Thursday night saw The Perfect Cellar launch their partnership with The Clubhouse Private Member’s Club in Mayfair. We are thrilled to be working with the Clubhouse so to celebrate we hosted our first event exclusive to Clubhouse members. The event focused on sparkling wine and Champagne where guests were invited to taste, explore and analyse 7 different wines to show how not all that fizzes is Champagne. [caption id="attachment_863" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Guests enjoying the reception drinks"][/caption] On a very rainy Mayfair evening the guests arrived with the anticipation of tasting sparkling wine from across Europe. They were greeted in suitably salubrious surroundings with Domaine de Landreau Crémant de Loire NV as a reception drink before beginning the wine tasting and being shown how to analyse and taste wine “like a professional”. This Chenin Blanc based sparkling wine from the Loire Valley of France is an ideal aperitif with its delicate floral and citrus notes. It made a great start to the evening and at £12.12 offers an excellent wine at an even better price. [caption id="attachment_865" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Cheese to match the wines"][/caption] Alongside the wines were a selection of cheeses which guests were invited to taste in order to complement the wines. The second wine shown was new to The Perfect Cellar and exclusive in the U.K. Rive Pionono Prosecco DOCG Brut by La Manzane is clean, fresh and citrusy, a perfect match to the goat’s cheese. This was followed by a rich, nutty Reserva Cava by René Barbier which went down incredibly well with the Époisses; a ripe, pungent, creamy cheese which, in some cases, was practically crawling off the plate. [caption id="attachment_867" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Challenging our guests with the Fizz Quiz"][/caption] During each wine shown guests were encouraged to offer their opinions about how the wine looked, smelled and tasted whilst The Perfect Cellar’s resident wine expert, Pip Vanham, explained how the wines were made, their geography, food partners and other tit-bits of information. The Fizz Quiz kept guests on their toes and really bought out the competitive spirit too. After 3 sparkling wines typical of their region from around Europe the evening moved onto the most famous fizz of all, Champagne. We began with Benedicte Jonchere Grand Reserve Rosé NV which was very well received. It is made by adding a little bit of Pinot Noir red wine to the white Champagne to produce a gentle salmon-pink hue. It exudes finesse with notes of subtle cherry and strawberry with a soft, yoghurt-y texture. It is delicious, especially when paired with a creamy blue cheese such as Roquefort. The delicate sweetness of the Champagne is a treat when matched to the saltiness of the cheese. It’s one of those tastes that on paper doesn’t work, but the overwhelming response that it is totally does. [caption id="attachment_869" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Bottles hidden ready for the blind tasting"][/caption] Now all the guests were relaxed and totally au fait with sparkling wine we asked them to partake in a little challenge. Bottles of Moët & Chandon Impérial NV, Benedicte Jonchere Grand Reserve NV and Dom Perignon 2003 were hidden in bags so guests tasted the wines blind. All they had to do was work out which was the ‘supermarket’ Champagne retailing around £35, which was the hand-crafted, artisanal Champagne for £39.99 and which was the Grande Marque Champagne from the most prestigious vintage for almost 3 decades. Easy, eh? Benedicte Jonchere Grande Reserve NV is exclusive to The Perfect Cellar in the U.K and we are thrilled to represent them. To our very pleasant surprise many of the guests present believed wine number 7 to be the Benedicte Jonchere when it was, in fact, the Dom Perignon 2003. That is praise indeed and when compared to the Moët & Chandon there really is no comparison. The Jonchere is much richer, fuller and more complex than the Moët and at just a fraction dearer, the consensus was that it offered outstanding wine at a very realistic price. [caption id="attachment_870" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Announcing the winner."][/caption] After the scores where totted up one guest was announced the winner with a case consisting of each of the 7 wines tasted winging its way to him soon. That’s a prize retailing at a little under £300! Overall a great evening was had by all with great wine and good cheese to complement. We look forward to hosting our wines at The Clubhouse again soon. If you want to find out more about sparkling wine and Champagne take a look at our previous blog posts.