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I Love Bubbles
December 1st, 2012
Peggy Fiandaca

At every Thanksgiving table growing up we had a bottle of what we called champagne - Cold Duck. As I cleared the table, I drank the last few drops of the bubbly as my reward for doing the dishes. My love affair with champagne began then and has grown ever since. To me, champagne or sparkling wine represents a celebration in a glass.

A few years back Curt and I took a wonderful vacation to the Champagne region of France. The champagne houses were huge and wine incredible. We honored our favorite city in the region by naming our beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Epernay (aka Eppy).    Lawrence Dunham Vineyards

Planning our trip, I arranged for a special tour of Veuve Clicquot in Reims, France. After having the most incredible and expensive lunch (that story is for another blog) we ever had at Chateau Les Crayeres we made our way to Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. We were greeted by Isabella who served as our tour guide. I loved learning about Madame Clicquot’s invention in the early 19th century of the riddling rack that made mass production of champagne possible.

 Lawrence Dunham Vineyards
  She truly was the Grande Dame. Even more amazing were the miles of chalk caves where millions of champagne bottles are cellared. The white chalk walls, in some places two stories high, line roads under the city of Reims and are filled with this beautiful bubbly wine.

The French lived in these ancient chalk mines (that became wine cellars) during World War II when France was occupied.

She truly was the Grande Dame. Even more amazing were the miles of chalk caves where millions of champagne bottles are cellared. The white chalk walls, in some places two stories high, line roads under the city of Reims and are filled with this beautiful bubbly wine. The French lived in these ancient chalk mines (that became wine cellars) during World War II when France was occupied.


You can still see alters carved into the chalk where people would gather to worship.

Thank goodness they were very successful in protecting the Grand Dame’s champagne.
   Lawrence Dunham Vineyards

The week we were there they opened a 100 year old bottle of champagne to celebrate one of the winemaker’s 100th birthday. Isabella said that it tasted pretty good still.

We hope that one day we will be able to make a sparkling wine, maybe a sparkling Syrah, but for now we have to enjoy other winemaker’s bubbly magic. Don’t wait until a special event to celebrate with champagne. Any Tuesday can be a day to pop a cork on a great bottle of the bubbly. Cheers!