I can't say I miss drinking a huge amount. When Frog has been at various dégustations I have taken the odd surreptitious sip (you can't say no to trying Mumm's Blanc de Blancs) but that suffices as I move back to the fruit juice.
However, this weekend we went to a wedding in the countryside just outside Troyes in the Aube. It's only an hour and a half drive further south, and in the extreme of the Champagne Ardennes, but we felt the change in the temperature by a couple of degrees and felt like we were in another region.
The wedding was in a beautiful little church and was the most chaotic service I've ever experienced. After the sortie (which was never an official end to the service, more like get up when you're bored with what the priest is saying about the signing of the registers), everyone piled back to the bride's family house. And what a house. It was a huge old redbrick pile in the grounds of an old mill, complete with river, weir, 'beach' and magnificent garden. The garden and marquee were decked out for a '1001 Nights' style and we ate couscous, tagines, salads and sweet pastries.
So, to the booze. The champagne was served (the Aube is part of the Champagne AOC and known for its Pinot Noir) which was no great loss to me as I took the mint tea. Then we sat down for dinner and I spotted the magnum bottles of Pomerol 1975 on every table. Very unfair. I took a sip from Frog and even he (who's not a red fan) quaffed away happily all night.
I did, however, feel slightly virtuous the next day when Frog emerged having spent most of the night being ill after over indulgence in food and drink. Yes, I felt a little smug!