CELEBRATE WORLD CHAMPAGNE DAY IN SANDTON
World Champagne Day, on October 18, celebrates the glorious white sparkling wine made in the Champagne region of France, often enjoyed to toast a celebration, mark an achievement or add that little glistening point to a Saturday morning brunch.
French Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon, having invented champagne, was believed to have called out to his fellow monks, saying: “Come quickly: I am tasting the stars”. Whatever the occasion, there is no doubt French Champagne has an extra luxurious and iconic spot in the hearts and minds of those living in Sandton, and should duly be celebrated accordingly for a day, a weekend or maybe even a week.
Celebrated on the third Friday of October every year, World Champagne Day has become a global occasion as champagne fans from every corner of the globe raise their glasses in celebration to their favourite libation. Aside from the multitude of champagne experiences taking place worldwide, the day also provides an opportunity for champagne fans to exchange champagne tasting notes, experiences, recommendations, discoveries and videos.
Champagne’s ‘Methode Champenoise’ process follows strict regulations that require non-vintage varietals to be aged ‘on the lees’ in the bottle for at least 15 months. This means that the champagne is kept in the bottle with the sediment that forms, while it’s gradually turned and inverted until it’s time for the sediment (lees) to be removed.
Champagne can also only be produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France. This is legally protected by the EU (under the Protected Designation of Origin status) and may only refer to sparkling wines made according to specific criteria in the Champagne area in France. It’s the region’s ‘terroir’ which makes champagne production such an art. It’s the notion that each wine is a product of a set of conditions unique to the Champagne region, such as climate, soil and local wine making traditions developed over centuries, whose combined influence makes any single wine different from all other wines produced anywhere else.
The Sandton Times has compiled some of its favourite go-to spots in and around Sandton for a glass or two of this sparkling nectar from France to celebrate World Champagne Day:
TAITTINGER Champagne will be raising a glass at Riboville Boutique Hotel, Waterfall Estate on Saturday, October 19 from 6:30pm to 10:30pm with bottomless champagne, a delicious harvest table and live entertainment.
MOËT & CHANDON has partnered with News Cafe for a week long bubbly campaign running from October 17 to 27. Fittingly styled, Pop ‘n Champagne, the partnership with the luxurious champagne maker has been dreamily paired with gourmet popcorn and follows the global trend of pairing flavoured popcorn with popular bubbly.
HELLO BUBBLY includes a glass of MOËT & CHANDON BRUT IMPERIAL paired perfectly with gourmet vanilla honey popcorn, whilst SIP SIP HOORAY brings together a bottle of MOËT & CHANDON served with a trio of gourmet popcorn flavours – vanilla honey; salted caramel; and lemon white chocolate.
2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the iconic MOËT & CHANDON IMPÉRIAL and World Champagne Day celebrations will continue long after the last sip of bubbly on Friday, October 18, right through to Thursday, October 31 at Tsogo Sun Hotels.
In celebration of this milestone, the House’s flagship champagne, MOËT & CHANDON winemaker Amine Ghanem will be visiting South Africa for the first time. Amine will be making appearances at two of Tsogo Sun Hotels’ vibrant nightspots on the evening of World Champagne Day and will be hosting a #MoetMoment from 5:30pm to 6:30pm at Sandton Sun’s San Deck and from 7:30pm to 8:30pm on the deck at Southern Sun Hyde Park, where DJ Fresh will add his unique blend of sounds to the mix from 9pm.
The not-to-be-missed champagne special offers include Moët & Chandon Impérial at R549, Moët & Chandon Nectar at R599, Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label at R549 and Veuve Clicquot Rose at R740.
Sandtonites can enjoy their favourite bubbly at the following Tsogo Sun Hotels: The Sandton Sun Hotel, The Palazzo at Montecasino, Holiday Inn Sandton – Rivonia Road, Southern Sun Hyde Park Sandton and Southern Sun Montecasino.
Ensuring your fridge is stocked with a range of suitably delicious champagne for World Champagne Day is a job The Sandton Times takes very seriously. But with the wide range of champagnes now available in South Africa, what do you choose? The Sandton Times has compiled a perfect bubbly selection to ensure you celebrate World Champagne Day in style:
Moët & Chandon Impérial
First released in 1869, Champagne Day couldn’t be a more perfect occasion to pay tribute to 150 years of celebration and to mark this truly momentous anniversary of the world’s most loved champagne. Moët & Chandon believe in celebrating each and every day – so it comes as no surprise that a bottle of Moët & Chandon is opened every second around the globe. And make sure to tell your friends that the winery’s founder Claude Moët was of Dutch heritage, so the correct pronunciation is ‘Mo-Wett’, and not ‘Mo-Way’. You heard it here first!
Available from: R529
Veuve Clicquot Rich Rosé
Created expressly for mixology, Rich Rosé is Veuve Clicquot’s most versatile champagne, designed to allow anyone to create their own playful drinking experience. Best enjoyed over ice with fresh ingredients, including lime, pineapple, ginger or tea, all on the rocks! Just add a balmy summer evening and a perfect South African vista on Champagne Day.
Available from: R995
Dom Pérignon Plenitude 2 2000
Of course for a truly spectacular Champagne Day, it’s hard to beat the wow factor that accompanies one of the world’s most famous champagnes, Dom Pérignon. P2 is the Second Plénitude of Dom Pérignon Vintage, the result of 16 years of elaboration. The opposing and complementary elements of the assemblage resound for an increasingly sharp intensity. The energy of Dom Pérignon P2 2000 is at its peak.
Available from: R4900
Champagne’s best kept secret. Known as the champagne for wine lovers, Ruinart was the very first rosé champagne to make its appearance, dating back to the 18th century. Expect a delicate yet sophisticated rosé with an intense aromatic profile, perfect to complement your Champagne Day feast.
Available from: R950
Krug Grand Cuvée
Krug Grande Cuvée is the archetype of Krug’s philosophy of craftsmanship and savoir faire: a blend of more than 120 wines from ten or more different years. Every glass of Krug Grande Cuvée is the fruit of many years of craft and patience. Show off some serious champagne prowess and treat your champagne friends to a bottle.
Available from: R2500
Carrol Boyes Iconic Champagne Premier Cru Blanc de Blancs
Remembering the late Carrol Boyes, her very own champagne celebrates quality, style, excellence and authenticity by combining only the best blends from Charbaut, a family vineyard established in 1936 in the finest hillsides of Champagne country. It is a delicately balanced, patiently matured limited edition of 1000 bottles, ensuring a precious legacy for future generations. The vintage is a celebration of matured chardonnay grown in the prestigious Grand and Premier Cru vineyards of Champagne, consisting of 100% Chardonnay.
Available from: R1500
As World Champagne Day see’s glasses clinking, here’s one last tip from one of the world’s foremost champagne experts:
“Whichever champagne you decide to celebrate with on Champagne Day, always serve (and then keep) your champagne chilled not icy – the best way to chill your bottle is to fill an ice bucket with ice and one-third water and allow your bottle to cool for 15-20 minutes, and ensure you open your bottle with suitable ceremony. Think a gentle whisper rather than a loud bang though! And most importantly, sip, savour and celebrate!”
– Moët Hennessy, Managing Director, Africa Middle East, Pascal Asin