Champagne for Beginners

Aug 20, 15 Champagne for Beginners

Posted by in Champagne

I love champagne. I love the many different options that are available – Non-Vintage, Vintage, Blanc de Noirs, Blanc de Blancs, Vintage Rosés, Non Vintage Rosés, the list goes on and on. I also love how champagne also gives a little touch of class to whatever meal you pair it with. To be honest, the feeling of downing a cool flute of bubbly on a hot summer’s day is probably one of the main things that I look forward to during these upcoming months. I have found that I have recently been enjoying going through the best champagne available from Advintage just because I love this sparkly drink so much. As I consider myself a bit of a champagne expert, I belive that enables me to say quite a bit on the topic of this delicious bubbly drink. Although I have enjoyed hundreds of flutes of champagne and I am now somewhat of an expert on them, I was not always this knowledgeable. Before I started my champagne tasting adventures, my knowledge of champagne (and how it is served) mostly came from movies and TV shows which often depicted people popping open a bottle of champagne and spraying the resulting fizz avalanche over everyone else in front of them. I also thought that champagne came in just one variant. I now thankfully know better. Here is a little cheat sheet for your reference if you are interested in champagne and you want to test the frothy, bubbly waters. Non Vintage Champagnes. Inexpensive yet still delicious, these champagnes are made up of a mix of different wines which usually come from different years. Try these with canapés and hors d’oeuvres. Vintage Champagnes. As the name implies, these are made only during special years and are made out of a blend of wines from the same years. Aged a minimum of 3 years, these types of champagne are sure to be smooth and definitely delicious. Blanc de Blanc Champagnes. These go perfectly with seafood and they taste crisp and quite fresh on the palate. I highly recommend that you go ahead and let these...

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Summer sipping on the Thames with Billecart-Salmon 2006

Aug 13, 15 Summer sipping on the Thames with Billecart-Salmon 2006

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For the past few years, a group of my friends and I get together and spend a (hopefully) sunny afternoon floating down the upper Thames, sharing our food and wine. As many of my friends are wine bloggers, of course, we have to show off with our special wine finds. This year was no exception. As I’m a big champagne lover, I brought along the Billecart-Salmon 2006 (amongst other wines) to share with my friends. It was a gorgeous day to be floating on the river and we had chosen a route that took us from Henley to Reading. As soon as we got underway, I popped open the Billecart-Salmon. The 2006 is an extra-brut dosage and is composed of 75% pinot noir with the remainder being chardonnay from the Cotes du Blancs. As we sipping along the river, I could hear words such as “creme brulee”, “vanilla”, “red apples”, “pamplemousse” and “spice” being bandied about the boat by my fellow drinkers. I have to agree, the champagne was all that and more, a rich a fine wine, with delicate bubbles and a long finish. A refreshing drink to have on a warm summer’s day floating down the Thames. It’s difficult to bring gourmet cuisine on a small boat but we did have some very good Scotch eggs and I have to say they went very well with the 2006 Billecart-Salmon, the champagne cutting through the rich sausage. A lovely way to spend the day and the 2006 Billecart-Salmon was a great way to kick off the cruise. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Fish & Fizz with The Wine Trust

Jun 24, 15 Fish & Fizz with The Wine Trust

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I do like to indulge in a glass or three of champagne now and then and it’s even better when it’s paired with something good to eat. Did you know that one of the best foods to pair with sparkling wine is none other than that quintessential British dish, fish & chips. So, I happily accepted an invitation by the Wine Trust to their recent Fish & Fizz dinner at Hook in Camden. The Wine Trust is an online only retailer who have a hand picked selection of wines from exceptional producers. They have a team of Masters of Wine winebuyers headed up by Nick Adams MW. Every week Nick and his team choose their wines from a selection of 100’s for their customers. The range is constantly being refreshed, if they find a better example of a particular variety, they’re not afraid to replace it; and if the latest vintage isn’t the best, they’re not afraid to take it off the site. The dinner took place at Hook in Camden. Hook is an Irish owned company although they first started in Belgium. They are all about sustainability and new style fish and chips. That evening we had a selection of their trademark dishes including,  panko crusted Seabass, champagne tempura Mackeral and ink and tarragon tempura of Plaice. Each dish was paired with a champagne and an English sparkling wine. We started with the Ayala Brut Majeur and then moved onto Charles Heidseick Brut and Brut Rose and the 2010 Nyetimber Brut and 2009 Nyetimber rose. We had one of my favourite cremant de Loire’s made by Langlois-Chateau to start. All of these sparkling wines are available from Wine Trust. I quite enjoyed the matches. The bubbles working so well with the fish and the twice cooked chips. One of the funnest utensils they had was the spray bottle of malt vinegar. I would have taken that bottle home with me if I could have! I think that both teams at The Wine Trust...

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Don’t miss the Laurent-Perrier masterclasses at Taste of London, 2015

Jun 15, 15 Don’t miss the Laurent-Perrier masterclasses at Taste of London, 2015

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Laurent-Perrier has been chosen again to be the official champagne of The Taste of London in 2015. They will be hosting champagne masterclasses throughout the event (June 17th – 21st) as well as having a special bar set up where you’ll be able to sit back and relax with a glass of Laurent-Perrier in hand. The masterclasses this year will again be hosted by David Hesketh, Master of Wine and MD of Laurent-Perrier UK. David will be matching their cuvées with canapés prepared by street food connoisseurs Bob’s Lobster. I’ve been to various masterclasses with David and he is a font of knowledge about not only Laurent-Perrier but also about champagne in general.  Every time I attend one, I learn something new about champagne. These events are also great opportunity to enjoy a unique champagne experience. David will lead you in learning how to choose the optimum champagne; whether it’s for a special occasion or just because you fancy some bubbles in the middle of the week (I know I often do!). Following a glass of Laurent-Perrier Brut on arrival, guests will be guided through the key characteristics of a range of Laurent-Perrier’s distinct champagnes, while enjoying freshly prepared rock oysters fried in cajun breadcrumbs and yuzo, crispy wonton tacos filled with sashimi grade yellow fin tuna and the famed Bob’s Lobster roll; toasted brioche, stuffed with native lobster tail dressed with paprika and fresh oregano. Daniel Brennan, Head of Marketing for Laurent-Perrier UK: “The Laurent-Perrier Champagne Moments Masterclass will demonstrate how different sizes and styles of champagne can enhance any occasion, our Brut will be served by jeroboam and our Grand Siècle by magnum. The pairing of these champagnes with carefully chosen dishes from Bob’s Lobster brings a fun approach to food matching and is quite simply, the best food pairing masterclass we have ever had at Taste!” Laurent-Perrier is taking the opportunity at Taste to introduce their summer partnership with award-winning gourmet popcorn pioneers, Joe & Seph’s, they have crafted a delicious Strawberry & Elderflower Popcorn. Capturing the fruity notes of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée...

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Afternoon Tea at the Dorchester for the Chelsea Flower Show 2015

May 18, 15 Afternoon Tea at the Dorchester for the Chelsea Flower Show 2015

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The Chelsea Flower Show is this week and as they’ve done for a number of past years,  The Dorchester has partnered with Laurent-Perrier Champagne to create a breath-taking show garden, marking Chatsworth’s debut at Chelsea for the 2015 show.  The tea will be held in The Dorchester’s Promenade and will be served with Laurent-Perrier’s favourite champagne; Cuvée Rose. It will be an afternoon featuring the decadent but oh so delicious cakes inspired by the Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth Garden, sandwiches and of course Champagne. The afternoon tea has been created to celebrate the collaboration between Laurent-Perrier Champagne and Chatsworth at Chelsea Flower Show. The teas will be available to the public throughout Chelsea week from 18th – 24th May. Laurent-Perrier and Chatsworth have a shared heritage in gardens and nature, the garden, under the artistic direction of award-winning designer Dan Pearson, promises to be an awe-inspiring experience for visitors. Phil Hammond will instil the essence of the show garden into his floral displays at The Promenade at The Dorchester and Henry Brosi has created a selection of delicate cakes inspired by the plants and flowers of the garden to give guests a memorable guest experience. Priced from £59 per person, the Laurent-Perrier Floral Afternoon Tea will be available in The Pavilion at The Dorchester during the week of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, with 5 daily sittings at 1pm, 2pm, 3.15pm, 4.30pm and 5pm. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Launch of the Laurent-Perrier ’06 on the Belmond British Pullman

May 06, 15 Launch of the Laurent-Perrier ’06 on the Belmond British Pullman

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Recently, I found myself rolling through the English countryside on a vintage train, drinking vintage Champagne. I was travelling on the Belmond British Pullman train for lunch and the launch of the 2006 vintage of  Laurent-Perrier Champagne. Growing up in California, I never really  had much chance to travel by train but I’ve also been captivated by the idea and to this day, I still love going on a train trip, as long as it’s not on the London Underground. I had been invited to take a train ride and have lunch on the Belmond British Pullman train line. The Belmond was formerly known as the Orient Express but had a name change a few years ago. What hasn’t changed are the trains. Each carriage is an original that has been painstakingly restored. The trains are sometimes called Palaces on Wheels and after having been on one, I can see why. From the polished mahogany doorways to the intricate murals on the lavatory floors, these carriages are one of a kind. The carriages were almost lost to posterity after the 1960’s when they were withdrawn from service in the 1960’s and ’70’s but in 1977, James B Sherwood attended an auction by Sotheby’s  featuring a few carriages and became hooked on the idea of restoring these carriages to their former glory and the Orient Express. Today, thanks to James, we can all enjoy a train trip on these restored beauties. They are now branded under the Belmond name. Check out their website for information on dinners, special events, weekend escapes and even the original Orient Express journey from London to Venice. However, we were there to taste champagne.  The MD of Laurent-Perrier, David Hesketh, was on board to lead us through a tasting of not only the 2006 but also the 2004, 2002 and non vintage as well as the Grande Siecle and Laurent Perrier Demi-Sec with lunch. It was a slightly extravegant lunch but we were lunching on one of the original “Palaces...

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