It’s French and
it’s from Champagne!
Champagne is different to all other sparkling wines!
passionate advocate of the sublime drink that is good Champagne I invite you to read on. If you care for joy, exhilaration, and delight; if you care for a drink to match any mood, or to draw you away from your darker self, you will find that Champagne is the only drink.
Please scroll down for recent content.
May 17, 2013
Champagne editor Kaaren Palmer reviews dinner by Heston Blumenthal…please click here to read her review.
May 13, 2013
Champagne editor Kaaren Palmer is currently travelling in Europe…at this very minute on the Orient Express. Amongst tastings in Champagne, dining out in France and especially important visits to Noma and The Fat Duck it will be a very busy time
so new content will be occasional for the next two months.
May 6 2013
Victoria Wizard writing for
TelegraphWine reports that “Three glasses of Champagne a day could improve your memory. A regular glass of champagne could improve your memory, according to scientists.”…please
click here to read the full article.
Geoffrey Dean writing for
Harpers Wine and Spirit Trade Review reports on the eitement around the 2012 vintage. “Although it is still too early for a clear consensus to emerge among the Champenois, a good number are getting so excited after the recent assemblage of the 2012 vintage that it is even being compared to those of 1959, 1969 and 1990.” To read the full article please
recently added The Bentley Bar to Sydney’s where to drink Champagne…please click here to read more.
Also…we both agree Press Food + Wine Adelaide has a very nice Champagne list… click here to read more. We also like the fact that there aren’t a lot of rules e.g., food all day, plenty of wines by the glass, small serves that encourage sharing and grazing, good bread (although one needs at least twice as much butter) at least it doesn’t taste of the fridge. Sweetbreads, despite a tad too much star anise, were utterly divine and I can’t wait to eat them again! But, guys…how long would it take to shell a few peas!!! AO per favour Kaaren Palmer!
Small nit picking about the peas, but we love Press’ chef and co–owner Andrew Davies’ offal dishes.
March 23, 2013
Jacob Jaffney writing for the Wine Spectator finds that researchers believe Champagne boosts brain power… CLICK HERE to read his full article.
Malika Dalamal writing for Zagat's blog writes about a very cool new Chamagne bar at Selfridges#8230;just what one needs to keep up the stamina for shopping… CLICK HERE to read the full article it looks very swish.
The Corner Restaurant at Selfridges…image © copyright Zagat
March 15, 2013
Vale Henri Krug, where to drink Champagne and much more Champagne news…please scroll down for more recent Champagne news!
March 3, 2013
Just in time for the Adelaide Festival Kaaren’s revised Adeaide by the Glass…please click here to get the list.
February 9, 2013
Kaaren Palmer reviews
Providence Los Angeles
5955 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038
telephone +1 323–460–4170
February 3, 2013
Providence, 2 star Michelin
Wonderful champagne list of expensive goodies, plus some interesting fave grower champagne, Pehu–Simonet’s Blanc de Blanc and Rosé, Selosse, Jacquesson Dizy and Dégorgement Tardif, Grande Année 2002, Clos des Goisses 2001 (bad year, but the best possible vineyard probably means it’s really good), plus another page full. We BYO’d ($30 corkage) Laurent–Perrier Grand Siècle, which slipped down like molten silk.
There’s not much sense of occasion in this restaurant, despite wall–to–wall staff. Only one ladies loo for all the diners – would not be legal for that number in Oz. But we were pleased to have been able to wangle a booking at short notice via Teresa’s management.
Our meal started with one of those jellied spheres on a too cold spoon. A strange sweet mango–ish beginning, followed by not light enough choux which had its strong rather pasty cheesy interior injected into it some time before. Next to it was a creamy emulsion in a small glass. Into this was poured some tepid sweet potato soup. Mix together with a plastic straw and suck. Hmmm, I’m thinking, but everybody else is raving about it. And I don’t like the taste of warmed plastic.
We ordered àla carte prix fixe US $85 pp as not all of us wanted the tasting menu. I said that the chef could just feed me.
On the table was some smoked trout spread flecked with salmon roe and chopped herbs, with a very thin rectangular seedy biscuit. Delectable combination, great textures.
Good breads, a choice of three, a foccacia–like ’seaweed’ bread, white rolls and bacon rolls. Good butter, salt on the side.
Perfect oysters, freshly shucked, delicious. Two small, four big, superfluous dressing. US $21 per serve. Kevin’s Maine lobster was far too salty, and the accompanying hearts of palm, avocado and nori salad prettily plated. US $10 supplement. The Alaskan King crab the other side of the table attracted US $32 supplement.
I was served dainty and very tasty small scallops, simply cooked, circling the plate with an attractive garnish of pea sprouts, pistachio, yellow petals, Japanese turnip braised and in puree – loved it!
For four of us, there were generous serves of beautifully prepared fish (Kevin ordered duck in the vain hope that it would be as good as that at home). We passed around tastes. No food miles saved here! The cod had been flown in from Norway, the sea bass from Rhode Island. My serving was a large amount of gorgeously textured monkfish (US $10 supplement) of delicate flavour, with small, but rather firm potatoes and a flimsy dusting of fresh black truffle, presented theatrically under a silver cover. The truffle lacked aroma.
To me, the desserts looked pretty ordinary, but three disappeared without trace. Kevin and I treated ourselves to the cheese trolley US $10 supplement. The American artisan cheeses were a revelation, some of them unpasteurized. Superb textures and flavours and all cheeses in perfect eating order.
VERDICT: Worth a return trip. Fair value. KP
January 28, 2013
Letter from Los Angeles
Have found some excellent champagnes at a specialist called ’du Vin’. Enjoyed 1998 René Lalou, thrilling and seductive nose, palate to match, steeped in honeyed elegance, evolving to a palace of delights, but it was so dark at Gordon Ramsay’s at the London, that we needed a torch to read the menu. The champagne was great though and only $30 corkage.
Gordon Ramsay’s influence might still be in the kitchen but they are cutting down their wine list and dumbing the whole thing down, from staff training through to what’s on offer…to visit their web site please CLICK HERE
We have lobbed into LA during a restaurant promo week so bad luck and good luck. But lunch at Ramsay’s with $25 for 3 courses for lunch, $45 for dinner was a bit of a steal and allowed us to indulge further in our wine selections (as if we needed encouragement!). Lunch example chicken dumplings, pork belly with lobster, coconut panna cotta with mango sorbet. All very good but
noisy and crowded, possibly due to the generosity of the special offers.
Nevertheless divine mushroom risotto with a scallop (not bad, but not as good as our local Paul Polacco’s) and a quail egg, the best of thee courses.
Forgot to bring link for camera to kev’s computer. I’d say the kitchen is hanging on by it’s fingernails as the house made bread was tired, the butter some collapsed oats from this morning. As soon as one person is finished, the plate is whipped away, making the other person feel they must scamper to catch up.
Amarone, traditional Italian proved and excellent find and
two good Jewish delis within walking distanceof the London…more later. KP
Champagne news January 5, 2013…is available from THIS LINK
…20 November 2012
East End Cellars are importing and distributing one of our favourite growers, José Dhondt. José Dhondt do not have a web site but you might enjoy this utube video ,
, from Grand Cru Oger on the Côte des Blancs. The NV, 2007 and Rosé de Saignée are all available. Fino at Willunga feature the NV on their wine list, and indeed it is drinking beautifully and has travelled well. Pure pleasure!
Updates to where to drink Champagne by the glass in Adelaide — coming soon, but STOP PRESS reports that Billecart by the bargain glass $14 is available at the
Stirling Cellars and Patisserie next to Foodland in Johnston St. Also check out the excellent Champagne list in the Stirling Hotel Grill Restaurant.
The Stirling Hotel Cellars and Patisserie
image copyright © The Stirling Hotel
…18 November 2012
Without disgorgement dates, how do we know it’s fresh?
The new Bollinger NV bottle is now available in Australia, so finally, in the absence of disgorgement dates, we know it’s fresh, just from the bottle shape.
The new bottle has a narrower neck, and therefore less of the surface area of the champagne is exposed to the tiny amount of air trapped between the cork and champagne when the bottle is upright.
to read more about the change of bottle shape…please CLICK HERE
…10 November, 2012
Decanter’s… Giles Fallowfield reports
Moving on Ayala president Herve Augustin resigns.
Augustin has recently overseen a restoration of Ayala’s fortunes and of the image of the brand, which had fallen into decline in the 1990s, leading the house to its best financial performance in many years in 2011…to read the full article please CLICK HERE
…3 November, 2012
Adelaide Apothecary 1878’s Annual Champagne and Sparkling Wine Tasting 2012
Monday 26th November 6.00 pm to 8.30pm
$58 includes canapés…please
CLICK HERE for full details and booking information
Decanter travel guide: Champagne, France
Wednesday 8 August 2012 by Decanter Be the first to comment
Apart from the famous wines, this region is rich with world heritage sites, history and art. Giles Fallowfield bases himself in Reims for a busy long weekend. Read the full guide to Champagne, including the best houses to visit, plus top places to stay, eat, shop and relax. Published in the Decanter August 2012 issue…please CLICK HERE to read the full article.
Celebrate International Champagne Day at Deviation Road Winery with their sparkling winemaker Kate Laurie, Kaaren Palmer, Jim Smith and Nick Ryan for a Sunset Champagne Masterclass on Friday October 26th 2012 at 5.45pm
Explore a range of grower champagnes alongside the famous Grande Marques and discover the personalities that make up the tapestry of champagne.
Bracket 1 — Aperitif Style Champagnes
Often drier, lighter and very crisp, these wines leave you wanting more…!
Bracket 2 — Influence of Oak
Many makers are reverting to the traditional use of old oak barrels for either fermenting or ageing their base wines. How does this affect the aroma and taste?
Bracket 3 — Rosé
Often overlooked, but Rosé champagnes offer a richness on the nose, and depth of flavour on the palate that make it perfect for any occasion.
Deviation Road Cellar Door, 207 Scott Creek Rd, Longwood (Via Stirling)
$110 per person payment required at time of making booking full details tomorrow. Numbers are limited reservations can be made with Mary Ranford +61 8 8339 2633 or with email firstname.lastname@example.org
last week…29 September, 2012
AFP – Gerard Liger–Belair lives in a bubble and he doesn’t care who knows it.Champagne physicist reveals the secrets of bubbly.
France24 International News
18 September, 2012
French scientist Gerard Liger–Belair works on a glass of Champagne in his laboratory, on September 13 in Reims, eastern France. Teaching at the University of Reims, Liger–Belair worked with scientists Guillaume Polidori and Philippe Jeandet to find out the exact role of bubbles in the aroma and taste of champagne and engineered glasses to give measurable bubble flow patterns.
Bubbles are his passion. And they have given the 41-year-old French scientist arguably the best job in all of physics. To read the full article please CLICK HERE
Friday 21 September, 2012
Champagne: where the party’s really at
Matt Walls for Tim Atkin MW
September 16, 2012
Sometimes I feel very lucky to be living in the UK when it comes to getting hold of good wine. Since the UK has historically been an importer of other countries’ wines, rather than producer of its own, the UK wine industry has tended to be open-minded and meritocratic when it comes to the wines it sells. This has led to a diverse range of countries, regions, grapes, producers and vintages, giving us excellent choice, and on the whole, carefully researched wide selections for at least the more established wine producing regions of the world. But there is one major region where we are letting ourselves down, and ironically it’s right on our doorstep: Champagne.
Please click here to read the full article
Tim Atkin is not just an important wine person but a brilliant photographer to see some of his stunning work please click here
keeping the fizz in families…Sunday 16 September, 2012
Tom Horrow for www.campdenfb.com
August 9, 2012
The Krug family has long held to a charming tradition at the birth of each male child: before the infant is introduced to the mother’s breast, it receives a thimbleful of champagne. When on their deathbeds, in a rite similar to the Catholic sacrament of Extreme Unction, family members receive another thimbleful, more if requested. Thus the opening and closing moments of their lives are saluted with the endeavours of their family, the work of several lifetimes.
The wine world is intimately connected with family. Please click here to read the full aticle
the big news…September 7, 2012
Champagne harvest to start next week
4 September, 2012
the drinks business
“Speaking to the drinks business, Laurent Fresnet, cellar master for Henriot, said that he was hoping to begin harvesting on 12 September, with many other houses apparently looking to begin by the 15 or 17 September.
He added: “It will be small in quantity but potentially very nice in quality – fingers crossed” not to be drawn on the subject of vintage he merely proclaimed he was “more optimistic this year than others recently” despite the difficulties.
Champagne’s vineyards have been hit repeatedly this year by hail, frost and disease but a warm, dry August has helped salvage the situation somewhat.
please CLICK HERE to read the full article
Champagne harvest quota announced
© acp/Alan Julien
Uncertain times for Champagne.
Posted Wednesday, 05 September, 2012
Miserable spring weather and falling sales have prompted the Champagne region to reduce its harvest quota this year.
please CLICK HERE to read the full article
August 25, 2012
fabulous news Champagne editor Kaaren Palmer is the South Australian finalist in the amateur section of the 2012 Vin de Champagne awards and Kate Laurie, winemaker Deviation Road is the South Australian finalist in the professional section of the 2012 Vin de Champagne awards…please
CLICK HERE to read about the awards and finalists from other states.
August 17, 2012
Champagne suffers the worst season in decades. “Bad News for the Bubbly: Champagne Suffers Worst Season in Decades
Aug 17, 2012 4:45 AM EDT
Freakish weather conditions have hurt champagne producers, and experts warn that the prospects for the coming harvest look increasingly dim.
” reports The Daily Beast…
CLICK HERE to read the full article.
10 August, 2012
There are ample reasons to visit Chicago starting with a pilgrimage to Grant Atchatz’ Alinea but Glenn Murray writing for www.chicagonow.com reports RM, West Loop’s highly-Anticipated Champagne Salon opened its doors August 2. Sought–after sommelier Jason Wagner, 32, who formerly served as Wine Director alongside 28–time Michelin Star recipient Joël Robuchon, has announced that his progressive hospitality project, RM, will officially open to the public on August 2nd. Alongside the nationally–revered nightlife visionaries of Element Collective, Wagner will launch the 1,500 square foot high style champagne salon and spacious outdoor patio, which is discreetly tucked-away at the foot of a secluded cobblestone alley at 116 N. Green Street…to read the full story please CLICK HERE
RM, West Loop’s Champagne Salon, Chicago
image copyright © www.chicagonow.com
A great way to enjoy France’s Champagne region…Just launched last week by France’s Champagne region is the wine tourist friendly OenoPass…to read the full article please CLICK HERE
David Rosengarten writing for the www.huffingtonpost.com writes “Another Sparkling Innovation From Champagne’s Most Prestigious Producer”…to read the full article CLICK HERE
Reuters report Vranken–Pommery Monopole records growth in its turnover in the second quarter of 2012: up 5.5%…to read the full article please CLICK HERE
The games might be almost over but worthwhile remembering the London 2012: St Pancras Grand Champagne Bar was refurbished in time for the London Olympic games…to read the full story please CLICK HERE
4 August, 2012
Finally the consumer will know just how old their NV champagne is, by looking at the disgorgement date and subtracting the amount of time the House puts the champagne on lees. The main harvest will be the year before that.
“Research conducted by Paillard shows that Champagne goes through ’five or six different ages’ following disgorgement. It begins with a fruit–dominated phase, before moving to flowery notes, then spices and then toasted aromas, before progressing to candied fruit and, finally, roasted notes. It can take five years for the first spiced notes to appear, the research said.” To read the full article please CLICK HERE
29 July, 2012
Only a day in Champagne Kaaren Palmer outlines how to make the most of that day…click here to read the full story and for more Champagne news and two dinners check out our July what’s hot
20 July, 2012
MUMM LAUNCHES BLANC DE BLANCS Champagne by Gabriel Savage, The Drinks Business…GH Mumm has replaced its 130–year old Mumm de Cramant cuvée with its newly introduced Mumm Blanc de Blancs… CLICK HERE to read the full article.
Champagne bubbles improve flavour
by Richard Woodard, Decanter writes…Champagne’s bubbles are more than mere decoration – they contain up to 30 times more flavour than the wine itself, scientists have discovered.
A study of five Champagnes and high–quality sparkling wines revealed that the liquid in a glass of Champagne and the bubbles have very different chemical fingerprints… CLICK HERE to read the full article.
July 6, 2012
As more and more grape growers and wine producers turn to the old ways and take on biodynamic farming, Giles Fallowfield in Decanter reports that Louis Roederer is now Champagne’s biggest biodynamic producer… CLICK HERE to read the full article.
Diana Goodman puts forth a lovely tongue–in–cheek article with a lot of historical references. One hundred rules on how a gentleman drinks Champagne… CLICK HERE to read the full article.
June 22, 2012
Reported by Giles Fallowfield in Decanter Friday 15th June – One of the worst hailstorms in recorded Champagne history has hit the southern Côte des Bar region, destroying this year’s grape crop.
For us, that means delicious Drappier will suffer. About 100 of their 187 hectares was destroyed, affecting next year’s prospects as well, with about 50% damage to another 50 hectares. Also affected are 91 ha in Bergères, 210 ha in Baroville which includes the co–operative Barfontac and the grower–maker Philippe Fourrier, and 156 ha in Meurville, 6 kms south of pretty mediaeval Bar–sur–Aube, home to respected grower &EACUTE;tienne Christian. Supplies of Drappier’s Grand Sendrée may become constrained, which makes recent special offers of one of our favourites doubly attractive.
A large family–owned distributor in the UK, the PLB Group, has joined the grower champagne promotion by signing up Cattier, Dampierre, Edouard Brun, Legras & Haas, Lamotte and Malard, all of which have Premiers and Grands Crus Champagnes. As reported by Harpers, they are part of the great Families of Champagne selection by the U.K.’s PLB Group Ltd.
Of these, only Cattier and Dampierre are available in Australia…watch this space!
At Lanson there is a really good history time line, with excellent notes, a video clip with Gerard Basset MW showing how to serve champagne and discussing Lanson’s styles, and a host of other good features… CLICK HERE to take a look. Unfortunately, we are not offered two of Lanson’s wonderful creations, the Noble or the Extra Age series, in Australia. Nor the historical releases. Sob! Monsieur Basset also discusses malo–lactic fermentation, and storing champagne.
May 29, 2012
Cannadian sommelier and writer François Chartier applies scientific principles to food and wine pairing. We link you to a fascinating article published on www.wine-searcher.com……please click here to read the article. For new Champagne news galore please click here
François Chartier selling the science and wine matching story!
Image from the wine–searcher web site
Heading for Paris? Make sure you follow Kaaren Palmer’s fabulous guide for drinking Champagne in Paris and we have also expanded the Where to Drink Champagne into a separate navigation. To read more about Champagne in Paris… CLICK HERE
There is also plenty of information for Australia and we have had especially good feedback from Kaaren’s Melbourne Champagne walk…use the where to drink Champagne on the right hand side navigation.
champagne and food
Champagne and food, the delicate art of matching food to Champagne is a particular passion of mine and I am delighted to finally be able to activate this section in Champagne.
In the coming months/years will will be building a library resource for our readers where you will be able to search your Champagne house and find our suggestions…even sometimes a fabulous recipe!
Please use the Champagne and food navigation on the right hand side.