Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Confluence of #Bubbly Day and A Wine Journey

Yesterday (September 14) was designated #Bubbly Day and wine drinkers were asked to mark this day by drinking their favorite bubbly and sharing their experience with others around the world via Twitter.  This online aspect of #Bubbly Day was hosted by @Atlantawineguy.

From the launch of this website I have been engaged in a quest to taste the 115 wines designated by Master Sommelier Andrew MacNamara as his Wines of the Decade.  I opted to do a #Bubbly Day-Wine Journey mashup by tasting one of Wine Journey champagnes on #Bubbly Day and selected for this purpose the 1988 Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill.  I did not have this wine in my cellar and had to procure it online from Benchmark Group.  I had them overnight the wine to me and installed it in my cellar to await its pleasurable sacrifice.

Pol Roger was founded in 1849 and today has approximately 87 hectares of vines in and around Epernay.  The company's line of champagnes include three non-vintage cuvees -- Brut Reserve, Rich, and Pure -- and three vintage cuvees -- Brut Vintage, Brut Rose, and Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill.  The non-vintagre cuvees are all made with equal parts Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay while the Brut vintages are 40% Chardonnay and 60% Pinot Noir.  The mix of grapes for the Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill is not publicized.  The Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill was named after that great man, who happened to be both a friend and loyal customer of the Pol Rogers.  According to, the cuvee was made in a style preferred by Sir Winston, "... robust, full-bodied, relatively mature and dominated by Pinot Noir which contributes firmness and backbone complemented by the ethereal elegance of Chardonnay."

I had invited the members of the Antonio's Tasting Group to join me at The Imperial on #Bubbly day and we had 11 people show.

The picture below shows our champagne lineup.  We started with a Veuve Clicquot and never looked back.  With every bottle we opened I issued

 a "Big-Bird" tweet.  We were monitoring Twitterfall to gage the action that was ongoing elsewhere and noted a few retweets of our tweets and a query from @Atlantawineguy about the Sir Winston Churchill.

The Sir Winston Churchill was the last bottle opened and everyone stayed around for that event.  This wine was worth the wait.  It had tight bubbles, apple-pear notes, a certain breadiness, walnuts, good acidity and a long finish.  We had drunk a lot of very good champagne that evening but this was clearly the cream of the crop.

A good night was had by all.  We had the satisfaction of drinking locally while participating globally.  We could get to like this.

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