Travel: Mumm Champagne Tasting

May 22, 2013

 

I hopped on the train again and headed to Champagne Valley. We had another holiday in France (no work/school), so I had to celebrate. I don’t know what I was celebrating, but I felt like champagne was appropriate. We took a visit to Mumm Champagne House in Reims for a little tour.

Tours here start at 13 euros all the way up to 28 euros if you wanna get all fancy. The visit includes the 1-hour tour, plus a tasting of your choice – from their classic champagne to Grand Crus (100% quality) to specialty one-timers.

Though I like to get drunk drink, I was really going because I was interested in the wine making process. I took a viticulture and enology course at UCLA about two years ago and boooyyyyy was it fun drinking studying. Where the grapes came from, drinking, harvest, fermentation, drinking, taste, smell… it was awesome. I’m thinking of becoming a sommelier in my next lifetime, still debating…

 

Mumm Champagne is made of three grapes: Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They compared them to the characteristics of a child, man and woman.

Pinot Meunier (child): Freshness and Fruitiness

Pinot Noir (man): Structure and Strength

Chardonnay (woman): Finesse and Sensuality

 

Some champagnes do use red grapes in their blends, they’re just careful to not break the skin of the grape or it will stain the entire batch red. That’s why most vineyards pick their grapes by hand – more care, less damage. For Rosés, a little red from the grape skin is used to stain the champagne pink.

 

The bottles start like below, on their side, and begin to build a layer of residue. Over the period of two months, the bottles are turned little by little until their upside-down. Now that the residue is at the top of the bottle, it will eject when you bust the cork open – voila. They strongly advised to shake the bottle before opening it so it can taste extra good and remove the stains from your clothes.

 

 

Under wine rules, champagne cannot be legally sold unless it has been aged in their bottle at least 15 months. Mumm ages all their champagne for a minumum of 3yrs. So you can appreciate it next time you open one : )

 

 

Here is the library, where they keep a bottle from each harvest. In the center, one of the first bottles from 1827… totally legit and heroic. They are kept at 50 degrees and in the dark for good maintenance. The tour lady said “NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY”…. and well…. here is the million dollar photo… sorry lady.

 

 

And for reading this post til the end, you get a special treat! REAL champagne drinkers… when you open a bottle of champagne, NEVER twist the cork in circles. You open the bottle by holding the top/cork in place and twisting the bottom of the bottle until you hear the “POP”. You will look so legit at your next event!

Cheers!

 

 

 

Mumm Champagne

34 Rue du Champ de Mars

51100 Reims, France

 

*Photos: Allison

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