  (just thicker but still with that “paste” consistency) and they eat it with bread. For the escargots: delicious! They were soaked in a pesto kind of sauce that was exquisite! With that being said, I think French food is so heavy in condiments, (but that is the reason why I love it in the first place, there is so much flavor in every bite) which make eating these eccentric foods not hard to try at all. I was disappointed that the escargots were not in their shells, but what matters is that they tasted good, right? For the kir royals, which are just champagne with a bit of crème de cassis, they drink it rather as an aperitif to open up your palate before the meal. They are perfect if you prefer your drinks on the sweeter side.

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