I remember when I first got the invitation to attend the champagne Academy, I had been running my restaurant, ‘Dibbens’, for under a year and had yet to leave my new baby in the hands of my team. The team promised to behave and I was pushed out the door to meet the other candidates at Heathrow Airport. My week in the champagne region opened my eyes to this amazing wine and started my obsession about secondary fermentation. Great friendships were made with my fellow academicians and many of the champenoise who I visit very regularly.
For me, champagne is a life style and when I was in the Chair, I hosted my dinner in the gilded hall of the Goldsmiths Livery Company. The room, lit by a 300 candle chandelier, was a fit setting for the great wines we served, with trumpet fanfares that had been composed for the evening and a bit of Opera, all my loves were bought together in one event.
I am not going to upset anyone by stating my favourites, but I will say that being part of the Academy is an honour and pleasure when tasting the range of the 16 houses and I am a great fan of the Autumn tasting when the Houses present one of their interesting Cuvees.