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Champagne Tasting

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Chicago, Illinois
posts: 1
Champagne Tasting

I am traveling to Reims with a small group of girlfriends and we would like to see 2-3 Champagne Houses while we are there. I think one tour will do though. Do the houses offer just tastings (and skip the tour)? If so, we'll go to the best tour (recommendations welcome!) and then visit a couple of others for just a sip...or two. :)

Thanks!

Tampa, Florida
posts: 29,850
reviews: 7
1. Re: Champagne Tasting

The houses are not bars -- there is a tasting included with the tour, but it is just that -- a tasting (read: small). At smaller houses that do not have tours, you will be offered a taste (again: small), but it is good form to purchase at least a bottle if they've given you the time and explanation and a sample of their Champagne.

It's pretty easy, and makes a pretty enjoyable day, to have a tour in the morning, a nice lunch, another tour in the afternoon, then catch the train back to Paris for dinner.

The Reims office of tourism has an English website, and English-speaking staff to assist you with any questions: www.reims-tourism.com

Essex
posts: 20,995
reviews: 71
2. Re: Champagne Tasting

The Mercure in Reims reportedly has the largest Champagne Bar in the city, with a great selection of products of the different producers and brands.

However, at almost every bar or Cafe in Reims you can purchase a 'coupe' or even a bottle of Champagne and most will have representation from several different houses, enough to keep most visitors more than satisfied.

Sit at a cafe near the central sqare, admire the Cathederal or on the Place Drouet d'Erlon and watch the world go by!

Tours, France
posts: 54
reviews: 10
3. Re: Champagne Tasting

No-one has any recommendations for bars that do proper degustations? They must exist, surely? (Sorry if that sounds snarky or whatever, I don't mean to be, but I would also like to do a proper tour/tasting at one or two champagne houses, and then a degustation of wines from different houses, with some 'expert commentary' would be nice.) Thanks for any suggestions :)

Tampa, Florida
posts: 29,850
reviews: 7
4. Re: Champagne Tasting

If you want expert commentary and a full, flighted comparison, then you need to hire an actual guide.

Bars are bars.

Houses are houses --

Wine shops are wine shops (but will have limited sampling, if any at all)

Nobody is going to offer up a full, flighted comparison with expert commentary without charging handsomely for their time, knowledge, experience, and inventory.

Tours, France
posts: 54
reviews: 10
5. Re: Champagne Tasting

Uh, well I've come across plenty of places in France where they offer dégustations, for a price of course. I find it hard to believe there's no such place in Reims, it seems like a huge gap in the market... I'm sorry if the question somehow offended you.

Tampa, Florida
posts: 29,850
reviews: 7
6. Re: Champagne Tasting

Not offended in the least.

Tours, France
posts: 54
reviews: 10
7. Re: Champagne Tasting

http://degustation-de-champagne.fr/

This sort of thing would be perfect, but it's too far from Reims for me, unfortunately, and I'll be going with a non-francophone so it doesn't suit. In case anyone else is interested, this guy offers a 1h30 dégustation of three wines for only 30 euro pp (2-8 pax), explaining the history, production, taste etc. of champagne. I assume only in French since there's no translation of the site. It's in Vrigny, outside Reims.

Edited: 3:03 pm, August 25, 2011
Tours, France
posts: 54
reviews: 10
8. Re: Champagne Tasting

www.c-comme.fr/La-degustation-de-la-semaine

This one in Epernay also looks good (6 glasses, 1 hour from 33 euro/person). Again though, I think it's only in French. I must admit I'm surprised not to find anything similar in Reims (or offered in English). I know of several places in Tours where you can do dégustations, although I don't know if they offer English.

Anyway, if no-one has any pertinent suggestions I suppose we'll just have to taste on our own because I'm coming up empty on google.

Champagne, France
posts: 291
reviews: 7
9. Re: Champagne Tasting

Hello Gwan57, there's a champagne bar in Epernay called C Comme who do tastings. They will probably be in French but these days with so many tourists around, there will be someone there who speaks a bit of English. Check it out here

www.c-comme.fr/La-degustation-de-la-semaine

Let me know how else I can help you :-))

Champagne, France
posts: 291
reviews: 7
10. Re: Champagne Tasting

Ah, I see you've already found it! Apologies :-)