: I spent International Women’s Day doing what I do all year: teaching women about , and only using bottles from houses with women at the helm. My small way of trying to and supporting women in a male-dominated industry.
Yesterday I spent a fabulous afternoon with a mother and her daughter. Kudos to Stacia for wanting her 19 year-old to learn about champagne! We started with some from Chantal Champagne Philippe Gonet in the . Tried it in different shaped glasses and paired it with cruffins (a cross between flaky croissant and muffin). Then we opened a bottle of from Anne-Laure Champagne Albert Beerens in the . Tried both bottles with organic and . The ladies realised one paired MUCH better than the other. Then we opened a from Sandrine Champagne V***e Olivier et Fils in the . Tried all the bottles with some , , and a with flowers from Thomas Artisan Fromager. I think Stacia almost fell off her chair when she tried the zero dosage with the triple cream Brillat Savarin 😀
It was a perfect way to spend ! And I was even treated to a lovely bouquet of flowers from Stacia and Ashley, and some sweets from the owner of the bakery. He gave treats to all the women who came in yesterday (even to a man wearing a wig!). Merci Merouan TopChef 🙏
Onwards and upwards ladies, like a champagne bubble! 🍾❤️🍾
: on Thursday I was on the train from to with mother and daughter Phinney’s and Luxury Travel Guide left me a voicemail to call them back because they had some news for me. I called back yesterday and was informed that an international jury of professionals selected me as the “Wine Expert of the Year” for 2021/22. Time to pop a cork!
This morning the little hamster in my head started thinking about my definition of . It has nothing to do with money or the bling bling side of . It is more about crafting authentic experiences and making people feel special.
I couldn’t do this without the help of the fabulous people I have chosen to work with. On Thursday, for example, we wanted to surprise Kelsey with a sabrage lesson for her 29th birthday. That morning Christine from Champagne Piot-Sevillano couldn’t find her saber 😱. Her father rushed out to buy a new one while we were on a private tour of the and cellars. Kelsey’s smiles say it all! During the last few weeks it has been very foggy in the morning in Champagne. Sandrine from Champagne V***e Olivier et Fils was worried about us getting run over by a truck during our walk to her so she personally came to pick us up at the train station every morning. And her team let guests help dress the champagne bottles. Romain from Sacré Wine Tour - L'Echappée Bulles always indulges me when I take people cycling in the vineyards with him and ask if we can do a detour to show them something cool. And he prepares scrumptious and boards when we stop for lunch and at his family’s domaine Champagne Larnaudie-Hirault. Speaking of cheese, when I told Thomas Artisan Fromager that I had a last minute big group for a champagne and cheese pairing workshop in Paris and was worried I would not have the time to prepare the boards myself, they kindly offered to do it for me. They were of course more beautiful than what I would have done! I could give tons of other examples, but you get the drift. This award is a team effort.
Grand Merci to all of the people who help me create precious .
: I am not just having one of those days, I am having one of those weeks! I think it is possible to have too much because I am forgetting things! I forgot to take photos, I forgot to press the record button, I forgot to make an appointment at the hair salon, I forgot to send school a message to say that my daughter was staying home, and the list goes on.
Yesterday I got up early to take 6 fun Americans to visit Sandrine at Champagne V***e Olivier et Fils. While we were there her team was labelling bottles (habillage in French) and they kindly let Sara and David try their hand at putting the coiffes on the bottles. I thought I pressed record when it was David’s turn. I only pressed it when he was done and recorded my feet. Oops! Sorry David! I hope you cherish the memory!
On Tuesday evening I hosted a champagne and pairing workshop in . I only took a photo of the first 3 of 7 champagnes they tried with 7 cheeses from Thomas Artisan Fromager. They were 100% , 100% and 100% from Champagne Champagne Piot-Sevillano. Other bottles were from Champagne Albert Beerens, Champagne AR Lenoble, Champagne Gaidoz-Forget, and V***e Olivier et Fils. All houses with women at the helm.
On Monday evening I attended a fabulous of at least 20 champagnes from 5 small producers organised by Anne-Marie chabbert at Prunier near the . My mind was blown when chatting with Blandine from Champagne Crété Chamberlin. Her family has been growing grapes for 15 generations (since 1683)! And the names of the 15 men who ran the domaine are inscribed on the inside of the foil. Blandine proudly told me that the names of their wives will soon be included too because their role was just as important! Cheers to Blandine!
Today I am taking care of my teenager. Tomorrow I am taking a mother and her daughter to Champagne. Saturday I am giving a talk to Sciences Po students in Reims. I am sure I will forget a few more things in the next few days!
How about you? Are you feeling frazzled too?
: I just nipped into my fromager Thomas Artisan Fromager because I am hosting a Bulles et Boules (Bubbles and Pétanque) for 12 people tonight and needed some to pair with the , and because wrote to me last night asking me for a favour. She is registered in a Fromager Program at George Brown College and asked me for some photos inside a cheese shop in .
After Yannick kindly cut the 20 month old and some into cubes for me, I asked him if it was ok if I took some photos for Lori.
He briefly took off his mask for the photos and said : “ok, mais il faut que je sois beau gosse” (ok, but I need to look like a handsome dude).
Lori, you get your photos AND a funny beau gosse 😀
Cheers to Yannick and his great sense of humour 🍾❤️🍾
: I have been living in for 30 years. One of the downsides of renting a charming old apartment here is that it feels like you are always dealing with a seemingly endless loop of water leaks. Just when you finish dealing with one, another one sprouts up.
Last night I heard a dripping sound. After my concierge kindly helped me move the washing and drying machines I discovered a new leak. Impossible to fix myself. I turned off my water supply, put a plastic container under the leak, and prayed it would not overflow into my downstairs neighbour’s office during the night. Plumber showed up at 7 frickin a.m. I am NOT a morning person. Had to convince the concierge to cut the water supply for whole left side of the building so plumber could fix the problem. She understandably put up a stink because that is when people are getting ready for work and school. My plumber charmed her into doing it.
By the time 9 am rolled around, I needed some comfort food: and .
I had a gooey piece of from Thomas Artisan Fromager and 1 of 500 bottles of a single plot 100% vintage champagne from Champagne MG HEUCQ in the fridge.
Since I knew the aromas would be especially important, and it was a young vintage from 2018, I decided to try the champagne in two different glasses: a bigger universal glass designed by Œnologues de France and a smaller champagne flute designed by Zalto. I was convinced that the bigger glass would be more appropriate because it would give the more room to breathe and release the aromas.
I was wrong! The smaller glass actually concentrated the aromas! I think the bigger glass works better on older vintages.
That said, the champagne was delicious and paired incredibly well with the cheese. Great morning snack and I now feel energised to tackle the rest of the day.
Next time you pop open a bottle of , try it in different styles of glasses.
Cheers to a better day 🍾❤️🍾
: just got back from picking up some for my and workshop tonight.
It is because of shops like Thomas Artisan Fromager that I have been living in for 30 years!
Care to join me for a feast tonight?
Thought you might want to see the food I bought for my workshop tonight.
I bought the and and organic from U Les Commerçants on Avenue Émile Zola.
and Bordier butter were from Thomas Artisan Fromager on rue du Commerce.
The normand and the were from my butcher on rue du Commerce too (the one in front of the metro station).
were from Gourmandises Paris.
It was so nice to teach an in-person class again! The Norwegian, German and Swiss participants left with full bellies and smiles on their faces. I am looking forward to eating a bit of leftover cheese for lunch tomorrow. And to my next shopping expedition for a class next Friday.