A French Adventure: Bon voyage!

My fantastic French adventure has begun in style, relaxing in the Singapore Airlines Kris lounge at Brisbane airport with my first glass of champagne.

My friends and I have begun with the sublime instead of working up to it, which might have been wiser! We are drinking the matchless 2002 Dom Perignon. This champagne’s pinot has raspberries galore, at the back is yellow peach with a red centre, ripe nectarine, spicy hints of cinnamon, ruby grapefruit and a taste of pistachio nuts, with a hint of crème brulee. There’s also a layer of baked honey sweetness over the berries.

We’re being very selective about the lounge snacks we’re offered to go with such lush champagne. Macadamia nuts go very well with champagne, and a great example of a match is the 1996 Philipponnat for its crunchy, creamy macadamia nut taste. Bernadette has a stash of macadamias in our luggage as a gift when we visit the house of Philipponnat – the family adores them too.

The Dom is a hard act to follow, but we do! We open a special, half bottle of Krug Grande Cuvee non-vintage. Krug is a big, blokey, powerful champagne. It tastes heavily of pinot meunier. Most companies do not use pinot meunier like Krug does, because they prefer to blend their wines using pinot noir to soften it.

This champagne is earthy, like mushrooms picked freshly out of the dirt or like grainy breads. The nose is vanilla, forest fruits and oak. The 100% oak makes it smoky, rich and complex.

There is a smoked almond and hazelnut, roasted cashew flavour to the Krug, and the front palate is blueberries and dark cherries. It’s proving ideal with our mixed nuts and seaweed mix, as it can really hold its own.

Much later, in business class on the plane from Brisbane to Singapore we drank Bollinger non-vintage as their new standard business class champagne, and specially ordered for all the passengers by Bernadette. Tired already, we girls slept whilst Bernadette was offered more Krug from first class! To be fair, she did try to rouse us!

On reaching Singapore we drank Duval-Leroy non-vintage in the lounge and were joined by friends for the next leg to Paris. I found this champagne to be very high chardonnay and I will share more about the differences later, but it had a lot of lovely bread, pastry, citrus and white flowers on the nose and in the mouth. It would go nicely with a lot of dishes or as a glass to share on a warm summery day with friends.

It was lovely, especially after so much champagne, to go to sleep and dream about arriving in Paris in just a few hours….bon nuit, mes amis!


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