Lisa has posted a comment on my July 16 blog (God bless you, Lisa) suggesting I might have had a fine old time researching The House of Peine or House of Daughters as it is called in the US. She is correct. I had two lengthy trips to the Champagne region of France which is about an hour and a half's drive out of Paris if you are a normal person or a six hour drive if you are me and have two maps none of which feature the bit of France you happen to be in. I stayed with the Tarlant family near Epernay - they make amazing artisan champagne and have done so since 1697. Four or five generations of the Tarlant family get together every year to choose the blend for their still wine which then ferments a second time to become bubbly. It's delicious and what's more, you can actually get it in New Zealand. I never saw it in the US but my friend Rick lives on East 20th St in NYC (between Park Avenue and Broadway) and the wine store in his block sells Diebolt Vallois, a chardonnay-only champagne of the best quality, which is also a family champagne house I went to visit. I am a terrific bore on the subject of champagne. In fact, sometimes the only way to shut me up is to give me a glass.