Champagne Dreams

IMG_5232Cava, Champagne, Sparkling wine, we LOVE it all! G & S don’t discriminate!
WE LOVE, love BUBBLES! Which is why one of our “must dos” while in Paris was to visit the Champagne region to learn more about our beloved bubbles!

Verzenay.
Charming hillside village that works together, all of the grapes are grown together without fences.  They believe in peace and unity even today after suffering immensely during the first world war. We stood among the vines for all the heavy hitters (that us Americans are so familiar with) – Louis Roederer (makers of Cristal), Veuve Clicquot, and Moet Chandon (makers of Dom Perignon). Did you know that “Veuve” means widow in French…so don’t just order “veuve” at the bar, the bartenders will laugh. Another interesting fact, many of the heavy hitters are just masters of marketing, which skyrockets the price of champagne. The French do not base their decisions on which bottle to buy based on the marketing, it is all about a personal experience, when they had it first and what memories it brings up. For instance if a bride and groom had a particular brand at their wedding they will drink that brand for the rest of their lives at family events since it brings up special memories. We LOVE that! The most random fact we learned was that the region started using the technique “sexual confusion” to ward off pests rather than using pesticides. Pheromones are chemical signals secreted in minute quantities by insects to communicate with each other. Their survival depends on it, because females use pheromones to indicate when they are ready to mate. Confuse the signals, and you create untold chaos for insects, keeping them away from crops or vines.  Our tour guide found this very interesting and would not stop saying sexual confusion, it was hilarious.

IMG_2151

Jean-Claude Mouzon.
A family owned and run Champagne house where the family works and lives. We learned the in’s and out’s of making champagne and of course got to partake! The owners were so kind and you could see how passionate they were about their champagne. Their lives revolved around champagne, not such a bad job.

IMG_5234

Tattinger.
The last champagne house we visited was a larger, more commercial house Tattinger. The neat thing about Tattinger was the caves under the building. These caves were originally used as chalk mines for the Romans in the early A.D’s and then later used by monks in the 1800’s to store their champagne. Present day Tattinger stores their wine in these caves and shares its rich history with visitors. We weren’t as impressed with their champagne but the history was well worth the visit!

IMG_5230

All in all it was a great day trip and we would highly recommend visiting the area if you are in France!

Santé!

IMG_5601

Advertisements

Barcelona Candy Walkabout

665295_10152224436685694_2012290657_o

Here at G&S we LOVE candy! Not only do we enjoy eating candy but we are also inspired by the artistry, creativity, and passion that some confectioners display in their sugary creations. Going to a beautiful or unique candy store is just as fun as going to cute fashion boutique. One thing that G&S likes to do when visiting a new city is to seek out the local candy boutiques. In Spain we were spoiled with two awesome candy stores – both very different and unique from each other.

408671_10152118884755694_1520827625_n

The first stop on our Barcelona candy walkabout was Happy Pills.  The store was hallways sized with clean white walls lined with containers of colorful gummies in all shapes and sizes.  The concept was simple; grab a pill bottle to fill with your prescription of candy goodness. Once you have stuffed it with all your goodies you choose a prescription label with fun sayings such as “pink clouds for grey days”, “for a bad hair day”, and “emergency kit”.  The gummies in the store were awesome, adorable tennis balls, fangs, hearts in all sizes and colors, fingers (strange!), fried eggs (super delicious), and puffs. They also had adorable pill packs so you can dole out your daily dose of sugary happiness!

IMG_0168

Take your daily dose of happiness!

Take your daily dose of happiness!

IMG_0180

The second store was PapaBubble. We had the pleasure of first hearing about PapaBubble when we visited NYC. We were delighted to have the opportunity to visit their Barcelona store. PapaBubble is unique as they create their candy masterpieces by using techniques similar to glass blowers. They create the candy before your eyes by cooking, flavoring, coloring, and stretching the candy while you watch. They make items such as colorful lollipops, rings, and hard candy pieces. When the confectioner is rolling the sugar they sometimes add filling inside the roll so that when they cut the pieces it will have designs in them such as hearts or with customized sayings. Wouldn’t the heart candies be adorable to give as a gift on Valentines Day?

Candy artist!

Candy artist!

560464_10152103565655694_1691829926_n

Freshly made!

IMG_0198

616061_10152224436840694_1422558179_o