Vive La France Culture Classes


Join us for a three-session series focused on the Champagne region of France and its famous sparkling product.

Taking place on April 13, 20, and 27 at 6 p.m. CDT, these classes will feature cultural presentations on the region and its history along with optional champagne tastings.  Classes will be held online/virtually.

To rewatch this series click here.


April 13Veuve Clicquot: Cave, Comet, Celebration

Nicknamed “La grande dame de la Champagne” by her peers, Madame Clicquot did not only become famous because she steered the family business through troubled times. She also pioneered into establishing champagne as the preferred drink in high society circles from Rheims to Russia, at a time when women were denied civil rights. From the early death of her husband François at the age of 30 to the witty invention of the riddle table process, this presentation focuses on the exceptional destiny of an astute woman, her resilience and overnight ascension to global fame, along with the secrets of the most successful champagne brands.

Presentation by Jean Xavier Brager

April 20 – Bubbling Deception: How French Winemakers Resisted the Nazis and Saved Champagne

Following the fall of France to Nazi forces, the winemaking regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne became favored targets of Wehrmacht officers and soldiers alike. Plundering millions of bottles, the beloved industry stood on the brink of collapse. Fighting to protect their national drink, French winemakers initiated creative and bold ways to resist Nazi demands. Through the course of protecting their stores, French winemakers also uncovered unexpected ways to foil Nazi Germany’s future military maneuvers.

Presentation by Kristen Burton

April 27 – Champagne, a Game of Chance?

Salvadore Domenech Jacinto Dalí has written, Champagne is a work of chance; a triumph of Patience; a creation of genius….  In the same volume, Dalí also wrote, Champagne and love, these two words are generously entwined, Champagne and love, those two wisdoms give us ideas, For without love, there is no being, And that sly wine, Whose favorite game is To provoke the laughter of friends and lovers.

The Wines of Gala, Royal Academy of San Fernando, Madrid.

We will taste a few, learn a bit and allow Champagne to provoke laughter, friendship and love as we play its “favorite game.”

Presentation by Margene Minor

Click on the presenters’ names to see their biographies.

Champagne Tastings

We are partnering with The Wine Seller (5000 Prytania Street) for the champagne tastings that will be taking place during each class.  You can purchase all of these champagnes at the store.

Suggested Food Pairings

Below are both savory and sweet food pairings courtesy of Nora Wetzel (click on document and down arrow to see both)

Champagne worthy foods savory

St. James Cheese Company (5004 Prytania Street) gives their cheese suggestions to pair with champagne:

  1. Brillat Savarin –Pasteurized Cow – Triple Crème – France
  2. Comté – Raw Cow – France
  3. Bleu d’Auvergne – Pasteurized Cow – France
  4. Sofia – Pasteurized Goat – Indiana
  5. Taleggio – Pasteurized Cow – Italy


If you would like more information, please email Karen Walk Geisert at