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Tasty Side to Life Tours Website

Monday, March 14, 2011

Veuve Clicquot vs. Mumm Champagne Tour, Reims

During a sleepy winter day in Reims we got to experience the allure of a tasting and tour at Veuve Clicquot and Mumm. It's so hard to pick which champagne house to taste with when you are visiting the region and hope this article will help a bit in deciding between the two houses! If you want a driver and english speaking guide for the day then check out http://www.tastysidetolifetours.com.

Ally with a gigantic bottle of Veuve

Both Mumm and Veuve Clicquot are two "Grands Maisons" de Champagne in Reims. Visting both houses while in Reims is fun and you will have a tasting and tour of two very old and prestigious houses in Reims with history of nearly 250 years of champagne making! (This history is awesome but keep in mind that its always nice to do a mix of these huge corporate giants and small charming local spots. I'd personal like a mix of Veuve and following the locals secrets ie driving out 15 minutes outside Reims to taste with small producers, loung in cozy tasting rooms, get dirty in the fields around vineyards and chateaus. It's hard to do on your own b/c these houses don't speak english but hire a driver from a company like ours.

To American's Veuve Clicquot is a mainstay name. From popping a cork for a celebratory promotion to the clinking of newlywed glasses, Champagne and Veuve in general has engrained itself in American society! The story of how Veuve Clicquot pioneered a Champagne movement is a fascinating story of a determined widow who at the age of 27 lost her husband, Francois Clicquot and thus was thrown in charge of her family's wine business. She took over reins amid totally chaos, during the Napoleonic wars. During this time she became a prominent female leader in a hugely male dominated industry and has grown her small family business to what it is today.

Mumm I think for many Americans is regarded, unfortunately, as a cheap bottle of California sparkling wine. While yes this is true, their real deal Reims originated Champagne dates back centuries and lies inside a beautiful old Chateau. I've been to a party in a private cave here and let me tell you it was incredible and is a tasting and tour in champagne not to be missed. Mumm was founded by 3 brother winemakers in 1827 and is famous for it's red ribbon or the Cordon Rouge which is a replica of the ribbon given for a legion of honor.

The blanc de blanc was really nice. Love the shape of this bottle.
The bottle rotation process explained at Mumm
Tasting at Mumm with some new random friends

While both houses are unique and memorable, it certainty was tasting at Veuve Clicquot who blew us away. Our tour guide seriously might have a career in Hollywood, no joke. She was like a little actress, in her own little cinema and painted the most amazing picture of Madame Clicquot, her life, her struggles and her passion. It was inspiring and we honestly somehow hung on to every word, making that final moment ie the tasting even more anticipated. The only downside is that the tour is a bit expensive compared to others (26 Euro compared to 10 euro at Mumm) BUT you only taste the highest quality Champagne while at other houses you have the choice between quality.

Veuve Clicquot does not only purchase juice but also owns land on some of the best "terroirs" in the region in Bouzy, Ambonnay and by Trepail France
And the tasting begins

Champagne Louis Roederer-owner of the famous Cristal
Champagne Jacquart
Deleans Chocolate Atelier, Reims
Buying huge bars of chocolate before our second tasting

Veuve Clicquot-1 Place des Droits de l'Homme, 51100 Reims, France
+33 3 26 89 54 41 . Definitely call about 2 weeks before for a booking. Tasting and Tour is 30 euro per person and last about 1.5 hours. House is located walking distance to Pommery and Les Crayeres so an easy combo to combine the two tours

Mumm- 34 Rue du Champ de Mars, 51100 Reims. Call a few days before for an appt. Tour and Tasting is 10 euro but varies with Champagne choice. A bit hard to walk to from center of town. Grab a taxi or add this onto a tour with http://www.tastysidetolifetours.com

Tasty Side To Life Tours for a private driver/ guide can be contacted here:

Sydney Krueger
USA +1 510 590 0943 
france +33 (0)688151255


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