Taste of things to come
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.