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Tasty Side to Life Tours Website

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How to Taste at Local Producers in the Champagne Region (Reims, Epernay, etc)?

1) You need an appointment. Unfortunately this is not Ca, it is France and things are more proper here :) So… you might need to go ahead and google translate or yahoo babelfish some key phrases and cross your fingers that as you sit there on the phone at 3 am in the US making your appointments blushing and getting a bit nervous you better hope that a) they understand your jumbled franglish and b) that they don’t you ask ANY questions!... “Bonjour Monsiour…ahhh je ne comprends pas” **In actuality even most of the vineyards that keep regular visiting hours prefer you to reserve in advance. Also the small producers always genuinely appreciate a call because usually they are out and about with their lives and need to know if you’re coming on by.

2) There’s persistently the issue of language. Some places are “English Speaking” but how well your owner speaks English can definitely vary. English in large towns like Paris is easy to find and most of the time if you actually try and do your best to speak French they’ll probably respond in English. Yet, in small country towns good English is still far and few between. IE casual visiting is fine with a few "this is good...yummm" but any complicated questions about processes probably won’t fly.

3) Trips to Farms and taking Cooking Classes are add on options in the region if you’re interested in learning to cook the regional food or if you want to stumble into a litte goat cheese producer and have yourself a quick pan et fromage snack beore your next house.

4) Short Weekends visits are definitely do-able from Paris and a must in my book. I mean a 45 minute train ride and back in Paris before 9pm isn’t bad at all when you have the chance to see 1,000 year old Champagne caves, winding beautiful roads of vines and purchase secret Champagne bottles for a 1000% less than the regular price (a measly 13 euro) to bring back home.

5) Ok, so if you want the trip just planned for you what should you do? This is an easy one, two. 1) Email me at sydneykrueger@gmail.com 2) I'll plan it for you.

I've had so many people contact my blog and ask me to arrange trips for them that now I am doing it as a little business. Basically I'll arrange to take all the stress and hassle out of the adventure. I plan for you to leave Paris early in the morning (we provide you with a light yummy Parisian breakfast from one of the top boulangeries in town-flaky croissants and melt in your mouth pain au chocolate) and you’re brought to the region by private car or high speed train (fee is included).

With your private driver you can have as much bubbly as you desire without worrying about 1) your french and 2) driving into the side of a chateau. We will drive through small towns and rolling hills of Champagne (like Rilly La Montagne, Verzy, Chatillon, etc) drink various cuvees at each house, stop into the Cathedral in Reims where the Kings of France were crowned, hang with lots of local producers and devour the gastronomy of the region through snacks along the way and at a fabulous planned gourmet lunch or pre packed picnic basket. ** There is also the option to stop into local farms, eat some fresh goat cheese, take a cooking class, hit a round of golf balls at a local beautiful old Chateau or do more cultural side activities as well. ** Yet, you also can just plan to taste at as many small producers as we can fit in if that is what you prefer.

Email me at sydneykrueger@gmail.com if you want me to organize for you.

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