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!


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