The Fourth Grand Blind New Year Champagne Tasting

So here it is. Longer and better than ever! 11 wines in the mix: 9 Champagnes (one a £10 bottle), 2 English sparkling wines, all tasted blind on camera. Can Beavington and I spot the cheapie? Can we spot the English wines? Which is our favourite? 53 minutes of viewing pleasure.

 

Some festive fizz, and fun quotes

It’s always a good time for sparkling wine and Champagne. Christmas gives me that extra prompt to open bottles though, and to seek out the company of those who also like to bring out the bubbles. Here are some fizz highlights of the last few days.

First, a couple of Christmas day quotes. I was at [...]

Champagne Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru

I have a soft spot for Egly-Ouriet – they used to be the favoured grower Champagne of La Vigneronne, the now defunct South Kensington wine shop that I used to visit a lot when I was starting out.

The house style is lower yields than normal, fermentation in oak, and a low-ish dosage of 5-6 g/litre. [...]

The Krug Institute of Happiness

Remarkable dinner last night at the Krug Institute of Happiness. It’s a pop-up restaurant idea based around Krug Champagne, with cooking by Nuno Mendes of Viajante (pictured above), and held in a stunning property in Highgate, 85 Swains Lane.

Olivier Krug

 

After lots of Krug Grande Cuvee and canapes, it was time to sit down. We [...]

Pug puppies and two good Champagnes

Nipped over to my sister Hester’s last night to see their new pug puppies. They already have an adult pug, and these new recruits take the pug quotient in the Beavington household to 3. And twin sister Anne has taken another pug from the litter.

They are incredibly cute, although labradoodles still rock more than pugs [...]

Moet Grand Vintage 2004

Liked this. Moet make a lot of Champagne, and when you review the wines from a big producer, there are two dangers. The first is to be prejudiced against them because they are big. The second is to be too soft on them: you would like the big players to be doing good work because it’s [...]

A remarkable lunch at the Armourers' Hall

Today was the launch of the Pol Roger Blanc de Blancs 2002, held at the fantastic Armourers’ Hall in the City of London. Aside from the fact that we were tasting 7 vintages of this brilliantly consistent, pure and complex Champagne, one of the draws was that Pol Roger had lured star chef Brett Graham [...]

Celebrating the Wine Blog Awards with Taittinger Comtes 2000

I was thrilled to find out today that I won an award. I was shortlisted in the ‘Best Overall Wine Blog’ category in the Wine Blog Awards, and the results were announced at the Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland yesterday evening: amazingly, I won.

So to celebrate, I cracked open a bottle of Champagne. Taittinger Comtes [...]

Video: tasting Champagne - Roederer NV compared with Lanson NV

Haven’t done one of these in a while: here I am on camera, tasting two non vintage Champagnes. Roederer and Lanson.

A remarkable evening of wine, with Burgundy, the Wachau, the northern Rhone, Champagne and Sherry

Had a fabulous dinner last night at Francis and Bronwen Percival’s pad in Borough Market with a group of wine nuts, including a Burgundy-resident Californian winemaker. Some lovely bottles came out, and Francis and Bronwen’s cooking was on top form.

We started with some cheese, of course: Stawley, Kirkham’s Lancashire and Citeaux (a washed-rind cow’s milk [...]