The trip

After a few days in champagne we reached Denmark today on our way up.
It’s been an amazing journey with incredibly hot sommarvæder and fantastic food and drink.

When we finally came down to Champagne and the village of Ludes, were we stayed, we started with doing a little tour of our B & B’s cellar and got the story about their own production. Everything ended with a tasting of three of their champagnes. Nice all of them but not quite what we had in mind when it came to our more extensive purchases. So we preceded to the village Mensil-Sur-Oger in the Cotes Blanc, to visit Michel Rocout, which we had planed. We bought their demi-sec (verging on being a brut, since it only contains 18 grams sugar / liter), which is fantastic! Also the rest of the family took the opportunity to buy some bubbles and especially my brother seemed pleased with the magnum he bought.

In the afternoon we went to Huré Fraire in Ludes (next door to our B&B), who we have visited before. My mother, who is the only one in company who speaks little French, came up to speed really well after a while. Champagne was purchased for pickup the following day.

If you’r ever in Epernay, I have a restaurant tip! There are a little neighborhood restaurant called Chez Max (believe it means “Max’s place”, but I do not know for sure). This small place has the best service and the food and wine is really good value for money! Go there!

Wednesday started with Pol Roger, and a tour in the cellars and subsequent testing in the garden. And now the family, really started to discover the big difference between champagne and champagne. It turned out, for example, that my mother seemed to likethe younger little tarter styles, while my dad appreciated the little older and in overall heavier styles.

But we can honestly admit that everyone in the family put Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill as their favorite… which may not come as a surprise.

After leaving the magnificent house of the Pol Roger family, we steered our course towards the village of Dizy and the small producer Alain Bernard, where we quickly spent the last of our travel funds, and even had the good fortune to find 12 magnums, of the sort we had planed! We were all joy! And yes, we bought a few extra varieties just to fill up the cellar at home. Since it is always good to have some in case you feel a bit down and need some cheering up.

All, in all we brought home around 120 bottles, and we have realized that it will most likely be one trip to champagne each year. But next time we will hopefully have friends in the back seat and not as much champagne, since it is so much nicer if you can share the experience.

Tomorrow Barcelona!

Now I’m almost finished with my packing, before tomorrow’s early departure to Barcelona. I will only be gone overnight, so it’s not so much that needs to be packed much.

I’m very excited and I am really looking forward to absorb all information that can be of any use to me during my work with the book. So the most important things I have packed is the camera and the note book.

Cava tasting: Freixenet

Yesterday we were seven friends who got together to try Freixenet dry supply available at the monopoly in Sweden. It was not an easy task, but together we came up with some good aroma and flavor descriptions. For each tasting I host, I am reminded of the incredible variety of flavor references we carry with us and how our brains make parallels to previously experienced smells and flavors when we put our noses in a glass of wine. It is a fantastic experience every time. Since our ways to describe a smell or taste is so wonderfully different, you always learn new things when you taste together with friends. To try wine in small groups where you can have a dialogue is really the most rewarding ways to explore wine in my opinion.

We all thought that Freixenet dry cavas generally are very well made, fruity with nice acidity, and that the portfolio is very divers which we really liked. I will compile our test results and provide some tips and ideas about the wines we tried, for many of the wines are very well priced.

I’m extremely happy with our tasting and are already looking forward to the next, which I am now planing for.

Until then, I think you should celebrate that the spring is here with a little fizz. Go to your local store and buy something that you never tried before, put it on ice for a while. And when you drink it think about what you appreciate with just this wine. (But don’t think so much that you forget to enjoy it!)
Here’s to spring!

Planning the trip to Champagne

There are a lot of really pleasant things in life. Planning trips is one of those. Even better, is when you actually get to go on your trip and experience new cultures, tastes, and everything else that new culture has to offer.
As of now I sit here planning a return visit to champagne at the end of April. Among other things, the aim is to buy some champagne for a special occasion in the spring, but also to visit the wonderful area again, when spring has come to the region and it is at its most beautiful. The vines have begun to bloom and the leaves are still transparent bright green.

Unfortunately I do not speak a word of French, but fortunately I have a wonderful mother who does and who will come with us. Obviously, you do get around anyway, but it is always easier if you speak the language.
The wonderful Champagne farmers are incredibly hospitable and are often more than happy to show you their basements full with aging champagne, and will tell you about how they produce their champagne. If you ask nicely you usually always get a taste of the champagne they produce and then it may be appropriate that you buy a bottle if you think it tastes nice. If it is exceptionally good (as it often is), it is advisable to take the opportunity to buy a few bottles when you have a chance (for your own sake). The Champagnes made by these small producers are usually just sold within France, so you won’t be able to get them once you get home to your own country.

Our plan for the trip in terms champagne shopping is to find five different varieties to take home. But if I know the family and myself right there will most likely be one or two “odd” bottle in addition to the basic plan. But we are not in the champagne area every day, so it is just of fill the car for as much as it will hold for.