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Tips on buying wine and champagne for day trippers and visitors to Calais, France – looking to save money when getting married or catering for weddings.

Buying Champagnes and wines for weddings and receptions

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All about ChampagnesChampagne prices

Pre-order £150 worth of wine online, and get a £10 discount!

pre-order offer from Majestic

Tips

Buy champagne – the savings are not as big as in previous years. However the range available is veruy considerably greater in French supermarkets. We suggets you buy a selection and after tasting them, go back and buy the ones you like.

With 6 – 8 glasses per bottle, you will need about 20 bottles for 100 guests, for the toast. Champagne prices

Lanson Black label costs £19.99 in England (Tesco 12/99) and £11.72 in France (Carrefour Mi-voix supermarket 12/99). The perceived wisdom is that you need to spend £25 and more for a good bottle of champagne.

For 20 bottles the cost would be £399.80 in England but only £234.40 in France – a saving of £165.40 ! (or 41%). If you popped over on the best value ticket you can save a lot of money.

Go to the supermarkets (Carrefour Mi-voix is best) or Le Chais in Boulogne.

1 bottle of 75 cl = 6 glasses of 12cl, or 4 glasses of 18cl

For the apéritif = 12 bottles, Entrée = 12 bottles of moelleux* and 18 bottles Blanc sec, Main course and cheese = 60 bottles, Dessert = 18 bottles

Buy wine – even the better value wines are good value in France – the biggest savings are on wines under £5.00 though. Avoid the supermarkets.

Lace – Calais has many lace shops – worth a visit.

Royale Dentelle – 6, Bd. Clemenceau, and 74, Bd. Lafayette, 62100. Tel: 0033 321 34 91 36. JULY 2011 – Closed.

The Duchess of Cambridge used Caudry lace in her wedding dress.

MUSEE DE LA DENTELLE, place des Mantilles. 59540 Caudry. France. www.museedentellecaudry.fr

Local traditions – in the North of France the families meet on the Thursday before the marriage in each others homes. No invitations are issued – you just turn up with your firends.

Anniversaries (noce de) – What? When?

1st – cotton, 5th – nylon, 10 – pewter, 15 – crystal, 20 – porcelain, 25 – money, 50 – gold, 60 – diamond.

Wines for wedding meals

Apéritif ou déssert – champagne, crement.

Entrée – Foie Gras, Terrine Brochet

Main course and Cheese – Pintade aux truffes

Dessert – champagne, crement.

Alternatives to Champagne – French sparkling wines

Look out for Crémant d'Alsace, Bourgogne, Bourgogne and Loire. Nlanquette de Limoux. The term "Crémant" is used for sparkling wines made by the méthode Champenoise".

Other sparkling wines in France are made by the "charmant method". Wines in this category include those marked "Blanquette", "Mousseux" and "Clairette".

Advice of a Wine expert

If you have any Method Traditional Champagne left you can always use it for dessert. Or serve it with the Foie Gras, but it may not always be appreciated. It should be remembered that the Gold wines (so called because of their colour) are wines rich in sugar and alcohol. You could replace it with a Medoc or a Chablis (wines proposed for other dishes). The dry white wines can be also been served as an aperitif with a crème de mûre (blackberry) or alone – Sancerres, Chablis and Pouilly Fumé. Champagne can also be served with certain cheeses or desserts. White wines as above (and see table below).

Wedding wine service – Boursot's Wine Collection in Ardres in Calais can advise you on what selection of wines to buy.

A few examples of wines that go well with certain cheeses

Brie, Camenbert – Médoc and other Bordeaux.

Emmenthal, Fromage de Tête – Bordeaux supérieur.

Crottin de Chavignol – Riesling, Sauvignon de St Bris

Fourme d'Ambert – Côtes de Bergerac moelleux, Coteaux du Layon.

Comté – Graves.

Hot cheese – Sancerre.

Goats cheese – Sauvignon de St Bris, Riesling, Bordeaux supérieur.

Roquefort – Monbazillac, Coteaux du Layon, Sancerre.

Quote

"Let us remember simply that behind a wine bottle or a label, there is an artist, it is the vine grower. Let us learn how to respect its labour, its passion, its life. Let us honour this virtuoso with the pleasure we gain from the fruit of his work, drinking the wine with a new frenzy and a pure language which goes with this nectar."

Useful Outside links

– Check out the latest catalogue / leaflet offers (PDF). www.bonial.fr

Confetti, Wedding planning. www.confetti.co.uk

Wedding Guide. www.weddingguideuk.com

Weddings abroad. www.weddingsabroad.com

Kuoni Holidays. www.kuoni.co.uk

kuoini holidays

Groom Power, useful advice for grooms to be. www.groompower.com

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