Taste of things to come

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Wine - By ERIN LARKIN

IN 2013 there was enough cham­pagne shipped to Aus­tralia for almost four bot­tles per man, woman and child.

In to­tal, 6,023,165 bot­tles of cham­pagne crossed the equa­tor on their way to glasses, cel­lars and par­ties in Aus­tralia.

We are the sixth largest cham­pagne mar­ket in the world and the fourth largest by capita, so with all of this in mind, you’d imag­ine it would be eas­ier to track down a cham­pagne tast­ing or two to at­tend. Sadly, they are a rar­ity.

This Septem­ber, highly awarded Aus­tralian-Cham­pagne writer Tyson Stelzer put to­gether a cham­pagne tast­ing of epic proportions in re­sponse to grow­ing calls from trade, me­dia and con­sumers alike.

Dubbed Taste Cham­pagne, it may well have been Aus­tralia’s largest ever cham­pagne tast­ing, fea­tur­ing more than 52 houses and a stag­ger­ing to­tal of 126 in­di­vid­ual cu­vees.

Taste Cham­pagne was hosted in Syd­ney on Septem­ber 1 and in Mel­bourne on Septem­ber 8, so to be able to take ad­van­tage of this mar­vel­lous op­por­tu­nity, you had to travel over east for the plea­sure. It was well worth the trip.

The chance to look at the cur­rent re­leases from the likes of Pol Roger, Tait­tinger, Bil­le­cart- Sal­mon, Krug, Dom Perignon, Per­rier Jouet, Mumm and De­lam­otte amongst oth­ers was thrilling in it­self.

How­ever, the star-stud­ded line-up was kept fresh and in­ter­est­ing with the in­clu­sion of highly re­garded grow­ers such as Bruno Pail­lard, Agra­part, cult pro­ducer Egly-Ouriet, Jac­ques­son, Pierre Peters and An­dre Clouet.

Due to our rel­a­tively strong Aus­tralian dol­lar and the wildly com­pet­i­tive su­per­mar­ket chains, Aus­tralians are now more able to af­ford cham­pagne than ever be­fore.

Some of the world’s most recog­nis­able brands are now sell­ing for almost half the price that they were three years ago.

The bou­tique grow­ers will re­quire a lit­tle more ded­i­ca­tion when hunt­ing them down, but the wine-fo­cussed re­tail­ers (not chains) should have no trou­ble sourc­ing them and you will be am­ply re­warded, as all wines from the afore­men­tioned grow­ers come highly rec­om­mended.

Aus­tralia is the sixth largest cham­pagne mar­ket in the world.

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