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How Krug's Winemaker Spends Christmas

Julie Cavil, Winemaking Director at The House of Krug, on what the festive season holds for her. 

Julie Cavil during a harvest, one of 13 she has overseen for Krug (c) Krug

Krug's reputation as one of the world's finest Champagnes comes with good reason. Krug is the sole Champagne house to create only Prestige Champagne every year since its foundation in 1843 by Joseph Krug (six generation later, still led by his descendent Olivier Krug).

Joseph Krug's vision was to offer the very best Champagne that can be created every single year, regardless of the harvest and annual variations in climate. Every year Krug's winemaking director Julie Cavil, will tour the hundreds of vineyards and pick through over 150 different reserve wines, some dating back 10 years, to create the perfect blend of over 120 wines for that year's Krug Grand Cuvée.

At a time of year associated with celebration, Julie Cavil describes her perfect Christmas, with no shortage of Krug. 

What makes Krug suited to festive food pairings?

Krug Grande Cuvée is always a blend of over 120 wines from more than 10 different years which lends a fullness of flavours and aromas that would be impossible to express with the wines of a single year. This means that everyone can find something to stir the sensations.

How should you drink Krug?

You should always drink Champagne at between 9°C and 12°C, as colder temperatures limit the flavour. In terms of the glass, Krug has its own tulip-shaped glass designed by Riedel called the Jospeh Glass. But failing that, we recommend using a white Burgundy glass instead of a flute.

What is your perfect Christmas Eve menu?

I will be celebrating with my husband (who is also an enthusiastic wine lover), our two kids, and our friends in Reims (the unofficial capital of the Champagne region). The menu will be a traditional French Christmas feast and will include smoked salmon and fresh oysters to start, followed by foie gras and, as a main dish, a game bird or venison. With the seafood, Krug Grande Cuvée would be a lovely match. I think the Krug 2006 would really enhance the foie gras and with the game dish, I might opt for a glass of Krug Rosé, which is an unexpectedly bold rosé that can replace a good red wine at the table with brio.

What about dessert?

Since it is a special day, we might enjoy a real treat of a glass of Krug Collection 1988 paired with a dried fruit and almond tart.

How do you spend Christmas Day?

Our main celebration happens on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day we will still be among loved ones but probably celebrate with something simpler like a cold seafood platter and salad. Then we will go for a walk - we love to enjoy the countryside of the Champagne region. Here, you are quickly among the vines and it is a joy to take long walks, breath the fresh air and marvel at the magic underway in our historic vineyards. 

Will you drink Krug the whole way through the meal or if not what other wines will you have?

The fullness of flavours and aromas of Krug Grande Cuvée also means that it is the most versatile Champagne in terms of pairing, so we could easily enjoy it throughout the meal. However, the holidays are about togetherness and when friends bring wine to dinner, I would want to open their bottle.

Do you have any seasonal traditions?

In France on January 6th, we celebrate the arrival of the Three Kings with a special pastry we call “galette des rois.” Inside the pastry is hidden a small figurine and the person who finds it baked in their galette is crowned king or queen for the day.