One thing you need to know about me is that my favourite sound in the world is a champagne cork popping! It’s like angels sighing. So you can imagine my delight when I was invited to the Blackman Hotel to attend a Champagne Master Class by Kyla Kirkpatrick.
Straight up to the penthouse suite on the 18th floor, if you don’t hardly mind, we were ushered into an intimate sit down tasting of six different varieties all accompanied by the most exquisite cheeses and pates – heaven! Kyla first and foremost reminded us that only champagne is from the Champagne region in France, and anything else is only sparkling wine.
We got to sip on delicious Pol Roger, both vintage and non-vintage, Bollinger and Veuve Fornay while Kyla regaled us with tales and the history of champagne, from the fabulous grandfather of champagne, Dom Perignon to the first lady Madame Clicquot.
Kyla also told us that there was 3 ways to open a bottle of champagne; the most common obviously – unwrap the foil and untwist the cage, or the muselet, six times (it’s always only six twists) and loosen the cage but don’t take it off the cork. You then place your thumb over the cork and tilt the bottle to a 45 degree angle and then twist the bottle and not the cork, and voilà the best sound in the world! The second technique is sabrage, used mostly in ceremonial occasions, the sabre is slid along the body of the bottle to break the entire neck away from the bottle, leaving only the base of the bottle open and ready to pour. Tres fancy!!
The third, and most fabulous, is sabrage but with a champagne flute! it has to be seen to be believed. Check it out (below)
It was a fabulous and educational evening out and Kyla was the perfect teacher. Of course I asked if she needed an apprentice, but I don’t think she took my plea seriously. I would highly recommend doing this class if you’re a fan of the old bubbly as I am, it would make a great ladies day out. http://thechampagnedame.com/
Categories: People & Places