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...

read more

Summer sipping on the Thames with Billecart-Salmon 2006

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

Posted by in Champagne

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...

read more

Picnic inspired Afternoon Tea at the Four Seasons Park Lane

Jul 12, 15 Picnic inspired Afternoon Tea at the Four Seasons Park Lane

Posted by in All, Hotels and Spas

Warm scones served with a dollop of clotted cream and strawberry jam on top has to be my favourite part of a traditional English Afternoon Tea. Usually I’ll have two but at the Four Seasons recently, I was able to indulge in quiet a few as they serve mini scones for their afternoon tea. The mini scones were part of the new picnic-inspired tea for two on the terrace of the Amaranto restaurant in the Four Seasons Park Lane. Tea comes to the table in a wicker basket and comes complete with china, silverware and  vintage tins containing a range of sandwiches, cakes and scones designed with a British twist, evoking the warmest of British summer picnic feelings. To complete the classic affair, Head Pastry Chef Loic Carbonnet has created a tin of delightful treats with a classic British summer twist: Pimm’s mousse; rhubarb and custard ice cream lolly; pistachio and strawberry tartlet; chocolate and raspberry macaron; and a trifle made with seasonal fruit. The cream desserts were extremely light and fluffy, my favourite was the Pimms’s mousse, incredibly light and I’m sure there’s no way there could have been any calories in it at all! 😉 I loved everything and as well as the classic English Afternoon Tea we also sampled the Italian Tea, which had Italian inspired sandwiches and Italian pastries, including my favourite cannoli and these incredible doughnut pastries from Naples. Of course it wouldn’t be tea with, well Tea, and the Four Seasons will either match the tea to the savoury and sweet courses or let you choose your own. I chose the Silver Needle Chinese Tea, a delicate tea but still full of flavour. If you so desire, you can also add a glass of Bollinger NV or Bollinger Rose to your afternoon tea service. Champagne is extra but I always like to start off the afternoon with a glass of bubbles. Service as always was top knotch, anticipatory but not invasive or obsequious, they really make you feel more...

read more

Fish & Fizz with The Wine Trust

Jun 24, 15 Fish & Fizz with The Wine Trust

Posted by in Champagne

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...

read more

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

Posted by in Champagne

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...

read more
%d bloggers like this: