The Champagne Bureau Australia held an elegant gala black tie dinner at The Pavilion in Sydney to announce the two winners of the Vin de Champagne Awards for 2012.
Vin de Champagne Awards 2012
Dan Buckle (Winemaker, Domaine Chandon) from Victoria was awarded the title in the professional category designated for people who gain income from the food and wine industry. Matthew Stutsel (KPMG) from NSW won the amateur category for those who have a passion about Champagne. They received a two-week educational tour to the champagne region in France where they will be awarded their medal from Le Comité Champagne.
L-R: Matthew Stutsel and Dan Buckle *
Twelve finalists had to demonstrate their skills in tasting a range of champagne styles with judging done by former professional winners Huon Hooke and Peter Bourne along with former amateur winner Bernadette O’Shea and the Comité Champagne Communications Director, Thibaut Le Mailloux.
Huon Hooke at the podium
Thibaut Le Mailloux (middle) with winner Dan Buckle (right)
For the elegant soirée, Chef Justin North created a five course dinner matched to fifteen champagnes. The select guest list included high profile members of the community, Australia’s most respected wine and food industry leaders and members of the media.
Ruinart Blanc de Blancs* and Louis Roederer Cristal 2005
Harp tunes filled the night air under a moonlit sky where guests enjoyed canapés in the gardens starting with Lease 65 oysters with a ponzu dressing matched to the citrus and mineral notes of Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut. This was followed by Kinkawooka Petit Bouchot mussels with Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve, Lanson Gold Label 2002 and a favourite, Ruinart Blanc de Blancs.
Slow cooked octopus, albacore tuna, ginger, black sesame and miso emulsion
Each course was matched to a flight of champagnes. The first, which was made up of Bollinger Rosé, Veuve Clicquot 2004 Rosé, Moët et Chandon Grand Vintage 2002, was chosen for its savoury, fruit and citrus characters to accompany the slow cooked octopus, albacore tuna, ginger, black sesame and miso emulsion.
Crushed Dutch cream potatoes, shaved prosciutto, crisp skins, prawns with beurre noisette
Next was a delightful dish of crushed Dutch cream potatoes, shaved prosciutto, crisp skins, prawns with beurre noisette matched with Delamotte Blanc de Blancs, a mineral aperitif-style wine with a chalky character, GH Mumm de Cramant Blanc de Blancs, another wine rich in minerality with hints of lemon and fresh fruit, and Ayala Blanc de Blancs 2004 with a low dosage of 7g that contributes to the intensity of fruit.
Poached organic chicken, crab, sweet corn and bonito
The poached organic chicken, crab, sweet corn and bonito was a delight to the senses – fragrant, elegant and delicately flavoured to maintain the natural taste of the chicken. The course was matched to Louis Roederer Cristal 2005 with its elegant, rich bouquet and flavours with a lingering finish, Pol Roger Brut Vintage 2002 with notes of fresh honey and citrus and a fruitiness with a biscuity character, and Cuvée William Deutz 1999, with a lingering aroma of fruit and spice on the nose with fresh flavours of brioche on the palate.
Strawberry and lemon custard trifle
Dessert was a deconstructed strawberry and lemon custard trifle matched with Thiénot Brut, a boutique champagne and relative newcomer with a style of wine that is sweeter on the nose than the palate, a wine that has a good creaminess while remaining fresh and Taitinger Brut Millésimé 2005, with an aromatic intensity of ripe fruit that matches the palate.
The Vin de Champagne Awards 2012 were held by the Champagne Bureau Australia which also holds the biannual Champagne Bureau Tasting CIVC on alternate years. The event took place on Wednesday 26 September 2012 at The Pavilion in Sydney. Gourmantic attended the event as media guests.
Champagne Bureau Australia
* Photo credit of the winners and the Ruinart bottle: Esteban la Tessa – Used with permission
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