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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An Exploration of Champagne Ruinart Roses

Apr 22, 15 An Exploration of Champagne Ruinart Roses

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“Champagne is best drunk between 9 am and 9 am the next day…” according to Ruinart Chef de Cave, Frédéric Panaïotis. I couldn’t agree more, which is how I found myself one Friday morning in Mayfair ready for a tasting of Ruinart’s rosés going  back to the 1980’s. The morning was dedicated to an exploration of Ruinart’s rosés. According the tasting notes, …”Ruinart is recognised by many as a reference for Blanc de Blanc Champagne and the Rosé wines in its portfolio contain a high percentage of Chardonnay grapes.  Frédéric describes the Ruinart Rosé as “A harmonious blending of two grape varieties, that gives a silky generous feeling on the palate.  The Chardonnay provides exceptional aromatic freshness while the Pinot Noir offers intense colour and delicate red fruits with an unexpected hint of exotic fruits…” I enjoy vertical tastings very much because it’s a chance to see how wines evolve and champagne is no different. We started with their NV rosé as a benchmark to see how the wines evolve over the years. This NV is full of berries and even has a few tropical notes to it. Fred noted that they are hoping to achieve an aromatic style of champagne, bursting with raspberry and strawberry. Fred says this is a rosé for jacuzzis, I’ll have to take his word for it! As we went through the wines, we went from Dom Ruinart 2002, 1998, 1996, 1990 and finished off with the Dom Ruinart 1988. The 2002 was still vibrant and pale pink in colour, still very aromatic on the nose. It was when we got to the 1990’s that the rosés began to turn darker in hue, almost onion skin in colour. The champagnes were also spicer and full of candied fruits on the nose and palate. By the time we go to the Dom Ruinart 1990, we were getting into Christmas pudding territory on the nose, with hints of dates, mushrooms and figs. This is definitely a food wine. Fred recommended this...

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[PODCAST] A Chat with Caroline Henry About Her New Book, Terroir Champagne

Feb 20, 15 [PODCAST] A Chat with Caroline Henry About Her New Book, Terroir Champagne

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I’ve started podcasting again and my first new podcast is with my friend and Champagne expert, Caroline Henry. Caroline has been living in the region for the past 3 years in Hautvillers.  In that time she has become aware of the sustainable, organic and biodynamic movement in the region. So much so, that she is now writing a book about that subject. Here she has taken the time to explain why she decided to write “Terroir Champagne, The Luxury of Sustainable, Organic and Biodynamic Cuvees” and what it means to produce environmentally friendly champagne. The book was crowd funded but self-publishing is still an expensive proposition so if you’d like to buy the book, buy a Terroir Champagne T-shirt or visit the region with Caroline as your guide, visit her website here. Caroline is planning on publication in September 2015.   http://thewinesleuth.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/car_2.mp3   Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Tasting Vin Clair at Veuve Clicquot, Future Champagne in the Making

Feb 17, 15 Tasting Vin Clair at Veuve Clicquot, Future Champagne in the Making

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I like to think that vin clair tasting is similar to Bordeaux en primeur in that it’s a tasting where you are given a glimpse of the wine to come. With vin clair though you have to use your imagination a lot more to envision how the final blend will turn out. Bear in mind also that it’s not 2 or even 10 vin clair that have to be tasted, it can run into the hundreds. The process often takes weeks before the final assessment of each wine is done and the blend selected. Vin clair is the wine that is produced after the first fermentation of the grapes. Just a reminder, to make champagne, the wine goes through 2 fermentations. Vin clair or base wines are blended together and then put in bottle for the second fermentation which produces all those lovely tiny bubbles. If you like champagne, you’ll hate vin clair but then again, it’s not made for consumption now but in 3 years time, at the very least. These are wines that are very young, they are usually tasted 6 months or so after harvest to access their potential. The aim is to have wines with lots of acidity as well as showing the typicity of the 3 grapes – chardonnay, pinot noir, meunier. This is where the winemakers vision comes in, he or she must imagine how the blend will taste after a minimum of 3 years in bottle and often the wine stays in the bottle for much, much longer. As I’m here in champagne at the moment, I was invited to taste a few vin clair with the Chef de Cave of Veuve Clicquot, Dominique Demarville. He had a few samples of pinot noir, chardonnay and meunier to taste with each wine coming from a different parcel of grapes and a different village. Dominique wanted to take us on a journey of the region with grapes from the north to the south and east to west. We had our...

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