Me, Myself, and I

a view into the strange place, that is my mind.


Photos and Words by Jen Pollack Bianco

In 1843 an outside-the-bottle thinker named Joseph Krug established a champagne house with the intent of taking sparkling wine to the next level.  He succeeded. For six generations, Krug’s golden liquid deliciousness has created a loyal following of super fans the family-run brand embraces and calls “Krug Lovers.”

Located in Reims, France, the House of Krug is not open to the general public. So scoring a private tour made me feel like Charlie winning a golden ticket and a visit to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory, but way more fun because it involved adult beverages instead of oompa-loompas!

Immersion into the Krug universe started at 10 in the morning when my tour guide (and Krug’s international PR manager), Blandine de Navacelle, popped open a bottle of Krug Grand Cuvee, and poured me a glass. “French Breakfast,” she called it. That’s how they roll in Reims. So I learned about Krug’s five prestige cuvees while day drinking and touring Krug’s private cellars. After tasting the vintage 2000 I could say the words “bright, brioche finish” without sounding like a tool. Brewing some of the world’s finest bubbly requires both old school artisanal craftsmanship (each bottle is turned by hand daily during the fermentation process) and the latest in technology (the metal wine vats looked like something straight out of Walter White’s meth lab on Breaking Bad).

It takes a tasting committee (yes, that is a real occupation) and a blend of about 120 different sample wines and 20 years to make each bottle of Grand Cuvée. Seeing the attention to detail and human element involved explained why Krug is so exceptional. 

In 2011, Krug began adding a six digit Krug ID on each bottle’s label. entering the Krug ID into the brand’s website lets Krug Lovers learn more about the story behind those very bubbles. Cheers to that!

This is pretty cool!