French champagne. A pop-up CBD location. In a suite with floor to ceiling views of Melbourne. Could this have been any more enticing to a Melburnian? Add in a major twist: the chef for the evening was trained at The Fat Duck. Wine Tasting Events know what it takes to make a fantastic event.
I couldn’t believe my luck. Instead of paying half a grand for dinner at The Fat Duck, I was treated to the same level of culinary sophistication for a fraction of the price. And let’s talk venue. Martin Peston, the founder of Wine Tasting Events, somehow scored the suite at the Doubletree Hilton right on Flinders Street, overlooking Flinders Station. Seriously one of the coolest views I’ve yet seen in Melbourne.
Each dish was expertly paired with a different champagne to bring out various flavours. Feast your eyes on the menu:
- Tasmanian Oysters w. Champagne Shallot Foam, Smoked Herring Roe and Chives + Champagne Blanc de Blancs, Diebolt-Vallois
- Citrus and Hay Cured Yellowfin Tuna, Lemon Crème Fraiche, Poppyseeds, Brioche + Gosset Grande Reserve Brut NV
- White Peach, Prosciutto, Pork Crackle, Pineapple and Kaffir Lime Salsa + 2007 Champagne Ayala Blanc de Blanc
- Almond Crusted Chicken Lollypop, Smoked Honey and White Truffle + NV Champagne Taittinger Grand Cru
- Slow Cooked Hen Eggs, Shaved Pickled Asparagus, Gradano and Chilli Horseradish + Champagne Jacquesson 738
- Twice Cooked Hazelnut and Thyme Soufflé, Mozzarella, Marmalade + Champagne Napoleon Blanc de Blancs Brut
- Caramelized Tart Au Citron, Earl Grey Granita +Champagne Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut
Food-wise, the chicken lollypop with smoke honey and truffle was just beyond. The standout Champagne for me was the Blanc de Blancs from Diebolt-Vallois. Its rich, creamy mouthfeel was perfection. I’m now kicking myself for not buying a bottle. (All of the Champagne was available for purchase at the end of the night — a perfect idea since these are not brands you’ll easily find around Melbourne.)
One of the best parts of the night was how friendly everyone was. Having the event in a relatively cosy space caused people to mingle a lot more than they would at, say, a bar. I buddied up with three doctors, and ended up talking so much I missed the sixth champagne — oops. Afterwards, I bumped into a couple from the event on Elizabeth Street. They’d befriended two girls who’d also attended, and we all hopped on a tram. They tried to convince me to head out for more drinks. So cute.
Martin promises there will be more Champagne events popping up. They’ll be in a different location each time. How luxurious!
Wine Tasting Events throw amazing events that run the gamut from Argentinian Malbec paired with cheese at Milk the Cow, to their oh-so-popular Shiraz + Yum Cha at David’s in Prahran (which The Plus Ones loved). Grab your friends and book in to one — or more — before they sell out!
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Theresa loves dressing up for exclusive events that involve the finest of wines. (Doesn’t everyone?)