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Alright, guilty as charged.Me likey bubbles.A lot.Sparkling – be it water or wine.Especially Champagne.I have traveled the region of just to hit the cellar doors and more upmarket offering to indulge – guilty as charged!Now, there are Champagne tastings and the fact that Australia’s appetite for champagne is an insatiable one.However, it can tend to be a ponzy and showy affair.Exit pretence and intimidation and enter United Cellars ( http://au.unitedcellars.com ), i.e. French born wine luminary Roxane Pinault and her team of connoisseurs.”C’est le ton qui fait la chanson” and careful curation is the name of the game behind an event that caters to both the well heeled enthusiasts, long time aficionados, and first timers the chance to explore the world of Champagne on a deeper level by exploring its many hues and enabling them to make comparisons.What United Cellars offers is an immersive, open and welcoming forum for the curious as well as the connoisseurs.The location for this year’s Sydney event could not have been more perfect:Beautiful vistas over Sydney’s harbour, i.e. bridge and Opera House, served as the backdrop for Champagne Houses and growers celebrating their offerings, allowing attendees to move through at their own pace while offering valuable input for tasting and making new discoveries.A well calibrated sophisticated yet laid back delivered in an informative and unpretentious way.The event showcased the following among others:HenriotDuval LeroyDelamotteDeutzDevauxDom PérignonMoëtRuinartDrappierHattingleyHenriotJacquinotJacquessonKrugLouis RoedererTaittingerTissotVilmartMost Houses had three to six champagnes from their portfolio on offer.Styles ranged from Non-Vintage to Vintage, Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, Rosé and Prestige and with varying degrees of sweetness (Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut and some Demi-Secs).Some offered hard-to-find gems, others the go-to champagnes that you retreat to when it doubt, with some more “exotic discoveries” sprinkled in, e.g. who would have known that the English could come up with such an enjoyable drop like Hattingley’s Valley Classic Cuvée – Hattingley being a grower-producer that I have never heard of previously.A common thread between all of the aforementioned varieties was how well balanced they were, offering complexity or something unexpected with House representatives making genuine efforts to establish connections with the attendees.An evening punctuated by the feeling of well-being and genuine pleasure each person exuded throughout the night, and no doubt took home with them.

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