Champagne blind tasting

The Blind tasting:

There are three sparkling wines. Only one is from Champagne and two of the others are made in the “methode traditional”.  One was the Nyetimber Premier Cuvee Blanc de Blancs from West Sussex, the second Cordorniu Extra Cuvee Seleccionada.  The Champagne was Laurent-Perrier NV Brut.

Accompanying the wine we had smoked salmon and Brillat Savarin cheese bought from Jeroboams in Holland park.  The Brillet was absolutely delicious!

Tasters were asked to say which they liked best and which the thought was champagne.  I was surprised that only one person named the Nyetimber as their preferred wine.  I thought it was very tasty with zingy citrus hit followed by very sweet apples and tastiness.  A couple of people opted for the Cava.  Personally I found this a little too thin, lacking body and any flavour intensity.  Interestingly, nearly everybody guessed which was the Champagne, despite it even being slightly corked.  The Laurent-Perrier did still have the most complex taste profile despite the squiffy nose.

So, well done Laurent-Perrier for holding the quality line(!), and not so well done Nyetimber (though possibly my choice for this selection). The Cava vote was unusual as a couple of tasters voted for it as their favourite for the reasons I disliked it - they felt they could drink it all night without fear of hangover - the lack of body maybe giving a false sense of security.  

Part 2 on the way...

Follow us on social media:

Secret Sommelier on TwitterSecret Sommelier on Instagramfacebook 001linkedin 001youtube 001

COPOUT Book by Nick Breeze

Climate change podcast

Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces. 


As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.



Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!


Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.


Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.


The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.


We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of this site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

  I accept cookies from this site.
EU Cookie Directive plugin by