A Piper-Heidsieck Rare Experience in the VIP room of Whisky Mist

Nov 19, 14 A Piper-Heidsieck Rare Experience in the VIP room of Whisky Mist

Posted by in Champagne

Last week I made it back to London in time to attend the launch of the Piper-Heidsieck Rare Experience in the VIP room of the Mayfair nightclub, Whisky Mist. The champagne houses have started to concentrate their efforts on nightclubs but Piper-Heidsieck has to be one of the first to have a dedicated VIP room in a Central London nightclub. It’s called the Cuveé Room and is a separate VIP room in Whiskey Mist. Piper-Heidsieck commissioned the Giles Miller Studio to create a room based on the intricate design of their Rare Cuveé. The room’s centrepiece is an installation that runs the length of the ceiling and features “…hundreds of metallic components of varying depths, applied by hand to a ceiling structure…” the design was inspired by …”the original vine design produced by the Parisian jeweler Arthus-Bertrand.” The result is impressive but elegant, bling but not too much bling, if you know what I mean. The VIP room will feature The Rare 1998 in magnum and the Rare 2002. The Rare is their prestige cuvees and  is always a vintage champagne. I’ve only recently been introduced to the Rare collection but in my opinion, they are very well done champagnes. For those who might want a younger wine, the 2006 vintage is available along with the non-vingage Rosé  Sauvage. One of my favourite things about the bar was the special menu on display for the champagnes. A dedicated Rare electronic menu, it’s like an elongated iPad menu, very cool and it certainly does add to the Rare Experience. It’s not cheap to drink but vintage and prestige champagne’s never are and the VIP room at Whisky Mist is a beautiful spot for a bottle of Rare bubbly or two.   Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Perrier Jouet Cuvee Belle Epoque – jeroboams and magnums

  Is there anything nicer then a magnum of champagne? How about a couple of vintage bottles of champagne in jeroboam? I ran into my friend, Neil Phillips, not long ago at the Harper’s Champagne summit held at the Soho Hotel in Central London recently and he twisted my arm  into trying the Perrier-Jouët Cuvée Belle Epoque range of magnums and jeroboams he just happened to have on hand.  As well as being a summit on all things champagne, there was a small selection of exclusive and rare champagnes for us to taste throughout the day long event. One thing I discovered about jeroboams (capacity 3 litres) is that the champagne is decanted into the bigger bottles after it has gone through secondary fermentation. The biggest bottle that a champagne house will do a secondary ferment in is a magnum as anything larger then that and the logistics of containing the fermenting wine inside the bottle become a bit of a nightmare. Imagine jeroboams exploding in the cellar because the pressure was just too high for the glass. There is a champagne house that doesn’t decant and their full nebuchadnazzer (15 litres) specially made bottles can weigh up to 38 kilos ! Some people might complain that decanting the magnums into larger format bottles makes the champagne flat but that is a matter of opinion. As for me, I had the pleasure to taste the 1995 & 1996  in jeroboam and the ‘2002 in magnum Perrier Jouët’s vintage Cuvée Belle Epoque, complete in their flower bedecked bottles. The bottles are even prettier and the flowery motif just seems to work better on the bigger bottles, not that I don’t like the normal sized painted bottles. There are some who say that wine ages best in magnum sized bottles and I am inclined to agree with that assessment. Whether it is because the wine has more room to develop or who knows, really? Once the bottle is sealed we still don’t know what goes on...

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Vintage champagne -Veuve Clicquot Grande Dame and cheese

May 14, 10 Vintage champagne -Veuve Clicquot Grande Dame and cheese

Posted by in Champagne, Food and Wine

Champagne and cheese might not be your first choice when it comes to wine and food matching. How about VINTAGE champagne and cheese? Does that sound any more enticing? It did to me. Hell, just mention vintage champagne and I’m there holding out my glass to be filled. I love vintage champagne, what can I say? The complex aromas and deeper flavours that are found in these wines get me every time. I’ve had people in the wine trade tell me they couldn’t drink vintage champagne everyday but I don’t think you could count me in that camp. What makes a champagne vintage? Too make a long story short, vintage champagne, like vintage port, is not declared every year. Only the years that are deemed to have produced the best grapes are allowed to be declared vintage years.Vintage champagne is also often held for many  more years than non-vintage champagne before release. While it’s true that red wine is what usually pops to mind with cheese, I was invited to an unusual champagne tasting the other day by Veuve Clicquot and Bibendum Wines. The aim was to show that their prestige vintage, Veuve Grande Dame Brut and Grande Dame Rosè are not just for special occasions but can be a delightful way to end a meal. Any meal ending with champagne is a delight as far as I’m concerned. In one corner we had 2 Veuve Clicquot magnums,the Grande Dame Brut ’95 and the Grande Dame Rosè ’98 along with a regular sized bottle of the Grande Dame Brut ’98 pitted against 3 soft and 3 hard cheeses. The cheeses: Goat’s Cheese from France Chaource Rouzaire from Champagne (France) Cacio Fiore from Latium (Italy) Pecorino from Sardinia (Italy) Queso Manchego from La Mancha (Spain) Old Winchester from Hampshire (England) The ’95 Brut seemed to be the best match all around. Still quite lively and fresh on the palate it was an ok match to the goat cheese but was even better with the pecorino,...

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Ch. de Brague ’05 – 70 cl vs. Magnum!

What is it about a magnum? There is something very seductive about a magnum to me. Maybe it’s the pure heft of the bottle, the size of it (although I’m not a size queen) or maybe it’s just because it’s not something you see everyday.  Whatever it is, my eyes light up whenever I come across a magnum. Magnums hold the equivalent of 2 bottles of wine and many think that the larger size allows the wine to mature not just slower but also differently. My plan was to compare a wine, bottled in a 70cl and in a magnum, and put those theories to the test.  Imagine my delight when I found the ’05 Ch. de Brague magnum on the shelves right before Christmas. I snapped it up and scurried home with my prize. Obviously more than two people are needed to down this baby so when my friend El invited me over for a dinner party at hers, I hauled over the magnum. I stopped by Oddbins on the way over and picked up a regular 70cl size bottle for comparison, same wine, same vintage. Got to El’s, opened both wines, poured and then, disaster! The 70 cl was corked! So much for my taste comparison of magnums vs. 70cls. Oh well, the Ch. de Brague is an ’05 Bordeaux superieur, primarily merlot with cabernet sauvignon and a dash of cabernet franc. The ’05 is a bit young but it had a lovely tannic structure, smooth and velvety with a black cherry fruit character and leather notes. Neil made mushroom risotto which was a great choice for this particular Bordeaux. I was disappointed that I couldn’t compare the two bottle sizes but there’s always next time. 70 cl – £7.99 Magnum – £15.99 Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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