REVIEW: Champagne Fest at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide

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Sunday was the Champagne Fest and we had a sparkling day!

We started the day with a “Champagne vs Sparkling wine” Masterclass, led by a lovely and knowledgeable French lady from the National Wine Education and Training Centre. We learnt about the traditional champagne making method as well as the differences in smell and taste between champagnes and sparkling wines. It was a great way to try 3 of the range of Perrier-Jouët champagnes and to compare them to 3 of the Deviation Road sparkling wines.

Champagnes and Sparkling wines enjoyed at the Masterclass

It was interesting to learn more about the champagne making process and the fact that the 4 different champagne styles (brut, sec, demi sec et doux) really comes down to the last stage in the making of the champagne known as the “dosage” at which point a liquor which is a mixture of wine and sugar is added to the champagne mostly to make up for the liquid lost a the prior stage when the yeast lees (the dead yeast which has been sitting in the bottle for many years by this point) is removed. So the amount of sugar added to the dosage liquor determines whether that champagne is going to be sweet or dry.

Learning the differences between the traditional Champagne method and the sparkling wine making method

After having started the morning with this education and these delicious glasses of champagne and sparkling wine, it was time for us to join the rest of the Champagne Fest participants. Downstairs, they had 6 bars set up – 3 on one side of the room serving a variety of Australian sparkling wines and 3 on the other side serving champagne (therefore exclusively French). There were also plenty of tempting food options from platters with charcuterie, crunchy baguettes and cheeses to oysters to warm options outside.


We were lucky that it was a very pleasant 28 degrees, which was perfect for sitting on the grass enjoying our nibbles and sipping on our champagnes. It was also wonderful for people watching and they really could have had a competition of Champagne Fest Couture as there were many women wearing beautiful dresses and the men in nice shirts. If there had been a competition, our favourite and clear winner would have been Scott, who was wearing a onesie which matched his choice of drink for the day: rosé.

If there had been a Champagne Fest Couture Competition, Scott was our clear winner.

DJ Paul Gurry had everyone dancing by the end of the afternoon – from the youngest to the more mature crowd. But as anyone who has seen DJ Paul Gurry before knows, it is not just the music that brings the crowd up close to DJ Paul Gurry. He is full of life (and possibly champagne!), fully participating in the atmosphere he creates – hilarious hand gestures, wonderful dance moves. He is the DJ that you just can’t help but stare at and be amused by. Difficult to explain, much better to experience in person. If you get the chance to see him play at one of the many events he pops up at in Adelaide, do so. You’re guaranteed a boogie and a laugh.

And so the 2nd Champagne Fest wrapped up and now of course we can’t wait for the 3rd. As soon as we hear anything about next year’s event, we will let you know!


DRINK: Champagne Fest at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide – 29 October

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Would you like to drink champagne at the National Wine Centre in Spring? We can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

The Champagne Fest is back after its first year, last year. Taking place at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide on Sunday 29 October, it is a day full of opportunities to taste and drink champagne (so only French bien sûr!) as well as Australian sparkling wines. The following champagnes will be available by the glass on the day:

Champagne Perrier-Jouët
Charles Heidsieck Champagne
Veuve Clicquot
Moët & Chandon
Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte 
Champagne G.H.MUMM
Pol Roger
Champagne André Clouet

For sparkling wines you will find:

Hentley Farm Wines
Deviation Road Winery
Kersbrook Hill Wines and Cider
Jansz Tasmania
House of Arras
The Lane Vineyard
Kilikanoon Wines
Paul Louis
Anniversary Hill
Jacobs Creek
Anno Domini Vineyards

There will also be seafood on offer and DJ Paul Gurry, who is always amusing and knows how to make a crowd dance will be a pleasure to your ears.


Tickets are currently available and cost $30. This ticket cost includes entry as well as a $6 voucher to go towards your first glass.

There is also a VIP ticket (limited to about 130 people) but this has already sold out. This year the package features 6 hours of champagne by G.H. Mumm as well as sparkling, red and white wines, beer, cider and non-alcoholic drinks. If you want to get this package next year, you’d better get in fast when tickets go on sale!


For those who want not only to drink on the day but also to learn, there are 2 masterclasses to choose from. One is Champagne vs Sparkling Wine and lasts 45 minutes. You will learn about the two different styles. The other is a more sensory experience in which you will taste 2 champagnes and 2 sparkling wines while blindfolded so as not to be prejudiced by labels or sight. Only once you have tasted them and decided which is your favourite will the names be revealed! All proceeds of the Masterclasses will go to the wonderful charity, Can Do 4 Kids.


Tickets for the day are available at:

In 2016, 7,224 glasses of champagne were sold and they sold 1,400 tickets. How many glasses will they sell this year?