Sunday, 1 March 2009

Reims sounds like rance not reems

The Champagne region is most famous its sparkling wine. The main reason I am writing about Champagne is not because it is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. I am not writing about Champagne because the region struggles to produce a good still wine. I am writing so that you know how to pronounce Reims. I am sure that you know that the name champagne is protected by law, so that only the sparkling wine produced in this region can take that name. Well you may not know that some producers in America have managed to get round the law and produce their own champagne.

I want to mention Reims which is the centre of the champagne industry. The city is full of history and has a stunning Gothic cathedral. Coronations have traditionally taken place in Reims from the time of Clovis I's baptism to 1825. The main reason that I am writing this blog is to get you to pronounce the word Reims. I have a friend from this city who taught me hpw to say it correctly otherwise I would never know. Google Reims and you still will not know because there are so many variations. It is pronounced quite nasally, and sounds like rance, and rhymes with the French way of saying prince, though the English have traditionally spelt it Rheims and pronounce it reems.

A bientôt

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