Food and Food: Edmonton21 Nov 2008 02:11 pm

Last night Mike and I attended our second champagne tasting. Last year (for my birthday) we attended a holiday tasting at Liquor Select in the west end of Edmonton, and I loved it. I discovered that I really love champagne and was eager to learn more about this high class (but not necessarily high priced) beverage.

My not so bubbly bubbly.

Last years tasting featured a huge range of champagnes, 12 in total, ranging in price from $30 to $365 a bottle. The $365 bottle was a Krug Grand Cuvee and was one of the favourites at the tasting. (Thankfully I also enjoyed the lower priced 2002 Veuve Cliquot and Taittinger nocturne.)

There was a selection of cheeses, fruits and snacks to try with the different champagnes…it was a really wonderful event. This experience actually helped me get a steal of a deal later in the year on a bottle of Krug at a Whole Foods market in Austin, Texas. I felt more educated about what to look for and what price points I could search in after attending the class.

The tasting last night was at deVine Wines in my favourite haunt in town these days; the corner of Jasper Avenue and 104 Street. Although the City Center market has closed down, I still love the shops in this area and there is a lot to be done here.

deVine Wines


The class gets an introduction to the bottling of champagne

The bottles we sampled.

Our instructors

The deVine tasting was $65, and we sampled a “mere” 7 champagnes. We were educated on the techniques used in making champagnes, and what creates the price differences. There were potato chips and pate to sample with our glasses…and also shortbread. Apparently it’s a great accompaniment to champagne as the yeasty tones of the drink pair well with the Scottish snacks. As I’ve mentioned before, champagne is also a great drink for Japanese cuisine, especially light soba noodles and fresh sushi.

The neatest thing about this tasting was that they taught us how to saber a bottle. Put frankly, this is when you “behead” a bottle of champagne. Not something you’d do everyday, but maybe for a special event. Or if you are Napoleon, I suppose.

Stroking the seam of the bottle getting ready to...

... pop the top!

Freshly sabered bottle

All that remains...

Although it seems like Liquor Select is not running their very popular champagne tasting this year, it would be my preferred class. It was a bit more structured than the deVine wines seminar, and there was a wider range of champagnes to taste. Both complemented each other however.

I know little to nothing about wines, but champagnes, I’m starting to get a handle on.

3 Responses to “Champagne?”

  1. on 21 Nov 2008 at 3:42 pm Design Monkey

    BTW, comments weren’t working earlier.

  2. on 21 Nov 2008 at 3:43 pm Design Monkey

    And of course they are now, and I hit enter too soon. Anyway, sounds lovely. Great photos as well.

  3. on 21 Nov 2008 at 7:41 pm kelly

    Yeah, my friend Paras alerted me to this fact. This new design layout wasn’t jiving with the spam protection I had going. GD spammers.