Champagne Bureau, Australia on Monday night announced the two 2016 winners of the 42nd Biennial Vin de Champagne Awards int a glittering ceremony at Sydney’s Four Seasons Hotel.
This award is one of Australia’s most coveted accolades honouring Australia’s valued relationship with France’s Champagne region.
State finalists were flown to Sydney for the Grand Final Judging including an interview and a blind tasting. The application process involves writing a series of essays about Champagne.
The two winners were:
(for people who gain income from the food and wine industry)
Cameron O’Keefe (VIC) Sommelier, Centra
(for those who have a passion about Champagne)
Nicky Goodyer (NSW) Florist, Aah Flowers
The black tie dinner was attended by respected industry professionals, journalists, commentators, educators, our ow Founder of the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society, Jane Thomson, and fashion legends like Carla Zampatti.
Judges included Peter Bourne, Huon Hooke, Bernadette O’Shea, and Thibaut Le Mailloux from the Comite Champagne.
Coordinated on behalf of France’s Comite Champagne, the Vin de Champagne Awards celebrate the enjoyment of Champagne in Australia with the goal to cultivate a network of Champagne specialists to act as ambassadors in Australia.
Cameron and Nicky will begin their life changing journey by travelling to France’s Champagne region for a two week educational tour, where they will recieve their medal from Le Comite Champagne and enjoy the renowned Champenois hospitality.
Past winners of this grand prize have used the networks and knowledge garnered from the trip to further their career in the enjoyment of Champagne.
“The evening was a fitting celebration of the passion and respect for Champagne in Australia. All the finalists displayed remarkable knowledge and sophisticated palates, and we’re certain the winners will continue to pursue their aspirations to learn even more about the nuances and history of Champagne by travelling to the region itself. ” Elisabeth Drysdale, Director of the Champagne Bureau.
One of the highlights of the evening was chef Mark Best’s outstanding five course menu, which saw such classic dishes as Smoked Oysters and Vanilla Custard Tart mingle with boundary pushing creations such as Tomato Marshmallow and Doughnuts, and Chicken Liver Parfait.
The champagnes matched to Mark’s menu were equally impressive:
- Tattinger Cuvee Prestige;
- Ruinart Blanc de Blancs;
- Canard Duchene VII Blanc de Noirs;
- Billecart – Salmon Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru NV;
- Delamotte Blanc de Blancs 2007;
- Alfred Gratien Blanc de Blancs 2007;
- Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2007;
- Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque 2007;
- Charles Heidsieck 2005 (favourite tasted on the night by Jane Thompson!);
- Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2004;
- William Deutz 2006;
- Gosset Brut 15 Ans;
- Pommery Brut Rose;
- Bollinger Rose;
- Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d’Or Brut 2006.
The Vin de Champagne Awards are made possible by their sponsors, Alliance Francaise de Sydney, Reidel, Fishheads, Victor Churchill, and the Four Seasons Hotel.
Australia remains a vitally important market for Champagne. Recently released figures place Australia as the sixth largest import market in the world. In 2015, Australia imported 8,110,106 bottles of Champagne which represents a 24.3% increase on 2014. It’s undeniable that Australia’s love affair with Champagne is only growing stronger, year by year.
Amen to that!
For more information visit http://www.champagne.com.au