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Champagne

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Annual Wine Media Guild Champagne Lunch

Always the high point of the year, Ed McCarthy, author of “Champagne for Dummies,” pulled out all the stops for a fabulous tasting of vintage treasures and brand icons. The 2002 Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d’Or was exquisite … I had just visited the property. The Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires 1995 was just as delicious […]



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Visiting Nicolas Feuillatte in Champagne

Very excited to have visited this incredible brand in Champagne recently! In fashionable New York circles, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte is considered one of the best. When I was active in the “JA” group at MoMA in New York (the Museum of Modern Art), after every walk through of a new exhibition participants were treated to […]



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Visiting Ruinart in Champagne

“Welcome to Ruinart,” says Helga Barroso, an energetic young woman who speaks excellent English and turns out to be quite the enologist (as well as a brilliant historian). Ruinart is the last, yet certainly not least, visit in a week of visits to many of the Grand Maisons, and I am very excited to see […]



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Visiting Vilmart Champagne

I think the turning point for me was when Tom Stevenson wrote that Vilmart was the poor man’s Krug,” says Laurent Champs, looking very elegant on this grey fall day with a colorful scarf elegantly arranged around his neck. We are standing in what can best be described as the tasting room of his family’s […]



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Champagne and the CIVB:

“We are always looking for new ways to conserve the environment,” says Philippe Wibrotte, PR representative for the CIVB in Champagne. With his dashing good looks,quick smile, and excellent English, M. Wibrotte is an elegant representative to convey the quality and value the Champagne region has to offer — as well as its message of […]



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Visiting Billecart-Salmon in Champagne

Welcome!” says gregarious Antoine Roland-Billecart, gliding down the 19th century staircase with the good looks and confidence of a sports star. On the stairwell wall behind him are oval, gilt-framed portraits of his ancestors. Antoine’s family has lived in the quaint village of Mareuil-sur-Ay since the 16th century when Nicholas Francois Billecart, an attorney, married […]



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Meeting Jean-Marc Lallier-Deutz of Champagne Deutz

“We are trying to find harmony in our Champagne,” says Jean-Marc Lallier-Deutz, a member of the Deutz family who holds – and has held – numerous responsibilities at the house. Like the rich, sumptuous, elegant style of the Champagne house itself, Jean-Marc is also extremely handsome and finely dressed – dapper is the word – […]



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Meeting Thierry Roset of Champagne Charles Heidsieck

It is such a treat to visit the gorgeous estate of Champagne Charles Heidsieck! In Champagne, each “house” takes on many different appearances …. … here, at Charles Heidsieck, the sensation is that of being in a large, well groomed park where one can stroll through the various gardens. Of course, what really matters is […]



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Visiting Champagne Gimonnet

  “Blends are better than single vineyards,” asserts Didier Gimonnett, whose family has been growing vines in Champagne since 1750. Actually, Gimonnet is one of the first “grower Champagnes” I tried in Manhattan a six years back, when the idea first became popular. Of course, the popularity of “grower Champagne” was part of a larger […]



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Visiting Champagne J.Lassalle

‘Bonjour,” says immaculately dressed Chantal Decelle-Lassalle, a very elegant looking woman who carries off the finesse French women have long been known for. Yet though Chantal has the soignee look of a society matron or high ranking executive of a fashion company, in reality she is the winemaker at the family-owned Champagne J.Lassalle, which her […]



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Michael Kalish creates Belle Epoque Installation for Perrier Jouet

… so excited to attend a party to celebrate the sculpture Belle Epoque by artist Michael Kalish, his interpretation of a beautiful, alluring garden to pay homage to the flowers on the Perrier- Jouët Belle Époque “flower bottle” (images of the work can be seen here) in Hudson River Park. The ‘Belle Époque’ installation will […]



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Visiting Champagne Vilmart

Imagine being taken deep inside the caves of Champagne Vilmart and its owner/winemaker Laurent Champs asking which of its golden tresures (behind lock and key) you wanted to break open? Laurent himself chose the above vintage bottles which includes a ’93 Cellier D’Or as well as several more recent vintages … The day began with […]



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Touring and Tasting at Perrier-Jouet in Epernay

Don’t the glasses above looking tempting? Herve Deschamps, the chef de cave, was in a different part of France that day yet enjoyed a fabulous tour and tasting.  You might not be aware of the history … the winery opened in 1811 … Pierre Perrier developed the vineyards in the family of his wife Rose […]



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A Private Visit to G.H. Mumm in Reims

I So after visiting the three champagne festivals, I was lucky enough to get a VIP tour of Champagne G.H. Mumm in Reims. It was a cool cloudy day with rain sometimes showering through the occasional glimpses of sun — and the G.H. Mumm is right in the city – I took a cab. On […]



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Les Artisans du Champagne 2012 April 17 2012

So Les Artisans du Champagne was the last fair in this three day festival, and though not the oldest, seemed for some reason the most “old school” — perhaps because the percentage of extremely well known smaller houses were so prevailent. One had the chance to speak one on one with the winemakers and/or owners […]



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Terres et Vins de Champagne 2012

So fab! The day started out great with a glass in my hand and a few dozen producers pouring their vin clairs and champagne. I would llke to say all were fabulous —  yet will modify this by saying all were clean and precise and from that point it is personal taste.  Many people from […]



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Terroirs & Talents 2012

Wow it is so exciting to be here and meet the growers. I am in Epernay at the Terroirs & Talents de Champagne tasting at the Au Restuarante Theatre.  It is the same glamorous red-themed restaurant where the CIVC took educators in November, yet upstairs. On the way to my hotel Clos Raymi in Eperney, […]



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Visiting Champagne Next Week!

I am SO excited to visit Champagne next week! I heard about the three festivals on LinkedIn from Jiles Halling (My Man in Champagne) and he has been very helpful in helping me set up the trip. The first event is  Terroirs et Talents de Champagne and  takes place in Epernay on  Sunday 15th April […]



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Grower Champagne on Christmas Day

So now after two and a half days of drinking $$$$ of very fine champagne (as a guest!) I am back in New York and looking for something slightly more affordable for Christmas. At Le Bernadin last week, sommelier Aldo Sohm (who won best sommelier in the world competition and is always winning new ones) introduced […]



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Rendez-vous au Champagne Bruno Paillard

  Bruno Paillard is an increasingly popular brand, and the first time I heard about it was during a week I spent as AXA’s guest for winning a competition related to the Masters of Wine programme – it was the wine served in the very elegant ‘drawing room’ of Chateau Pichon-Longueville before dinner. The other […]