Drinking champagne in France is an art, reflecting the joy and pleasure of combining fine dining with wine. The best way to drink champagne is of course cold, as the bubbly fizz sensation is intensified and the flavour is more pronounced.
Whenever there seems to be an uplifting reason to celebrate — be it a wedding, a job promotion, or a graduation — people pull out the chilled bottles of champagne, pop the cork, and pour out the bubbly to toast with friends and loved ones. Yet why limit the consumption of champagne to important moments like these? Why not instead celebrate the everyday, the beauty of life and living, at one’s own leisure — in one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world?
Route to Champagne
Travel to Champagne to sample this fizzy sensation where it first originated many moons ago. There are many ways to experience an enjoyable holiday in this historic region and you don’t have to limit yourself to sampling solely one variety of wine.
Follow the Champagne Route that begins 75 miles east of Paris, which will guide you to Epernay and Reims—known for their fine wines and gorgeous vineyards, including family-run wineries. Footpaths are available for enjoying the sunshine—good weather permitting— allowing visitors to marvel at the scenery and take a photo or two.
If you plan on visiting Reims, be sure to check out the Cathedral of Notre Dame, where you will see a statue of St. Joan of Arc as she leads the French Army in the Hundred Years War. Not far from the cathedral is the Abbey of St. Rémy, which is also worth a visit. Alternatively, marvel at the Palace of Tau, which was the palace of the Archbishop of Reims, displaying statuary and tapestries.
Only two hours from Paris is Troyes, the ancient capital of Champagne.
Champagne in Champagne
There you can sip some cool, bubbly champagne while enjoying fine French cuisine. Walk the narrow cobblestone streets and admire the architecture, or visit the Musée d’Art Moderne. The city is also home to Troyes Cathedral, which is a national monument of France and has been a site for religious activity since the 4th century, standing as an impressive piece of Gothic architecture against the French sky.
Not far from Troyes is the Orient Forest Regional Natural Park, which features beautiful lakes set against luscious green hills and richly colored forests. If you love hiking or cycling, or just want to get away from the town towards a more quiet respite, this park is the place to visit.
Whatever you decide to do or see, by the end you can savour your memories of the day with delicious food, chat with loved ones—and enjoy an excellent, bubbly bottle of champagne. À votre santé!Follow @besz