24 Hours in Champagne (in New York)–Part Two

This week, the last of the year, I have decided to dedicate to Champagne. Here is another article chronicling one of my recent experiences centered around the wine chosen by many to celebrate the New Year.

After the vin clair tasting, the fine people of Terlato Wines were serving up the current releases from Piper-Heidsieck: Brut, Rosé Cuvée Sauvage, Millésimé 2006, 2002 Rare, and Cuvée Sublime.

When you see an open bottle of Piper-Heidsieck Rare, you grab a flute….

When you see an open bottle of Piper-Heidsieck Rare, you grab a flute….

For me, it is difficult to really concentrate on the wines during a walk-around tasting as well, you are walking around. I feel like if I stop to take a few tasting notes I will either lose my glass when I set it down or people will think I am a dork for pounding away on my phone, or more likely, both.

Instead, I decided to be social since there were a few people I knew (Anatoli from Talk-a-Vino, Cathrine from Dame Wine, and Mary Anne from Terlato Wines). There were also a few people who I wanted to meet (Laura Jensen and Anna Micic from Terlato, and Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher formerly of the Wall Street Journal, and of Open That Bottle Night fame).

Oh, and there was champagne. Lots and lots of champagne.

I did not really need to be anywhere for a couple of hours, so, well, I drank champagne.

Lots and lots of champagne.

After draining more than my share of the 2006 (which, at least at this point in their respective maturations, was drinking much better than the more expensive Rare—but in a few years, however, watch out: that Rare is going to be gangbusters), I left the tasting to head down town for my next event.

A couple of weeks earlier, my buddy Gabe Sasso (also known as my “wine pimp”) asked if I wanted to attend the following:

Spectre

Wait. Let me get this straight.

Pre-Release Screening. James Bond. Bollinger Champagne. After party.

Uh yeah.

Even though I am a pretty big James Bond fan (or at least when 007 is portrayed by Sean Connery), I would have said yes if the movie starred Roseanne Barr as Dora the Explorer.

Why? Bollinger Champagne. Bollinger is one of the few producers in Champagne that still ages some of their vins clairs in oak (another is Krug, need I say more?), and is consistently one of my favorite wines from the region.

I would like to say that I took copious notes on the film, but I didn’t (it was OK, but a little predictable). I would like to say that I carefully examined the wines, but I didn’t (the standard N.V. Brut was stellar as usual and the special edition “Spectre” Cuvée was exceptional).

I did have my iPhone, however, and was able to take a few photos:

img_4631

Yeah, they were pouring us Bolly from Jeroboams in our seats.

Yeah, they were pouring us Bolly from Jeroboams in our seats.

Roger Moore was OK, but Sean Connery will always be Bond for me.

Roger Moore was OK, but Sean Connery will always be Bond for me.

After the movie, I came out and saw this….

After the movie, I came out and saw this….

So I did what anyone would do when they see Helen Mirren: Take a selfie… (that is Gabe “The Wine Pimp” Sasso photo bombing).

So I did what anyone would do when they see Helen Mirren: Take a selfie… (that is Gabe “The Wine Pimp” Sasso photo bombing).

One more selfie at the after party with Dana Delaney.

One more selfie at the after party with Dana Delaney.

The following day, I went to lunch with a couple other wine writers at Koi Restaurant in SoHo with Régis Camus, the Chef de Cave at Piper-Heidsieck and Mary Anne Sullivan and Anna Micic of Terlato.

The food was stellar, the champagnes were wonderful, but the people and the conversation really stood out. I was fortunate enough to sit next to Régis who was an absolute crack-up. The day before he showed glimpses of his sense of humor, but in the smaller, more intimate setting, he really let loose, and I was barely able to eat in between guffaws (although it did not really slow down my champagne consumption).

Sauvage

Sauvage

N.V. Piper-Heidsieck Brut: Retail $45. Pear and white grape on the nose. More citrusy on the palate. Outstanding. 89-91 Points.

2006 Piper-Heidsieck Millésimé: Retail $85. This was my favorite the day before and it is just as stellar today. Husky yet svelte. This is my wheelhouse, by a lot. Outstanding. 93-95 Points.

2002 Piper-Heidsieck Rare: Retail $180. This is a beautiful bottle of wine but it is young. Really young. Without a doubt this is a hold for another decade wine.  No problem. Outstanding and 91-93 Points now. In a decade? 93-96+ Points.

Sublime

Sublime

N.V. Piper-Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage: Retail $65. Decidedly fruitier on the nose with red berry fruit. Rich and full this is a wonderful wine for most food. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.

N.V. Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Sublime: Retail $55. Same wine as the N.V. Brut but an extra year on the lees and the a little more sugar in the dosage. Impeccably balanced and slightly sweet. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.

I have not been to Champagne for a couple of years now, but these 24 hours in Manhattan almost made up for it. Many thanks to DKC Public Relations (Bollinger) and particularly Donna White of Donna White Communications and Mary Anne Sullivan and Anna Micic of Terlato Wines for including me in these wonderful events.

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About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
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19 Responses to 24 Hours in Champagne (in New York)–Part Two

  1. HOLY CRAP – YOU MET HELEN MIRREN??? OMG OMG OMG. How was the Bollinger??? I hope to try some before I die! LOL! I am soon jealous! LOL! Good for you! LOL! Happy New Year to you and yours! Looking forward to your 2016 posts!! xo

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jill Barth says:

    No denying THAT was a great evening!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow look at you mingling with the stars! That sounds like a wonderful evening of bubbles and fun. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Beth says:

    Champagne stud. 😉 Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Rick says:

    Awesome, dude! Hobnobbing with Hollywood. Sounds like a great time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fiona says:

    Champagne and name-dropping? What a way to start a new year! May it be a good one for all!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Lazenne says:

    I have a bottle of the 2002 Rare that I am looking forward to trying. Thanks for the tip on waiting a little longer. It was Pol Roger NV for us this New Year’s eve, with a few more small Champagne grower bottles to round it off 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Barb Knowles says:

    Very cool trip, with the bonus of Helen Mirren! May you have an awesome 2016!

    Liked by 1 person

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