DAY TRIPPER or How to spend a day in Champagne as a side visit when in Paris...

If you are lucky enough to be contemplating a visit to Paris, and you are a foodie who loves their wine, why not plan a side trip to the Champagne region as a Day Trip? Trust me, it’s easy to do.

We have an interest in the Côte des Blancs region and both Matt and I have visited Épernay on separate occasions this year. Épernay is located some 130 km north-east of Paris and is easily reached by rail or car. It is recognised as being far more accessible than Champagne’s other major centre, Reims and the Avenue de Champagne in Épernay is populated by famous Champagne Houses such as Moët et Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Perrier-Jouët and Pol Roger. There are several TGV departures from Paris daily and the train journey to Épernay is a mere one hour 15 minutes on the high speed trains. A car trip from the centre of Paris to Épernay via the A4 autoroute takes around 2 hours. You can readily plan your route using While I have listed the large and famous Champagne Houses in Épernay (and it is worth visiting the caves at Moët) my recommendation is that you look beyond the likes of Moët and venture out and about to experience a range of Champagne from some of the smaller producers. Make sure you take the opportunity to taste as much as possible from the surrounding Côte des Blancs region and aim to taste Vintage and Grand Cru wherever you can. Life is too short not to make the most of these opportunities! If you have a car, why not head towards Le Mesnil-sur-Oger? (If you have arrived by train, there are very reliable taxi services to be had in and around Épernay). The vineyards in this village sit firmly within the prestigious Côte des Blancs subregion and are classified as Grand Cru. This is where the prestigious Krug Clos du Mesnil hails from – the grapes coming from a tiny enclosed wall vineyard. While a bottle, or taste, of Krug Clos du Mesnil might not be accessible (it retails in Oz at around the $1,600 a bottle mark) there are plenty of excellent Champagnes from this area within reach. Stop at Champagne Voirin-Jumel for a Champagne dégustation at Cramant en route from Épernay to Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and check out their B & B for future reference
C Comme Bar 'I would be in this photo had I not drowned my phone later that evening...' - Ali
Back in Épernay, my Parisian mate Cathy and I followed a recommendation to visit the Champagne Bar/Champagne Wine store, C comme Champagne where we enjoyed a flight of Champagne at a very reasonable cost. So many producers and so many different Champagnes to savour in a one-stop shop and what’s not to love about a bar that offers a flight of four glasses of champagne accompanied by chocolates selected as a ‘food’ match to the bubbles on offer? You can check out what is on offer (in English) at Their food is great too. You can check out more in the below video from another enthusiastic visitor:

Otherwise for a meal in Épernay, my recommendations are: Bon voyage, bon tour !!