Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Perrier Jouet Tasting at Bryant Park Hotel, Loft Space

This past Friday's happy hour was not spent at the local bar offering $4.00 margaritas. Instead, industry insiders spent their afternoon sipping on the champagne that comprises the Perrier-Jouët portfolio and socializing with the Perrier-Jouët cellar master (a.k.a. Chef de Cave)Hervé Deschamps at the Bryant Park Hotel, Loft Space.

Hervé Deschamps is only the 7th Chef de Cave of Perrier-Jouët in the past 200 years. Hervé Deschamps succeeded André Bavaret in 1993, after 10 years of apprenticeship, and has since followed the traditions that Perrier-Jouët has used since the 1800s. Hervé Deschamps describes the philosophy, “I go straight to the blending stage, rather like an artist, trusting in an inexplicable fusion of intuition, sensitivity and skill.”

Hervé Spent last week in New York City, meeting various press relations, hosting luncheons, you name is. As a result, it must have been relaxing that the Friday evening tasting was very informal and attendees tasted the various champagnes at their leisure as Hervé Deschamps graciously answered each question.

The tasting spanned the Perrier-Jouët portfolio, beginning with the Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV. The wine, made of 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meuniur and 20% Chardonnay, blended with 10%-20% Reserve wine to create the final cruveé displayed the distinct character of Perrier-Jouët; elegant, complex and crisp, well balanced with a fine, persistent mouthfeel lingering on the palate with tons of apples and lemon.

Next was the Perrier-Jouët 2000 Fleur de Champagne made up of 50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir and 5% Pinot Meunier. Despite the disconcerting weather of 2000, the year turned out to be great for vintage champagne.

Third in the lineup was the Perrier-Jouët 2000 Fleur de Champagne Blanc de Blancs, which is creation of Hervé Deschamps’ himself. This champagne is made of 100% Chardonnay and is only created in the best years. Suggested food pairing of caviar only enhances the high profile and elegance of the wine.

For the fourth and fifth champagnes, the tasting moved to rosé champagne. The Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé NV was first to be tasted, comprised of 40% Pinot Noir, 30% Pinot Meunier and 30% Chardonnay. 20% of the blend is comprised of reserve wines made of grapes sourced from several grand cru regions.

Finally, the Perrier-Jouët 2002 Fleur de Champagne Rosé. Composed of 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay sourced from grand cru vineyards, this champagne is only aged four to five years instead of the typical six to seven to preserve the, “airy elegance of the rosé.”

Overall, the event was a great success. Participants were able to ask questions and taste wines at their own pace without feeling the pressure one may sometimes feel in a guided tasting. At about 6pm, the event wrapped up and Hervé Deschamps’ was whisked to JFK to catch an evening flight back to France. He hopes to return to the United States in March.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spit & Twit

On November 8th, Wine Twits (of winetwits.com) will be hosting Spit & Twit at City Winery in New York City from 2-6p.m.

Pernod Ricard Wines USA is participating and yours truly will be pouring some fabulous wines.

On the list we have:

Jacob's Creek
of Australia: Reserve range

Brancott Wines
of New Zealand: Classic Sauvignon Blanc 2008; Classic Pinot Noir (2007); Classic Pinot Grigio 2008; Brancott "B" Sauvignon Blanc 2008

Graffigna Wines
of Argentina: Centenario Malbec; Centenario Cabernet Sauvignon; Centenario Pinot Grigio

"City Winery, Manhattan’s first functioning winery in over 40 years teams up with WineTwits, WIRED, Riedel and Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit to create the first ever online fully interactive wine tasting. Focused on creating a twitter-powered community bringing together wine and tech enthusiasts in an immersive environment, Spit & Twit will require guests to have a Twitter account and mobile device in order to participate.

Spit & Twit will be the first event of its kind blending together the traditional world of wine tastings with new media and technology. The room will be set up like a traditional tasting, with stations featuring wines from around the globe, from Italy to Argentina, Napa to New York. Representatives from major wine labels will be on hand to educate and inform.

Whereas a typical tasting involves attendees busily scribbling in notebooks, Spit & Twit participants will be able to ‘tweet’ their tasting notes and thoughts as they walk around the room. The tweet-feed will be simultaneously broadcast locally to plasma screens around the room and globally to the online community utilizing the technology of our partner WineTwits.

The live feed will encourage interaction between the participants as the collective public discussion evolves on the screens throughout the space allowing for some fun interaction between guests. City Winery will also debut some innovative methodology to allow followers outside of the event to capture the spirit of the tasting, with unique hash tags to be created for all wines.

In addition wines that garner the most positive feedback will be considered for pouring by the glass on City Winery’s menu. These elements are designed to encourage the fertile cross-pollination of technology and wine in a way never seen before.

Spit & Twit is set to create a vibrant and unique user generated experience that seamlessly melds the traditions of a walk around tasting with the immediacy of collaborative online discussion. With over 100 wines from producers from around the world, Spit & Twit will provide wine fans around the world a unique opportunity to experience the evolution of a unique tasting.

Part proceeds will be donated to MOUSE.org to help fund their programs to bring computers and computing skills to public schools."

I hope to see you there!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tailgating with the Aussies

As a recent college grad of the University of Connecticut (class of 2008) and a current Connecticut resident, there is no way I can miss UConn's Homecoming Football game this year on October 17.

In case you haven't heard, Connecticut is lacking in professional sports teams, so UConn sports are a major focus. UConn's hometurf is built in East Hartford, CT at Rentschler Field, which not only permits tailgating, but it encourages it. Despite the fact the game starts at 12:30pm, we hope to make it to the field (Weather permitting) by 9:30am at the latest, fire up the grill and have some good drinks, food and fun before we watch the Huskies dominate Louisville.

Anyway, the point is that drinking early in the morning can be rough on a person if they choose the wrong beverage. Normally at breakfast occasions, one may think of Mimosas and Bloody Marys, but when you're gearing up for an intense football game, we skip the light cocktails and go straight for the good stuff.

I've thought good and long about this since I bought my ticket back in August and finally decided that for a cool October day filled with a plethora of tailgating food, the best option is a deep, meaty Shiraz. What Shiraz do you ask? Jacob's Creek Reserve Shiraz. At around $13 a bottle it fits a price point that you don't necessaily mind opening it in a field and won't give you a hangover by 4pm. Not to mention the screw cap makes it ideal for easy opening!

The JC Reserve Shiraz is described as a full bodied wine, displaying rich fruit flavors or dark berries and plums and velvety tannins. Lovely acid balance and integration of flavors resulting in a supple and engaging wine with a lingering finish of spice, chocolate and mocha. Pairs well with meats, game and cheese." Mmmm can't wait until I sink my teeth into a delicious home prepared cheeseburger, fresh off the grill, followed by this wine (served, of course, in a classy, stemless wine glass...we may be roughing it in the tailgating field, but there is no way I'm drinking out of a solo cup!)

Tomorrow can't come soon enough! Go Huskies!

Friday, October 9, 2009


So here's the deal.

I love wine. I spend as much time as I can reading about wine, tasting wine, talking about wine, learning about wine, sharing wine, pairing wine with food... you get the idea. So imagine my delight when I was offered my dream job working with some highly respectable brands like Jacob's Creek and Perrier Jouet Champagne.

You've probably heard of the event that happened at the Australian in NYC back in September by now, but I've got the inside scoop on events like that and others coming up so stay tuned!