• A taste of Pommery at David Jones

On my first sip I made a decision.  I could get used to this, I thought, and then proceeded to enjoy three glasses of different varieties.  We were at the Pommery ‘Talk and Taste’ session at David Jones and the lovely lady enlightening our language for all local lore of champagne seemed to be doing a remarkable job.  The champagne knowledge of the old me was somewhat tenuous.  I saw wine as better value in the taste to dollar ratio and I was even known to declined sparkling for a glass of full-bodied red at parties.  Here’s how she converted me into a Champagne drinker.

Let’s start with history.  Pommery is one of the oldest houses in champagne.  The estate was bought by Narcisse Greno in 1836, who soon invited Alexandre Pommery to be part of the venture to produce red wine.  When Pommery died only two years later, his wife Louise took the reins and insisted on crafting sparkling.  With the help of her two children she built 18km of caves, giving the perfect dark, constant humidity and temperature for champagne.

Champagne is made from chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes.   The liquid goes into a bottle, yeast is added, then it ages for 36 months slowly being moved from a horizontal to vertical position.  As the sediment settles in the up-side-down bottle, the opening is frozen so that the sediments can be popped out before sealing.

Tastings on ice.  Champagne should be served at 11-12°C.
The first bottle of our tasting was a non-vintage Pommery Apanage – named so for being the best of the best.  Top chefs had been asking for such a champagne and four years later it was produced.  It is made with slightly more chardonnay and aged for 42 months.  It was light in flavour but fully carbonated.

Next was the Pommery Springtime, a peachy coloured rose made with a bit of red wine added for the colour.  This one was bigger than the first, dry but with fruit. It really was like spring!

Third tasting was POP “Product of Pommery” is cute serving size bottles with the champagne slightly less carbonated to drink through straws.  Lovely for parties... even if a party of one.

As much as I enjoyed the evening and the tastings, I learnt a lot too.  Here are some tips as the weather heats up and hits the festive season.

Tips on Champagne
  • Champagne should be at 11-12°C.
  • It shouldn’t make a sound when you open it – we were told a bang horrifies the French.
  • Pale rose is very chic.
  • It is a low calorie drink, one glass is only 100 calories.
  • It is a celebratory drink, everyone remembers when they drank a good bottle of champagne, so enjoy it!