The Traditional: Champagne, France
Why Go: If you consider yourself an oenophile, then France can be an overwhelming ordeal. There are so many choices for where to visit — Bourdeaux, the Loire Valley, Provence, the Left Bank — but if you’re a first timer, do yourself a favor and start with a classic. Champagne, the only region in the world that produces sparkling wine that can legitimately be referred to as such, is a quick day trip from Paris. Visit Reims, where you can take a tour of the famous caves de champagne, 150 miles of underground tunnels and wine cellars dedicated exclusively to the storage of champagne. Though the origin site of champagne, the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire, closed centuries ago, you can pretend it still exists by taking a tour of the famous Gothic cathedral in Reims.
Top Wine: You can’t go wrong with any of them, but take a trip to Taittinger and try their Brut Millesime, a long-finishing, fruity champagne.
Don’t Miss: While the more infamous tasting houses will usher you through like a touristy herd of cattle, Ruinart champagne cellars gives a much more intimate tasting experience, making it worth the extra Euros to visit.