31 March 2011

Uccello: March into Merivale Champagne Tasting, Sydney (30 Mar 2011)

Level 4, 320 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Plenty of poolside bubbles

Thanks to Kimberley Salt from Merivale for inviting me to the highly popular Champagne Tasting special event ($90 per person) where 24 champagnes (mostly NV) were on offer to sample including canapés prepared by the Head Chef Eugenio Riva. I noticed a few of the same champagnes that were at the Ultimo Wine Centre Annual Champagne Tasting like the NV Larmandier-Bernier 'Brut Tradition', NV Taittinger 'Brut Réserve', NV Laurent-Perrier Rosé , NV Louis Roederer 'Brut Premier', NV Gosset 'Grande Réserve' and NV Jacquesson 'Cuvée No 734'. In the mix were also some of the more popular known brands of Veuve Clicquot, Moët & Chandon, Bollinger and Mumm.

For me it was hard to pick a favourite but I did hear murmurings around the room by the end of the night that the NV Billecart Salmon 'Brut Réserve' was quite popular — unfortunately it ran out before I could try it again to reacquaint myself with it. I didn’t come across any which I wouldn’t drink again if offered but to be honest by the 10th glass my taste buds started to have a hard time keeping up with the memories. Thankfully fresh bread and tasty canapés were on offer to help line the stomachs and save the liver a bit. At times it did feel a little crowded at a few bottlenecks in the layout but generally no one was left standing without a glass of bubbly in their hand. The reps from the champagne houses were friendly and knowledgeable and were only too happy to discuss the finer details about their products. For those wondering what the champagne reps preference was to drink by the end of the night there seemed to be no shortage of Coopers Brewery Original Pale Ale in a few hands — I guess you can sometimes have too much of good thing.

Other visits to Uccello:
30 Mar 2011 – March into Merivale: Champagne Tasting
2 Mar 2011 – March into Merivale: $33 menu

PROS: Plenty of champagnes to sample, Special purchase prices were available on the night, The hangover doesn’t seem as bad when your drinking quality champagne
CONS: A bit of a lineup and delay to register and catch the lifts to Uccello, Felt a little crowded at times, Need to stand and move around to get try the champagnes rather than sitting down and being served
MUST TRY: Eating more before drinking

Capturing a bit of the atmosphere

24 champagnes to try
Champagne 1 - NV Bereche Père et Fils ($79.90)

Champagne 2 - NV Diebolt-Vallois 'Blanc de Blancs' ($79.90)

Champagne 3 - NV Larmandier-Bernier 'Brut Tradition' ($89.90)

Champagne 4 - NV Gatinois 'Grand Cru' ($74.90)

Champagne 5 - NV Taittinger 'Brut Réserve' ($85)

Champagne 6 - NV Henriot 'Blanc de Blancs' ($104.90)

Champagne 7 - NV Louis Roederer 'Brut Premier' ($85)

Champagne 8 - NV Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin ($89.90)

Champagne 9 - NV Billecart Salmon 'Brut Réserve' ($89.90)

Champagne 10 - 02 Moët & Chandon 'Grand Vintage' ($99.90)

Champagne 11 - NV Ruinart Rosé ($119)

Champagne 12 - NV Laurent-Perrier Rosé ($120)

Champagne 13 - NV Jacquesson 'Cuvée No 734' ($89.90)

Champagne 14 - NV Pommery 'Brut Apanage' ($69.90)

Champagne 15 - NV Piper-Heidsieck ($59.90)

Champagne 16 - NV Charles Heidsieck 'Brut Reserve' ($94.90)

Champagne 17 - NV Gosset 'Grande Réserve' ($89.90)

Champagne 18 - NV Ayala 'Zéro Dosage' ($69.90)

Champagne 19 - NV Bollinger 'Special Cuvée' ($89.90)

Champagne 20 - NV Pol Roger 'Réserve' ($89.90)

Champagne 21 - NV Duval-Leroy ($84.90)

Champagne 22 - NV Delamotte ($74.90)

Champagne 23 - NV Mumm 'Cordon Rouge' ($69.90)

Champagne 24 - NV Perrier-Jouët 'Grand Brut' ($89.90)

NV Cooper Original Pale Ale — The after drinks choice for champagne reps

Tartare of Beef, shimeji mushrooms & Parmiggiano Reggiano

Figs, foie gras and toasted almonds

Peach wrapped with prosciutto

Quail egg on toast with black olive tapenade

Puff pastry squares, anchovy, onion jam, roast capsicum, olives & capers

Choux Beignet filled with goats curd, chives & oven dried tomato, rocket dressing

Fresh bread

The head chef of Uccello
Eugenio Riva

The champagne guru
Jayne Powell aka Champagne Jayne

The champagne guests
Lobby lineup for registration and lifts to level 4 — patience required

Champagne reps and guests mingling and sipping on bubbles

Poolside views — quiet time away from the crowds

Comfy booths to take a break in

Dynamic champagne drinking duo

What my photos would have looked like after taste testing 24 champagnes without Image Stabilisation on my camera

The Bottle Shop — where all your champagne needs are available

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