As you all must know we do love drinking Vintage Port, but now and then we are of course also drinking many other interesting and wonderful wines. We are often visiting other wine regions, and so we did this summer too; and this summer we visited Loire and Champagne. Why can’t the great Champagnes Houses take care of champagne lover as for example the great Port Houses do? When you are visiting most of the great Champagne Houses you have to visit their cellars (or even a Tower – God help us) to have a glass of their standard Brut, which we of course had enjoyed many times before. If you have seen 50 cellars the 51st is not very exciting – just dull. This year we decided that it was the last year we visit the great Champagne houses where we have to go through their cellars to have a glass of their standard Brut to taste.
This is in contrast to most of the great Port Wine Houses. They have tasting rooms and you can visit their cellars if you want to, but it is always possible to just buy a glass of their vintage Port or an old Colheita and have an interesting conversation with the person serving it. They take care of Port Lovers indeed when we are coming.
If you are going to Champagne, visit the small Houses, like Michel Gonet in Avize where we had a marvelous morning discussing both Grave red wines and vintage champagne with Michel Gonet himself. Go to Launois in Le Mesnil sur Oger drinking their ordinary or vintage champagne or go to Jean Milan in Oger. All are wonderful small houses taking care of persons loving Champagne. If you are in Eperney there are wonderful tastings at Bergére, Collard-Picard and Paul-Etienne Saint Germain, all on Avenue de Champagne, and all offered different lovely champagnes without having to take a cellar tour.