Taste Champagne is the biggest showcase of champagne in the Southern hemisphere and after its first foray into Perth last year it returned in August once again – this time at Beaumonde on the Point – with stunning river outlooks to accompany the stunning array of champagne on display.
And of course Tyson Stelzer, Australia’s leading writer and proponent of champagne, and sparkling wine more generally, was the host and gave a rundown on trends in champagne and the consumption of champagne in Australia. His Champagne Guide is the go to guide for all you need to know about this wonderful drink and I took the opportunity to buy an autographed copy while there.
Which champagnes to buy, which vintages are best, what to look for, how to store, how to open a bottle, which glasses – it is all there along with a rating of all of the Champagne houses and around 800 cuvée.
And some interesting facts – Australia is the world’s 7th largest champagne market, with the largest consumption per head outside of Europe and is the fastest growing of champagne’s top 10 markets by both volume and value – in 2017 some 8.53 million bottles were imported into Australia – but of the top 10 markets we rank lowest in the importation of rosé champagne – something I will do my best to overcome!
To the show – it is divided into two – with a Trade exhibition from midday until 4PM and later in the evening a public exhibition – we were lucky enough to get along to the Trade show and what a day it was. With 25 stalls, 30 houses, growers and cooperatives and more than 100 wines to sample, it was champagne lover’s wonderland.
One of the key aims of Taste Champagne is to expose Australian audiences to the diversity champagne has to offer and to vintage, rosé, prestige, growers and cooperatives –and in this it succeeded magnificently with a range of champagnes seldom, or never, seen In Australia, but, of course, with all of those we have come to know and love. It was a simply outstanding event.
As well as the best known – Veuve Clicquot, Laurent-Perrier, Charles Heidsieck, Moet et Chandon, Bollinger, Pommery, Lanson, Louis Roederer and Pol Roger for example, we had the chance to try some not so well known – Duperrey, Veuve Fourny et Fils, Ruinart, Fluteau, Lallier and Besserat De Bellefon – and some I remembered and enjoyed from last year’s event- Jeeper, Nicolas Feuillate, Lombard and so many more. Certainly the taste buds were singing.
Once again this was a dazzling and exceptional event – a must for all lovers of champagne and I am already looking to 2019 to do it all again. And of course to seek out and buy some more rosé champagne in the meantime!