This is a family story that I am going to share with you.
I often feel sorry for my parents.
A period of some four years brought tears to their eyes, some of which may have been tears of joy, but I am not sure.
The period was 2012 to 2016. I and my 2 sisters decided to get married. Me to an Australian girl and my sisters to two English chaps.
The Search for Champagne
I married my lovely wife in December 2012. The church service was at the Cathedral in Melbourne. The reception was at Encore on the Beach at St Kilda’s.
Several months earlier, there were many things I was looking forward to about getting married. One of the things was selecting wine for the meal and Champagne for the welcoming drink and toasts.
Choosing the wines was relatively straight forward. Australia is blessed with so many good wines. Champagnes on the other hand proved to be a bit of a challenge.
We sampled all the usual suspects, Veuve Cliquot, Moet, Laurent Perrier, Piper Heidsieck, Taittinger, Mumm, Lanson. Not all at the same time, I should add. The sampling took place over a number of days. They were all perfectly nice but did not excite my taste buds as much as I would have liked. As this was at my in-laws’ expense, who seemed to be very understanding at the time, I thought we should up the game.
So, we moved onto Bollinger, Krug, Ruinart, Perrier-Jouet. I even sampled Dom Perignon at my own expense. I wondered to myself if Dom, who was a Benedictine monk, really had taken a vow of poverty, considering that a bottle these days seems to cost $300 upwards.
I thought these premium priced champagnes though very pleasant on the tongue, did not warrant the price compared to more readily available brands.
We opted for a well-known, well priced champagne which seemed to be greatly appreciated by our family and friends at the reception. Everything about the day was fabulous.
Boutique Champagne in France
Three years later my sister decided to get married to Martin. Having been brought up in France as was I, she chose to be married at the Benedictine Abbaye de Valbonne with the reception taking place at nearby Castellaras.
It was a great location with lots of lovely food, music and more food, but what really stood out to me was the champagne which I thought was top notch and seemed to be greatly appreciated by my fellow guests. The champagne flowed through the evening and as often seems to be the case improved as the evening went on.
The following day, I asked about the champagne that my parents had found, and they told me the name. Apparently, some good friends of theirs living in the lovely French village of Valbonne knew of a family who had a vineyard in the Champagne region. The vineyard was now in the hands of the founders’ children, but the retired founders still had access to the wines. It was their champagne that we had at the wedding. The champagne was named Angelique which made my sister think that the champagne was made just for her. I will let you guess her name.
In fact, the Champagne was named after the vineyard owner’s daughter. You would not name anything but the best after your daughter, would you?
The celebrations came to an end and I spent a bit longer in France.
Soon, it was all a distant memory as I headed back towards Sydney with my wife, Simone.
Champagne market research in the South of France
Less than twelve months later, my younger sister married. Do you see why I sometimes feel sorry for my parents? Two daughters marrying with not even twelve months between the nuptials.
Anyway, this second time around, everything was well practised. My parents did a tour of the various wedding venues again with daughter number two, Nicky and her husband to be Nick. They selected a lovely old farmhouse with extensive grounds and an olive grove in a place called Plascassier for the reception. This is the small town where the famous French singer, Edith Piaf lived.
Next, they moved onto food tasting at a phenomenal caterer in Cannes. It was the same caterer used by my other sister and Martin barely a year before. (If you would like to know the name of the caterer, just drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org).
There was only the wine and champagne left to choose. After sampling many bottles and visiting many vineyards, guess what, they gravitated back to our local Champagne supplier.
I turned up in the South of France for the wedding. Sadly, Simone remained behind in Woolloomooloo as we were expecting our first child.
The festivities started with family members and friends coming to the house. My taste buds were treated again to that wonderful champagne. Was this the same champagne as at Angela’s wedding I asked. It was.
My sister took her vows in the little known, but beautiful village of Le Bar-sur-Loup, at the Church of Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur, having had the civil ceremony in the village town hall the day before, followed by a Champagne reception at a jewel of a restaurant called Le Donjon (The Dungeon). My taste buds were revived. “Was this the same champagne as at Angela’s wedding?” I asked. It was.
It was those wonderful tasting bubbles from 11 months before.
Over the next few days, I had a chance to have a few more glasses of champagne. It was nectar. That made up my mind; I needed to share this champagne with my friends back in Australia.
From France to Wahroonga
I took some bottles back with me to Sydney and you know what, my friends could not get enough of the champagne, and that was a shame as we soon ran out of the French nectar.
That was it! I liked that champagne. My friends wanted that champagne. It brought back lovely memories of France to me.
I was going to bring it into Australia.
Now that sounds easier than it is. The hurdles one has to jump are numerous, time consuming and difficult, but I did it. I filled out the forms. I studied. I went on courses and I obtained the necessary licences.
www.Boutiquewinechampagne.com was formed. My objective was to introduce Australia to lesser known but excellent vineyards in Europe with a focus on organic wines.
Champagne to suit every pocket and to celebrate every occasion
Some two years after embarking upon this adventure, you can imagine my excitement as the first pallet of champagne landed in Melbourne. Having formed the company, the online business, boutiquewinchampagne.com went live for the third quarter of 2020.
Yes, 2020 was a bleak year globally, but we have been blessed with a good flow of orders and our range continues to expand.
In addition to my original favourite, which I had first tasted at my sisters’ weddings, Cuvee Angelique Champagne, we also carry a very reasonable pink champagne, Rose de Saignee Champagne. This is romance in a bottle.
We have continued to listen to our customers’ requests and added a spectrum of Champagnes to suit every budget and every occasion.
We have a Blanc de Noirs Champagne, a Champagne that was awarded Medaille d’Or Melbourne International Wine Competition 2017. That is not bad. An Australian award for Champagne rarely found in the Southern Hemisphere.
Completing our mid-priced Champagnes is Brut Nature, which can be found in the Guide Veron de Champagnes 2018, a guide to the world’s best champagnes.
Some of our regular customers want to push the boat out further to help celebrate a significant birthday, an anniversary, the arrival of a new-born, a scholarly achievement, a serious work promotion, recognition of a colleague or that all important business deal.
So, we have added three spectacular Champagnes.
The first is the 2000 Grande Reserve Champagne Brut Senez.
What is so special about it?
Well how about awards such as Grand Prix of Excellence Vinalies Nationales 2006, Gold Medal at the Vinalies Internationales 2003, Bronze Medal at the Nationales 2005, Silver Medal at the Vinalies Nationales 2017 as well as being noted in the Guide Hachette 2018. It is good!
The second is “Le Cornoyer” Champagne 2014.
This Champagne is made in limited quantities and each bottle is presented and sold in a specially designed box, the perfect gift.
This smooth and dry Champagne features a lemony taste with hints of Yuzu, white fruits and white peach. This Champagne is made from Pinot Blanc Grapes, which are a rarity in the region of Champagne. Famous French wine writer Jacques Dupont selected this wine for an award in 2019.
Now, this is the third. CS 73 2002! It is like a code name. It is so rare it needs to stay undercover. 2002 was an exceptional vintage year in Champagne. Senez undertook a rigorous selection process from their oldest plot and aged the champagne for 18 years in their cellar. It has an immense palette full of gourmet flavours to taste. The nose bursts with stewed fruit such as apricot, figs combined with hazelnuts and almonds. The palette is round and smooth with flavours of vanilla, caramel and roasted hazelnut. A vintage of unparalleled delicacy with a long and elegant finish.
How special do you want to be? This is the Champagne for special occasions and special people.
If you like being different, if you like discovering something new, if you appreciate the good things in life subscribe to our site and give us a try.