London’s Champagne Popups (and a good thing too)

From our chairman, Nathan:
For all lovers of Champagne, London is a great place to be this Spring. My erstwhile friend Tom Harrow (@winechapUK) is hosting sessions at the amazing Dom Perignon popup in May and, as if to herald the onslaught of bubbles from the world’s most renowned sparkling wine region, this fortnight sees the Moët & Chandon Champagne Academy at the Oxo Tower.
IMG_1420If you want to learn how Champagne sets itself apart from the rest, this popup is a distinctive introduction. With views across the Thames, Moët has imported a miniature vineyard of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes from their Epernay home (looked after under lights in Britain’s Plumpton College I understand). A few steps away, the subterranean world of the Moët cellars is recreated – and they have over 17 miles worth in the winery itself, all dug 10-30 metres deep through the chalk.
The tasting experience offers a chance to try some of the ‘base wine’ which results from the first fermentation (before any sweetness and bubbles are added in the second fermentation). Peter Richards MW of Saturday Kitchen fame guided us through an entertaining and fact-filled tasting of four Champagnes, each accompanied with a tasty morsel of food. My favourites were:


  • Rosé Impérial NV - which offered a surprisingly deep pink hue, a nose of black cherries and strawberries, then a serious, dry and weighty taste that made the fruitiness of the wine feel rather more grown-up and very food friendly

  • As a bit of a laugh, the Ice Impérial NV first previewed by Tom some time ago in this Facebook video performed surprisingly well, with the melting of the ice cubes calculatedly diluting the richer, sweeter taste of the Champagne as a harmonious, if unusual, blend

By the way, I’m reliably informed that it’s pronounced ‘moo-wet’.
The Moët & Chandon Champagne Academy is at the Oxo Tower from 14th – 24th April – advance booking at www.moetacademy.co.uk
I can’t wait to see what Tom comes up with for Dom Perignon next month…