Normally I get to drink Champagne two or three times a year, raising a glass at someone’s birthday or as the fireworks herald the start of a New Year. But on a trip to Champagne with friends this autumn, I drank almost nothing else but Champagne. And quite a lot of it too. At one memorable dinner in a Michelin 2-star restaurant in Reims we got through several magnums of Besserat de Bellefon Champagne during the seven course meal. We started with a rose, moved on to the Cuvee des Moines Brut and finished with an extra-dry Blanc de Blancs. I was surprised at just how well it matched almost all the dishes (we ordered an excellent Syrah from the Rhone vineyards of Michel and Stephane Ogier to go with the Corsican steak) and how clear all our heads were the following morning.
The next day after visiting the Besserat de Bellefon Champagne house in Epernay we lunched at a fine restaurant near the Cathedral. The first course was a salmon mousse and the main course duck and yes, they both went very well with Champagne. It’s a good job Besserat de Bellfon has 15 km of tunnels on five levels and 22-million bottles ageing quietly in them. I could become a regular Champagne drinker.