Meet the Maker – Veuve Clicquot

The Veuve Clicquot Chef de Cave (winemaker), Dominque Demarville, hosted a tasting of this famous Champagne house’s top wines, including the brand new ‘Extra Brut Extra Old’ at Cru Bar. I had the absolute pleasure of joining the event (thanks Ka Lei) and learning from the master himself as well as tastings.

We were very lucky to be some of the first in Australia to try the new Extra Brut Extra Old bottle, drawn from the house’s famous collection of reserve wines, in particular the 1988, 1996, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010 vintages. It is double aged- three years on lees in vats (up to 5% oak), then three years in bottle before release. It is best drunk now than held.

The House of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin has been a leading Champagne producer for over 200 years and is one of the largest owners of vineyards in the entire region. This long history, coupled with the resources at hand, allows for some extremely complex and memorable wines to be made.

It was very rare to have the Chef de Cave of a major Champagne house in Brisbane to take us through his wines. I loved his explanation of ‘the champagne effect’ where the more champagne consumed, the more conversations flow!

Of course, upon questioning, Mr Demarville could not provide a favourite, he loves them all the same!

Restaurant Cuvée, Peterson House, Hunter Valley

Upon arrival you pull up the drive to a picturesque setting. Think vineyards, a beautiful lake reflecting the sky and a beautiful, rustic building. Just what you would imagine for the Hunter Vallet, really. It definitely sets the scene.

I recommend starting with wine tasting, how else will you know what to drink with your meal if you don’t try the wines first?!

Peterson House uses the same varietals and blends of grapes as in Champagne and you can tell. I actually enjoyed the sparking sav blanc (just the smell of sav can make me gag) and their other sparkling white blends. The standout for me was the pinot noir chardonnay meunier . A dry and light sparkling, aged for five years and best enjoyed simply on its own.

Over in Restaurant Cuvee I was excited by the starters. Tom and I enjoyed some natural oysters and sashimi to start. This was probably my fave part of the entire meal. The seafood was fresh and decadent with light sauces to compliment them. Definitely try the wasabi mayo.

The mains sounded fantastic but we were both a little disappointed. They seemed to be lacking true flavour. I added salt to my mushroom risotto with truffle oil to bring the flavours out more. lots of salt. It worked but still wasn’t amazing like I had imagined. Tom’s duck tacos looked fantastic but also lacked in flavour.

All in all it was an enjoyable meal. Would have been lovely to sit more outside, with such a beautiful setting it’s a shame to be inside.

Once you’ve finished, be sure to skip over to the chocolate store. I couldn’t resist the choc dipped fresh strawberries.

Oh, and watch out for snakes! We only saw the sign when we were leaving, apparently they have some slippery friends there.

Restaurant Cuvee Petersons Champagne House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Champagne Gala 

How good is champagne?!

Those beautiful bubbles rising to the top – I adore a refreshing glass. Which is why I was super excited when my friend, Lisa, invited me to Vintage Cellar Toowong‘s Champagne tasting gala at the Regatta!

We walked in at 12 and were given a glass and a list of the brands available for tasting. We quickly established that at 1pm the ‘special’ bottles came out with limited stock.

We started with Louis Roderer then Veuve Clicquot (both with regular, rose and vintage) then tried the KRUG & Dom Perignon 06.

Did you know that Veuve means widow in French? You should always refer to it as Veuve Clicquot in full or just Clicquot – never Veuve on its own. Madame Clicquot was the first woman to take over a champagne house and started early with innovation, being the first house to produce champagne rosè.

We also tried the Pommery Louise and the Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill from the prestige offerings. I was disappointed to miss the Cristal, that’s next in my list.

From the other offerings, there were many more we tried but my faves were the Louis Roederer rosè, the Dom Perignon and a nice surprise with the Cattier vintage.

The Dom Perignon had a really distinctive  smoky flavour and smell. I could sip on that all day. In fact I have plans to buy a bottle in New York or Hawaii in two weeks.
Gotta go… Now I feel like champagne!


International Champagne Day

International Champagne Day. October 21. Lock it in your memory. It’s an important day! 

I started with a glass of Jansz (as good as it gets at the bar across the road from work) with my lunch. I rounded up a bunch of the office ladies to enjoy some bubbles. 

In the afternoon I visited my friend Ka Lel and while she got ready for a ball we indulged in a bottle of Veuve. Rude not to have nice champagne on champagne day, right?! 

Brisbane business’s really need to capitalise on it! I would have loved a champagne evening somewhere and I can imagine people would flock to enjoy it. The digital side of it would be huge on its own, sales would soar… you’re welcome for the heads up bars & restaurants! 

Brisbane-based lifestyle and travel blog image featuring mountain and sea scenery

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