Corks still popping after last week's Champagne Assembly

Perrier-Jouët and G.H. Mumm take Champagne to the next level...

Phew! Now we've come up for air, let's tell you about last week's inaugural Champagne Assembly. Created especially for Pernod Ricard UK by The View, it saw two of Champagne’s legendary Grande Marque Houses joining forces to host a series of workshops, lectures and tastings taking a fresh and innovative look at Champagne and the wider world of Luxury.

Based around a central theme of “Champagne: greater than the sum of the parts”, the full-day seminar examined the fascinating yet disparate elements which constitute Champagne and shape the concept of modern luxury, from grape to gastronomy, assemblage to art, economics to emotion.

Held at The Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green, the event attracted a large audience of UK press and industry observers and featured Chefs de Cave Hervé Deschamps and Didier Mariotti, accompanied by a prestigious panel of Champagne and Luxury Lifestyle experts.

Fresh perspectives were gained from the deliberately holistic and interactive approach employed, with subjects interrogated from a variety of thought-provoking viewpoints – ranging from consumer psychology to the science of food-pairing.

“Cuvee Belle Epoque & Mumm Cordon Rouge” saw Hervé Deschamps and Didier Mariotti lead tutored tasting sessions for some of the country’s finest sommeliers and wine writers. This saw unprecedented access to the vins clairs and vins de reserve used to create Perriet-Jouët’s prestige cuvee ‘Belle Epoque’ and Mumm Cordon Rouge NV – component wines rarely experienced outside the blending-rooms of the Champagne houses themselves.

“The Art of Assemblage” interactive workshop also saw the Perrier-Jouët Chef de Cave demonstrate the complexity involved in blending the House’s Grand-Cru wines to create the final champagne.

In a fascinating cross-category comparison, he was accompanied by master perfumer Roja Dove and Philippa Thacker from Twinings, in an impressive demonstration of the expertise and individual skill of the master craftsman.

“G.H.Mumm – the perfect match” saw a scientific approach to food-pairing which tipped conventional food & wine combinations on their head. Using gas chromatography, leading flavourist Danny Hodrien deconstructed at a molecular level the individual flavour compounds of Mumm’s range of champagnes, allowing Urban Caprice Executive Chef Iain Graham to devise the perfect food-match for each, pairing them with scientifically complementary, as opposed to contrasting, foods.

“Emotion: the intangible force of Luxury” put the role of champagne and other luxury goods and services under the spotlight, in the context of the modern consumer and current financial climate.

Speaker Lucia Van Der Post, founder of “FT How to Spend It” magazine, was accompanied by luxury leather goods designer Bill Amberg, Professor of Developmental Psychology Karen Pine, Manfred Abraham of Interbrand and Pernod Ricard’s luxury & creativity director, Vadim Grigorian.

Champagne expert Giles Fallowfield and Fflur Roberts of Euromonitor International also delivered lectures assessing how the global Champagne market has begun to rebound following a recession-related dip and outlining their future predictions for the category.

Neil Phillips, Brand Ambassador for both Grande Marque champagnes, commented
“Today’s sessions show how important it is to understand every aspect and dimension of Champagne – from grape characteristics to global luxury trends.

Without this, it is impossible to create the truly meaningful consumer experience for which both Perrier-Jouet and GH Mumm strive. This is the motivation behind both Grandes Marques’ mission to take their understanding to the next level…”

Do take a look at the Champagne Assembly con the newly launched website: