One of the best perks of my job as a wedding planner is being invited to try something new: In this case, to be “one of the first in Bermuda to experience the champagne offered by Armand de Brignac, also known as “Ace of Spades”. Initially, I was very sceptical – I am hardcore and loyal to Billecart Salmon Rose, so it was going to take something quite remarkable to sway me to the other side.
In preparation for the tasting, I read as much as I could find – In all honesty, I had never heard of the stuff. I looked up the website, read the blurb (and the hype) and reluctantly my interest was piqued:
~ In a blind taste test of 1,000 Champagnes, Armand de Brignac was ranked number one (and that was before anyone saw the bottle and boy, do you need to see the bottle).
~ Armand de Brignac is certainly a relative newcomer to the champagne industry and the steep price tag makes this a very deliberate choice. With diverse clients from the well-heeled to the hip hop crowd (including Jay-Z, whom some would argue put Armand de Brignac on the map), or those out for a night on the town wanting to celebrate with something quite eye-catching (and not just their date), Armand de Brignac’s market certainly has mass appeal.
But what makes this champagne so special? Could it be that it is produced in limited quantities through a traditional, entirely handmade method by a staff of only eight people with father and son select the grapes? Or is it that the packaging which, for better or worse, is so dang eye catching?
~ Jancis Robinson, one of the world’s most famous wine critics offered her thoughts. And after reading her review, I was hooked. I had to try it for myself. Yes, I’ll come!
At the tasting, I had an opportunity to chat to Brian Berish, Managing Partner of Sovereign Brands. (His black business card with gold embossed font feels like old leather from the back seat of a Jaguar.) His patter was just as smooth but after I have to say, I was waiting for proof. As tight, tight bubbles rose in the narrow flute releasing complex but gentle floral notes, my sense took over, I couldn’t wait. My first sip of the Brut Gold, which deliberately lingered in my mouth, offered a full, sexy, creamy taste with great depth and long finish. Wow! I loved it.
I once asked what was served best with pizza and surprisingly the answer was champagne. A bottle of the Brut Gold is arriving this afternoon. After an evening of being courted with exceptional cheeses and fun conversation and then out to dinner at Harry’s, I think a quiet night in sounds perfect – With pizza delivery on speed dial, I know exactly what I am going to have with it!