I wanted to write a short blog of Grande Champagne event in ylioppilastalo Helsinki. There were both good and bad experiences. Finnish Champagne Ry had a couple extra tickets to the event and to champagne and food lecture and tasting hosted by Samuil Angelov, a head of Sommeliers’ society. Champagne Ry offered two last tickets to a members of  Nomad cellar. We managed to have these tickets with my wife.

First thing arranged was a meeting with Michel Drappier, the winemaker. Drappier Carte d’Or brut was our most consumed champagne while we lived in Singapore. There are two reasons: first reason was that next door wine shop had it with a good price and secondly, our favourite restaurant had it by glass. It was very interesting to meet Drappier’s winemaker himself. We enjoyed Quattuor Blanc de Quotre Blancs which was made with all white varieties what are allowed in Champagne. Those grapes are: Chardonnay, Petit Meslier, Blanc Vrai, Arbane.

It was time to go to event called champagne and food. The event was hosted by Samuil Angelov as mentioned above. Samuil is the head sommelier and owner in Muru restaurant. Normal price of event was 80€ per person so expectations were very high. Lecture and tasting time was 45min or 1 hour, I can’t remember but at least half of the time Samuil told basically about himself and the restaurant he partly owns. I thought there would have been something to eat and yes there was but smaller than small snacks. One small bite of shrimps, brie, pate and tartar. A student from Haaga-Helia school poured so little amount of wine that I couldn’t understand how that is even possible. Maybe it wasn’t the pour at all, maybe it was just a splash caused by his hand shaking. Need to still congratulate the student for the good choice of the field to study. Pouring is not the student fault because I think the orders came elsewhere. Please note the amount of wine and food from picture below are before any touch of them! Samuil suggested that we taste the champagnes during he was telling about himself so before the actual food pairing tasting. I tried to tip my tongue to the champagne but no success, I mean the glass was empty right away.

Champagne selection didn’t match to my taste. One reason could be that there were so little amount of wine. Champagnes were the following: Piper Heidsieck Rose, Alfred Gratien 2004, Nicolas Feuillatte 2006, Mumm Blanc de Blancs and Laurent Perrier ultra brut. Alfred Gratien clearly was more my kind of wine with creaminess and toasted flavours. We actually went to Alko at the very same evening to buy a bottle of Gratien’s 2000.

Luckily after the tasting the importers opened some special bottles at specific times. We managed to have a glass of Pol Roger from legendary vintage of 1996. This reduced my irritation slightly.

– Markus Laukkanen