4 Jul 2008

Non-Racist Champagne

Pictured: Armand de Brignac’s Rosé Champagne. RRP: around £300. I helped introduce various movers and shakers to the range, Wednesday evening. The venue: Automat’s private rooms near Green Park. The white tiled walls were lined with burnished bottles reflecting candles. I was in charge of a key table. It included Jean-Jacques, owner of Cattier, producer of this hand polished, gold plated, pewter labelled bling-bubbly and its most high profile aficionado, Jay-Z. He has been described as ‘one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in America’. Readers may recall that a couple of years ago he deserted Cristal, previous choice tipple, amidst allegations that Chief Executive Frédéric Rouzaud asserted racist comments.
I was required to quickly ensure the wine inside the weighty bottles was in condition before service, most likely the only time such expensive fizz will tickle my tastebuds...
Brut Gold NV: tangible, lightly prickly bead, effortlessly easy to drink, especially citrus, with some truffle and an elongated (sustained) finish;
Blanc des Blancs NV (no U.K. availability): fuller, but always crisp, complex and contoured, brighter, more eager, very persistent, again citrus. Pristine fruit;
Rosé NV (no U.K. availability): in colour coral pink blended with a little damson, beautiful, loaded flavours, metallically cleansing. A little like Laurent-Perrier’s NV Rosé, but with a fuller figure.
A while ago I wrote about a customer who required a Champagne to celebrate her purchase of Jimmy Choo shoes. Curiously enough the ‘Shoe Lord’ OBE insisted on sharing a flute of Brignac with my fellow sommelier friend at this event…