Scarlett Johansson for Moet & Chandon Champagne

Scarlett Johannsson has been the face of Moet & Chandon Champagne since 2009. The latest campaign just arrived in time for the Hollywood awards season to kick into high gear with Sunday night’s Golden Globes.

“This new campaign highlights a return to the immutable elegance and glamour that are inherent to both Moet and Scarlett,” says Daniel Lalonde, Moet & Chandon’s President.

TIPS FOR CHAMPAGNE AND CIGAR PAIRINGS – NEW YEAR’S 2011

Leaving aside, for the moment, the indisputable fact that tobacco isn’t as popular as it used to be (the reasons for which have no need of being repeated here), the twenty-first century is hardly devoid of connoisseurs eager to set aflame a finely wound Cuban cigar when the right occasion arises. And what could be a better occasion than the upcoming New Year’s Eve, a time when upbeat outdoor and indoor festivities would seem to call for a Cohiba or two? But, would it surprise you to learn that Scotch and brandy are scarcely the only types of alcoholic beverages that have a tendency to pair well with cigars? In fact, believe it or not champagne, among other types of sparkling wines, can serve as an excellent accompaniment to that set of cigars you might have been saving for a special occasion. The reason? Evidently, according to our sources, the inherent flavour profile of tobacco would appear to have a natural affinity for being paired with white wines that sparkle; and the ethereal delicacy of many types of champagne lend themselves incredibly well to only enhancing the enjoyment of as fine a premium Cuban cigar as a Cohiba – La Línea, Clásica, Maduro, or otherwise. More importantly, like all other premium products, there are certain recommended guidelines to follow when deciding on what specific champagne is best paired with what specific type of cigar. As a general rule, it would stand to reason that lighter-styled champagnes, or ones with a greater focus on finesse and style than richness and intensity, ought to be paired with cigars of a more delicate and elegant disposition, perhaps even a cigar of smaller size. Alternatively, for more powerful types of champagne (from top cuvées to the most prestigious vintages) your best bet would be probably to seek out cigars with greater assertiveness and longevity, not to mention ones boasting a larger dimension. And if you have a few champagne and cigar-loving friends to share these with, so much the better. After all, what is the celebration of a New Year without a little company?

By: Liz Palmer and Julian Hitner

Seth Box, of Moët Hennessy USA, On Champagne Glasses

As director of education for Moët Hennessy USA, Seth Box is responsible for spreading the word about his company’s spirits, wines and Champagnes — including Dom Pérignon, Krug, Veuve Clicquot, Moët et Chandon and Ruinart — to as many people as possible. Simply put: he regularly takes people out for drinks.

Champagne, he says, shouldn’t be saved for a special occasion. “It’s embarrassing that we, as a country, drink as little Champagne as we do,” Mr. Box said. “Because it’s so much fun, tastes delicious and makes people happy.”

Like most Champagne aficionados, he has definite opinions about the glass in which it should be served. “If you’re someone who appreciates the nuances and finer aspects of Champagnes, the glass is really important,” he said.

He said that while flutes are “great for presentation and showcase bubbles beautifully, from the tasting standpoint, the shape isn’t ideal.” He prefers a shape that is a combination of a white-wine glass and a Champagne glass — one with a bulbous bottom and a narrower top. “You want something with a wineglass on the bottom, to capture the aromas,” he said, which “then tapers up a bit so you focus those aromas on the nose.”

With the holiday entertaining season in high gear, Mr. Box spent a recent morning searching for Champagne-worthy glassware. At Baccarat, on Madison Avenue, he found the Remy stems “boring, but perfect: the bowl will capture the aromas and then focus around the back, and you can hold it without mucking up the glass.” The Vega Flutissimo would probably not be a top pick for sommeliers, but he liked it “because it reminds us that Champagne is also about an aesthetic,” he said. “And the blue crystal adds a touch which is reminiscent of more classic times.”

Nearby, at Lalique, he picked the Facet Champagne flute. “If you’re going to do classic, do this,” he said. “It’s a gorgeous flute.”

Online, he found one of his favorites, the Spiegelau Hybrid. “The deep bowl and larger size allow the Champagne to aerate while still maintaining a sleek look,” he said.

He also liked Govino’s stemless shatterproof design, pointing out that its shape works for many wines and Champagnes, and its price ($12 for four) won’t break the bank.

Ultimately, though, the glass is secondary, he said: “Drink Champagne in anything. If it makes you happy to drink it out of a water cup or a cool little Italian country glass, go for it. Just drink, and be happy.”

New York Times

EPERNAY – here you learn to love the tiny bubbles that are synonymous with joy and happiness….

[slideshow] Situated at the heart of the world’s most prestigious vineyards, Epernay, the capital of the Champagne region, attracts over 500,000 visitors every year. With over 30,000 hectares of vineyards, enchanted forests, and bordering the River Marne, this region has the UNESCO World Heritage Site Distinction.

The Town of Epernay, which traverses these famous vineyards, is located between the Marne River and the hills, which is at the junction of the “Tourist Routes of Champagne”. Here, you will find the famous L’Avenue de Champagne “The Avenue de Champagne”. Some of the world’s famous Champagne producers, mansions dating back to the end of the nineteenth century, and large trading houses line The Avenue de Champagne. Beneath this grand Avenue lies 110 kilometers of chalk cellars with over 200 million bottles of Champagne – this makes this Avenue one of the most prestigious streets in the world! Some of the notable Champagne houses located on the Avenue are Moët & Chandon, Mercier, Boizel, Comtesse Lafond, De Castellane Esterlin, Perrier-Jouet, Pol Roger, and De Venoge.

The Avenue was recently renovated and redesigned as an avenue-park creating a pleasant place to stroll and admire the historical buildings with tall ornate gates. With the renovations complete The Avenue de Champagne now has wider sidewalks (almost as wide as the roadway), cycle paths, heritage trees, 
with a special emphasis on lighting (which beautifully enhances the facades and entrances to the Champagne houses). 


Avenue de Champagne is also used for many champagne events, including the upcoming “Habits de Lumière” Christmas lights in December.

A number of the Champagne houses provide one-hour tours and a tasting. Dom Perignon provides a tour in which you will tour historical areas such as the place where Napoleon drank wine. Mercier provides laser-guided tours and elevator rides. Moet and Chandon cellars tours include seeing the million bottles of Champagne stored. The tour of Chandon lasts for about 45 minutes. At Mercier you can see the 160,000 gallon barrel that took about 20 years to complete and stores over 20,0000 bottles of Champagne.

Once you complete a tour and indulge in a tasting, you get to see for yourself that…
Drinking Champagne in Epernay is like listening to Mozart in Salzburg.

How to Get to Epernay

By plane:
international Airports : Paris Orly and Paris Charles de Gaulle

By train:
Epernay is linked with Paris – 10 direct trains a day (1 ¼ hr)

By car:
Epernay is located at the junction of 2 main national roads: 
- RN51, connecting the north countries to the south of France and Europe) 
- RN3, linking the west to the east

Motorways:
1 1/2 hours from Paris and 3 hours from Dijon and Calais
– A4 (Paris-Strasbourg) 
- A26 (Calais Dijon)

Tourist Office Location
Office de Tourisme d’Epernay 

7 avenue de Champagne 

BP 28 
21 201
EPERNAY

PERCHING BAR….More Than A Champagne Bar

Forget the traditional champagne bar – the Perching Bar has just the set the “bar” extremely high on being unique…. so high, in fact, that you are 18 feet up above the trees.

Recently launched, and under the ownership of Olivier Couteau, the Perching Bar is the world’s only Champagne bar in the trees. It is in the midst of Parc Arboxygene, an extreme adventure park in Verzy, France. Situated in the heart of the Champagne region, it is a mere 15 minute car ride from Reims or Epernay.

Access to the Perching Bar is by a wooden walkway. Venturing through the lush forest, up two wooden bridges you come to a suspended 60-meter footbridge – What an amazing view!

La Cabane Perchee, the company that designed the Perching Bar has kept the classic exterior tree-house structure including the stilts. The design concept has a wrap-around wooden terrace complete with puffy sofas, armchairs, and stools for 30 guests. Here you have magnificent views of the zip lines, lush treetops, and the region.

Once inside the bar, you are greeted by a contemporary interior that is chic-simple. With lots of natural wood and white leather seating, it also comes complete with 4 swings. The Perching Bar is also eco-friendly – all the lighting is supplied by solar panels.

Here you can swing while enjoying the views and a perfect glass of champagne! The Champagne List – by the glass or by the bottle, Olivier is the curator. He currently offers a selection of Champagnes from smaller producers to Grandes Maisons:

Champagne Pehu Simonet
Champagne G.H. Mumm
Champagne Bollinger
Louis de Sacy Champagne

The Perching Bar is a glamorous winter playground and the place to be on Thursday through Sunday for a glass of bubbly!

The Perchingbar will be open from 21 March to 31 December each year, from Thursday to Sunday in the high season and just at the weekend out of season.

51380 VERZY
tel. : +33 (0) 6 89 44 73 68
E-mail: @ olivier.couteau arboxygene.eu

www.arboxygene.eu

www.tourisme-champagne-ardenne.com