“Too much of anything is bad, but too much champagne is just right.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald
One of the highlights of my recent trip to Europe was staying in and around the wine and champagne vines of Etoges, France. The weather was finicky, turning from rain to sun and back again each day, but that only enhanced the vibrancy and vibe of the early colors of spring that were just starting to come forward. Etoges was literally one tiny village set among the rolling hills and grapes of the North east part of France. One stop sign, one pub, one beautiful 17th century chateau (more on that later) where we stayed with a stellar restaurant, and several Champagne houses and cellars. One Champagne house that was a particular favorite was the Borel-Lucas House http://champagne-borel-lucas.com/ Not only was the champagne delicious but the private tour by the owner revealed the secrets (well, some of them) of champagne growing, bottling, storing and aging. The cellars, dating from 1935, showed their age (in a good way) and after tasting, we walked away with a bottle of Cuvee Divine Art for under 16 euro that tasted fantastic and made it home in the suitcase miraculously intact.
While many restaurants in the US carry Champagne-like beverages (Prosecco, Cava, Sparkling Wine) the true label of Champagne can only be applied to the grapes grown in France and vintages made there. Some might think that all sparkling alcohol tastes the same, but after drinking so much of it in France (it’s so readily available and affordable) I can definitely taste a difference!
One of my passions is food, and another is wine, and of course my love for (and career built on) photography makes me a natural fit to travel blog, because I love capturing the essence of the place, the people, the culture and sharing it with the world. I’d love someday to have the opportunity to work for a magazine like Food and Wine https://www.foodandwine.com/ or Travel and Leisure Magazine https://www.travelandleisure.com/ and truly combine the best of everything! Maybe they will feature me someday : )
If you love to do your research ahead, head over to Lonely Planet and research their guide books! I still love buying or downloading guide books because I feel like they have sooooo many options in just one place!