Friday, November 13, 2009

Tour de Champagne

It is said that champagne has a celebratory element. We drink it and we toast to our success, weddings, anniversaries and on the whole to celebrate new, fun and happy incidents in our life. But champagne is popular because is tasty and bubbly and easy to drink.

"We started in DC, at the French Embassy four years ago and the event was successful so we started to take it to various cities nationwide. We chose champagne as it has a specific interest to people because of its celebratory quality and its unique aura around it but also for the name of Champagne. Champagne is known as the true Champagne, it is the only one that comes from the Champagne region of France and as such it is a very popular beverage that is accepted by all " said Richard Marble, the founder of Tour de Champagne.

As a guest at the Tour de Champagne event in New York yesterday, I had the chance to drink champagne from over 20 houses including Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Ruinart, Dom Perignon, Krug and Aubry amongst others. I also experienced the pairing of champagne with certain elegantly made appetizers courtesy of various top named NYC restaurants. But it wouldn't be a champagne event without chocolate so La Maison du Chocolat and the L' Atelier du Chocolat were both present with indulging pralines and truffles.

By asking, I expanded my knowledge about pairing:

1. Fish is ideal and highly recommended by chefs and champagne connoisseurs. Therefore, the lobster bisque was the perfect company with a glass of bubbly and so was the oyster cake.

2. A Chardonnay champagne goes better with crème brûlée and ice cream but a Pinot Noir champagne will be better with dark fruit and chocolate.

"It is a misnorm that Champagne only goes with certain types of foods like dessert, it's not really the case. We see at different Tours seafood and sushi that is a good pairing . The idea is to show that Champagne goes well with many foods. We bring together restaurants and chefs that choose certain foods and let the audience experience what is the best combination" continued Richard Marble.

I also tasted the famous crêpes Suzette courtesy of the famous Chicago restaurant Cook au Vin.

The VIP Lounge was another pleasant surprise for the attendees: with more champagne but also Peyrot Cognac and canapés offered by Allure and live jazz, it was the most relaxing and luxury treat after doing the rounds of champagne sipping.

Richard Marble wants the Tour to expand in the United States, "add a few more cities and this is the best time to do it. We try to make it at a manageable pace".

I am sure the Tour will go further very soon because who doesn't like champagne? There is plenty of space for celebration in many more cities in the USA and in the world.