Paris & Champagne Travelogue & TN's

We arrived in Reims today after three days in Paris. I’ll gradually post food and wine photos and notes. Travel has been fairly easy. It’s best if you apply for a QR code 3+ weeks in advance that museums, restaurants and trains can scan to let you in. Ours weren’t approved until yesterday, 24 days after we applied. The prior two days were still fine, as most restaurants and museums accepted our paper Covid Vaccination records and ID instead of the QR code.

The first night we fought jet-lag and joined some friends from home who happened to be in Paris. We met them at Les Bon Georges for dinner. A fun chalkboard menu and an extensive wine list. There were some wines I’d have ordered had Marybeth and I been alone, but since six of us were splitting the tab, I went for moderately priced pearls. All three wines I ordered were fantastic, and our friends loved them as well. We started with a 2011 Hubert Lamy St-Aubin En Remilly. A kaleidoscope of citrus fruit, white flowers, limestone and struck match which added to the complexity.

I thought our group would love a northern rhone. I asked the sommelier to pick one and he served it blind. I guessed St. Joseph (but that’s cheating; I gave him a price limit, so I knew it couldn’t be Hermitage or Cote Rotie). A really elegant and delicious light to medium bodied syrah. Raspberries and flowers, not much olive or cured meat. A northern rhone to accompany hearty or light meat dishes or even flavorful fish. A purring cat. Unveiled as a 2018 Georges Vernay St. Joseph Terres d’Encre.

The sommelier loved that wine, as did I.

Compared to the purring Vernay, the next wine was yeowling cat. I knew as soon as I saw it I’d order the 2018 Pierre Gonon St. Joseph. The restaurant price was less than the stateside retail. Much darker, deeper and intense than the Vernay, this was a tooth stainer. Darker berries, spice, strong violet scent, and a little olive peaking through. Had we served them in the reverse order, the Vernay would have been overpowered.

Next up: lunch at Le Train Bleu, then a visit to Krug.



I was at Le Train Bleu in 2013. Beautiful restaurant the food was excellent also. Hope you had a great time.

We are thinking about going back to France next year. How does one apply for a QR code that museums, restaurants and trains can scan to let one in.

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Thanks for posting. I am looking forward to the next installment.

Hope you get to try the 2008 at KRUG! champagne.gif

I started here for instructions.

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Le Train Bleu offers a fantastic visual and culinary experience. Located in the Paris Gare de Lyon, built in 1900, the atmosphere is stunning. Skilled staff carve and finish preparation table side. Each dish was stunning. The raw scallop, while delicious and texturally wonderful, saw the shellfish slightly overwhelmed by the boldly flavored bed of mushrooms. I was then mistakenly brought the lobster pasta au gratin rather than the pike. It was so good I dared not mention the error. Marybeth loved the farmhouse chicken breast. The crispy dessert “cigar” was unique. The wine list was adequate, not at all special.


Great reviews/ pics Warren. Appreciate you are doing it up righteously. Looking forward to more.

We visited Krug last week. The private degustation included a tour of the house and the caves in Reims, followed by a tasting.
Krug diary.jpeg
Krug stairs cave.jpeg
Krug stainless.jpeg
Krug stacked bottles cave.jpeg
Krug stacked bottles.jpeg


More Krug photos.
Krug MB racks.jpeg
Krug Jeromboams.jpeg
Krug dusty CdM.jpeg
Krug library list.jpeg
Krug library old wines.jpeg
Krug library racks CdM.jpeg


Please let me know if the movie upload worked.


The tasting: Krug 2006 Vintage Brut and Krug Grand Cuvée eme 162 (2006 base)
Krug 06 bottles.jpeg
Krug tasting.jpeg
It was very interesting to compare the Vintage Brut with the blended GC based on the same year. The GC was a blend of 161 wines, and 11 vintages, the oldest being 1990.
I hadn’t done a side-by-side tasting of these before (or any other Vintage Brut and Grand Cuvée). I was expecting the blend to add some depth due to the age of the reserve wines. What surprised me was how much fresher the GC was than the '06 Vintage. The '06 Brut was like a tempestuous teenager strutting their stuff. It’s an open, fruity, generous wine, round and bold. A vintage to drink now. The contrast with the GC was stunning. The reserves calmed the warm vintage, showing much more freshness and precision. I loved them both.

As we were leaving the winery, we bumped into Julie Cavil, the Krug Cellar Master. While I was slightly awestruck, she was easygoing and friendly, casually dressed, and much younger than I’d expected considering her position.


The next night, we tried the 169eme, the 24 eme Rosé, and the 2008 Vintage Brut.
The 169 eme is based on the 2013 vintage, plus reserves from 11 different vintages, the oldest being 2000. There were altogether 146 wines in the blend.
The 24 eme Rosé is based on the 2012 vintage, plus 71% reserves.

Let’s start with the 2008, which was just released to French restaurants a few weeks ago.

2008 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut - France, Champagne (10/18/2021)
This will be stunning in time, but it seems a bit wasteful to open now. Initially, the nose was nearly absent. Coaxing, swirling and waiting brought grapefruit and lime, and a little hazelnut. The palate was more giving than the nose. The mouthfeel was intense, but the wine was still reticent, tight and strict.
This is a structured and acidic Krug. None of the typical richness or toasty notes are evident yet. Despite the austerity, the finish was long, and the fabric of a great champagne is evident.

NV Krug Champagne Brut Rose Edition 24eme - France, Champagne (10/18/2021)
Elegant and very floral. Grapefruit and faint red berries, this is bold enough to accompany some dense meals

NV Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvee Edition 169eme - France, Champagne (10/18/2021)
This was my first time trying the 169 eme. Another Krug showing generous acidic cut, it also showed citrus, almonds and hazelnut, and some autolytic notes.

Next up: visit to Deutz



Thank you for all the photos, Warren! Can’t imagine how incredible it is in person.

So happy you and Marybeth are getting to do this trip, Warren! Cheers!

Thank you for the photos! They strictly prohibited me from taking any when I was there in 2017, so it’s lovely to have yours to look at champagne.gif

I have more I can send you. We had a lovely young but knowledgeable guide who was fairly new to the House. I hope these posts don’t cause her trouble! If so, I’ll remove them!

I informed Krug about the pictures, they said as long as there’s no precarious balancing they have no problem with it.

Group chat! :heart_eyes:

This was buried in my post about. I’m re-posting because the sound is so cool, and it’s easy to miss it above.

Seems like a great trip Warren. I think we were at Le Bon Georges days apart. :slight_smile: