Saturday, November 16, 2013

'Talk and Taste' sessions at David Jones, by invitation, by Bureaucrat

As part of the Good Food Month, David Jones is holding a range of 'Talk and Taste' sessions at its Foodhall in the city.  The sessions are  intimate food seminars, cooking classes, tastings and demonstrations and is taking place all through November.

I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the session 'Pop and Pommery - a champagne journey'.  Inge from Vranken Pommery took us through a delightful journey into the history of Pommery and how this elegant, bubbly and pale gold elixir is made.

In 1836, Monsieur Pommery bought the estate that would become the second most popular champagne in the world.  Soon after he bought the estate, Monsieur P passed away.  It was then that Madame Pommery decided to put in place an ambitious plan to make Pommery a world class champagne.  Under her direction, 18 kilometers of tunnels were dug out.  These were 30 meters below the surface, which provided optimal dark, humid and constant conditions to make the perfect champagne.

From bottom clockwise: several Pommery Pops, Pommery Rose and Pommery Silver.

The champagne is left in bottles to mature for at least three years for non-vintage, and up to eight years for the premium stuff.  We got to try three of Pommery's champagne.  

Having expertly opened the first bottle of champagne - the Pommery Silver - so that it hardly made any sound, Inge poured us all a glass.  Inge advised that when uncorking a bottle of champagne, you should try to avoid the loud 'pop' sound, as this would 'shock' the champagne.  According to a French saying, the loudness of the pop should be (and this is a direct French translation) as loud as an angel's fart.  Of course, that saying sounds much more elegant in French!

Champagne should be served cold (around 11-12 degrees Celsius) and shouldn't be too cold.  If it's too cold, then you won't be able to properly taste the flavour of the champagne.  Of the two champagnes - Silver and Rose - my favourite was for the Rose.  The flavour of the Rose is much crisper and drier than the Silver.  I also loved how the bubbles popped on my tongue and the slight tinge of pink.  We also got to try a glass of Pommery Pop - a mini bottle of champagne (200mls).  These cute miniature bottles are made so that they're lighter and has smaller bubbles.  That way, you can still get the optimal drinking experience by drinking directly from the bottle or through a straw.  

Vranken Pommery also partners up with many art galleries and artists around the world.  They have an annual competition where artists submit artwork that will be used on its bottles.  This year, Sarrita King, an Aboriginal artist from Adelaide, was selected to have her artwork displayed on Pommery's bottles all around the world.

A very enjoyable session on very elegant and luxurious product.  Inge was so knowledgeable on everything about champagne, and this was a wonderful introduction into the world of Pommery.  I think my next step in my education will be to visit Domaine Pommery in France!

Booking details
David Jones
Melbourne CBD
Telephone: 1300 737 363

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