Today’s Harpers Champagne Summit was really good.
I was there to present a ‘masterclass’: my theme, the difference between non-vintage and vintage Champagnes. I compared the NV and vintage wines from three different houses, but made people do it single blind (they knew which wines were in each pair, but not which was which). Amazingly, this informed audience found it very difficult to spot which was which. Ray O’Connor has written the session up on the IWC blog, and posted a video clip of an interview he did with me.
Among the other sessions, there was a fascinating food and Champagne matching session. Champagne Mumm have commissioned flavourist Danny Hodrien to use GC-MS (a powerful analytic technique) to examine the volatile flavour compounds in their various Champagnes, and to identify molecules that might be specific to each fizz. Then chef Iain Graham used the specific flavour compounds to devize canapes to match each Champagne. It was really interesting, and some of the matches were superb.
There was also a tasting. The real treat was a vertical of Perrier Jouet’s Belle Epoque, with 1995, 1996 and 1998 from Jeroboam, and also 2002 and 2004, as well as 2000 and 2002 Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs.