Epicurean Travel through Champagne with Chef Cynthia the Culinary Concierge
Chef and WSET III accredited Cynthia Bloebaum will take a small group on a journey in the Champagne Region of France, focusing on the wine and food of the area. Chef Cynthia will help you become a champagne expert- you’ll know the difference between growers, producers and grower producers. You’ll be able to identify the 3 main grapes and their blends: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
We’ll also learn about the foods of the region including hams, mustard, vinegar, trout, poultry, snails and pink biscuits. We’ll visit 2 different cheesemakers and a chocolatier.
Our 7 days will be spent at a centrally located, spacious house so we can go to markets, cook together and drink wines that we’ll purchase on our daily visits to various Champagne houses. Our daily travel will average about 50 minutes from our vacation home, with a van and driver for distance destinations.
All fees, which are $2700 per person or $5000.00 per couple include lodging, ground transportation from Reims or Epernay, all breakfasts and lunches plus any dinners eaten at the vacation home. Also included are wine and food tours with local guides, groceries and wines for the home.
Dinners out at restaurants are self paid.
If you do not want to stay with the group at the vacation rental, Chef Cynthia will deduct the price of lodging from your fee.
NOTES: CHEF CYNTHIA DOES NOT ARRANGE AIRFARE.
ALL WINERY VISITS ARE SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY AND MAY CHANGE
Chef Cynthia will pick you up from the train station in Reims, Epernay or Romilly sur Seine which are accessible by train from Paris. The TGV goes from Paris into Reims, or a longer (2 hour) trip to Epernay.
Depending on everyone’s arrival, we may visit a winery nearby. Chef Cynthia will prepare the first meal at the house for that evening, and will give a brief talk on the champagne region.
Sunday 10/7 Epernay and the Avenue du Champagne
We will brave the weekend crowds to go to Epernay, where we will park then go to the Avenue du Champagne. We will visit 2 of the larger houses such as Mercier and Moet et Chandon with a complete tour and tasting in order to learn the basics of how to make champagne. We’ll take a break for lunch at the covered market and make a stop at Patisserie Vincent Dallet for a sweet treat. We can wander further around the main square then return to our rental house where Chef Cynthia will prepare dinner.
Monday 10/8 Reims and the Vallee de la Marne
We will go to Reims, where Chef Cynthia has booked a tour guide to take us to a large Champagne house, a smaller house and lunch. Our afternoon winery will be one of Chef Cynthia’s favorites, Vilmart in Rilly la Montagne. After we return we will go to the Reims cathedral, an architectural and historical siteWe will amuse ourselves until 7:00, when we ‘ll go for an early dinner to the restaurant L’Alambic (self pay.) Chef Cynthia will get us home.
Tuesday 10/9 Walking in the Cotes de Blanc
We will go to Beaunay, to meet with Les Sensation Vigneronnes, who will take us into the actual vineyards to show us the life of a grower. We’ll lunch there on local specialities. Afterward we’ll go to LaHerte Freres in Chavoy -Courcourt, which offer a 100% Pinot Meunier among others. Then we’ll go to Cuis, the home of Pierre Gimonnet which is famous for their Chardonnay based wines. Our dinner will be at home or a casual restaurant, depending on our mood.
Wednesday 10/10 Farmer’s market and a cheese tour
Wednesday is the day of the week that the market at Fere-Champenoise is open. We’ll go right after breakfast to shop then make lunch at the house. Our driver will come get us to go to Meaux, where we will have a cheese tour and tasting. Our dinner will be at a higher end restaurant nearby, the Chateau Etoges, self pay.
Thursday 10/11 Les Riceys and the Cote De Bar
We will head south and visit the Caveau Des Riceys where we will taste and compare Champagnes, Rosé wines and Coteaux Champenois wines from the Aube. We’ll also have lunch and a tasting of local products. We’ll stop at Serge Matthieu, home to a delicious Blanc de Noirs. As we head back to our home, we’ll go to Chaource, the home of one of the regions best cheeses. and the Fromagerie de Mussy. Our dinner will be a casual restaurant near our house, the Restaurant du Soleil.
Friday 10/12 Avize and the Valle de la Marne
We will go to Avize in the Cotes de Blanc and have a tasting and lunch at Jacques Selosse. Our afternoon winery will be Gaston Chiquet, one of Chef Cynthia’s favorites. Our evening will be spent eating and drinking everything we’ve bought all week long.
Saturday 10/13 Chef Cynthia will make sure that everyone gets to their station to transport out of