Lunch with Champagne Jayne at Vue De Monde

Lunch with Champagne Jayne at Vue De Monde

by April@MyFoodTrail on March 27, 2012

in Food Events

Vue De Monde
Level 55, Rialto Building
525 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC
(03) 9691 3838

What’s one of the first words you think of when I say “base jump”? Before a couple of weeks ago, it might have been “scary” or “high”, but after this incident, I’m sure most people would say “Vue de Monde”! Vue de Monde has moved to its new location on Level 55 of the Rialto building, offering diners a splendid view of Melbourne.

CJ Vue De Monde Lunch - Outside Vue De Monde

LEFT: Ground level entrance to the special lift for Vue De Monde patrons
RIGHT: The glorious view of Melbourne from the 55th floor of the Rialto Building

What’s one of the first words you think of when I say “champagne”? You might think “French” or “bubbly”, but one of the words you should think of is “Jayne”. Jayne Powell, aka Champagne Jayne, is a well respected Australian independent reviewer, author and expert in champagne. Fresh off her win of the Champagne Educator of the Year Award at the 2012 Champagne Summit in London, and the 2011 Best French Wine Book Award in Paris for her first book Champagne – Behind the Bubbles, Champagne Jayne hosted the (sold out) Melbourne Food and Wine Festival event “First Ladies of Champagne Lunch” at Vue de Monde, where we were taken on a journey of five courses, matched to five prestige champagnes.

CJ Vue De Monde Lunch - Menu, Champagne Jane

LEFT: First Ladies of Champagne Lunch menu
RIGHT: Champagne Jayne talking to the group

I used to be one of those people who referred to sparkling wine as champagne, until one day I learnt that champagne can only be called champagne if it actually originates from the Champagne region of France. Clever marketing has seen me become familiar with brands such as Moet & Chandon, Bollinger, Dom Perignon and Veuve Clicquot, so I was interested in tasting the champagnes Champagne Jayne had in store for us which I had never heard of. If you want to learn more about champagnes, Champagne Jayne’s website is a fabulous starting point. The lunch was called “First Ladies of Champagne” as the first four champagnes were made by ladies.

CJ Vue De Monde Lunch - Champagnes we tried

The array of champagnes we would be trying

CJ Vue De Monde Lunch - Waiters, guests

TOP: Food being prepared to come out of the kitchen
BOTTOM: Champagne Jayne talking to the group

Upon arrival, everyone was given a glass of bubbly, which was poured from a bottle that had been wrapped in foil to hide the label. It was an interesting experiment to see if we could tell the difference between sparkling wine and champagne. The hidden bottle was the House of Arras Grand Vintage 2004 sparkling wine, made in Tasmania. Champagne Jayne rates the Arras Grand Vintage as comparable to French Champagne. It is a chardonnay and pinot noir blend described as honeysuckle and brioche with underlying mushroom notes and a creamy long lasting palate full of lingering peach and melon flavours with hints of green apple. The 2003 vintage is available at Dan Murphy’s for around $60.

CJ Vue De Monde Lunch - Arras unveiled

LEFT: Hidden bottle
RIGHT: 2004 Arras Grand Vintage sparkling wine

Everyone was then seated to start the 5 course degustation lunch. The first course was a plump piece of marron tail, served with the most luscious tarragon butter you’re likely to taste, as well as two thin discs of kohlrabi, under which some black caviar was hiding. The champagne served with this course was the 2006 Philippe Gonet which I missed getting a picture of. It is 100% chardonnay and was described as a fleshy and generous palate of vanilla and butter notes, which opens up to dried citrus fruit notes (lemon and grapefruit) and a vivacious mineral and lasting finish.

CJ Vue De Monde Lunch - Marron, kohlrabi, caviar, tarragon butter

Marron, kohlrabi, caviar, tarragon butter

The second course was a ‘salad’ of tomato, watermelon, fennel and apricot, set in a clear jelly and topped with frozen wasabi sorbet. The frozen wasabi had melted by the time I took a photo with my camera, but it meant it had dispersed nicely through the other elements on the plate. The champagne served with this course was the 2006 Paul Bara Special Club Rosé. It is made from Grand Cru pinot noir with a dash of chardonnay from a place called Bouzy. That made me giggle a little! This champagne is described as strawberries and pastry on the nose, this luscious fruity wine is very lacy and seductive, full of ripe fruits but with balanced acidity and a lingering creamy finish. I don’t normally like rosés, but this one was something special.

CJ Vue De Monde Lunch - 2nd Course

LEFT: Tomato, watermelon, fennel, apricot, wasabi
RIGHT: 2006 Champagne Paul Bara Special Club Rosé

The third course was shredded spanner crab, sandwiched between two thin, triangle slices of rockmelon with some salmon roe on top. Rockmelon is usually paired with salty prosciutto, but the thin slices of rockmelon also worked with the sweet spanner crab. The champagne served with this course was the 2000 Duval Leroy Femme. It is a chardonnay and pinot noir blend with incredibly fresh yet firm palate combining vanilla, brioche and citrus fruits.

CJ Vue De Monde Lunch - 3rd course

LEFT: Spanner crab, rockmelon, salmon roe
RIGHT: 2000 Champagne Duval Leroy Femme

The fourth course was confit chicken breast, with a few pieces of what tasted like poached chicken and served with a macadamia flavoured jus. The confit chicken was very tender and juicy. The champagne served with this course was the 1999 Pommery Cuvee Louise. It is a blend of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot described as fruit aromas, reminiscent of greengage, but also yeasty notes…[and] gently spicy caramelised pear notes. It was interesting to hear Champagne Jayne say that this champagne drank better when she had it in London. It may have been that particular bottle, or maybe travelling halfway across the world affects wine quality.

CJ Vue De Monde Lunch - 4th course

LEFT: Confit chicken, macadamia, apple
RIGHT: 1999 Champagne Pommery Cuvee Louise

The final course was dessert. It was prettiness on a plate! There were small mounds of meringue, a quenelle of lemon meringue ice cream, a mountain of a sweet white powder reminiscent of snow, hiding a tangy lemon curd and finished off with a few drops of parsley oil on the plate. The best champagne was saved for last. The Armand de Brignac (Ace of Spades) was voted the number 1 champagne in the world in a blind tasting of 1000 champagnes. The gold, paperless bottle is beautiful and at around $550-$600 a bottle, I feel lucky to have been able to drink a couple of glasses! The Armand de Brignac is a blend of 40% chardonnay, 40% pinot noir and 20% pinot meunier and is described as complex and full bodied, with light floral notes, a racy fruit character, with subtle brioche accents and a long, creamy finish.

CJ Vue De Monde Lunch - 5th course

LEFT: Lemon meringue ice cream, white chocolate, lemon curd, parsley
RIGHT: NV Champagne Armand De Brignac

We finished with some petit fours and tea and coffee.

CJ Vue De Monde Lunch - Petit fours

LEFT: Petit fours
RIGHT: Tea

It was a magnificent afternoon of fun and frivolity, with beautiful views, food and champagne. Champagne Jayne is a wonderful, natural public speaker and a barrel of laughs! If you get the chance, I would highly recommend you attend one of her events to hear her share her knowledge on champagne and try out some of the champagnes she recommends. She’s not affiliated with any brands, so she is not trying to push a particular product.

CJ Vue De Monde Lunch - Champagne Jayne with awards

Champagne Jayne with her book award

I think it’s true that champagne makes you happy and bubbly, unlike other types of alcohol which can make you feel down in the dumps! I also think it’s true that the good stuff doesn’t give you hang overs, because I woke up the next day feeling fine even though we continued for a few more champagnes at the adjacent Lui Bar after the event! I now wish I could drink French champagne all the time 🙂

CJ Vue De Monde Lunch - The Lui Bar

The Lui Bar

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite photos of the day.

CJ Vue De Monde Lunch - Armand de Brignac Champagne

Drinking champagne, on top of the world (or Melbourne at least!)

Over & Out, April xx

April attended the First Ladies of Champagne lunch as a guest of Champagne Jayne.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Iron Chef Shellie March 27, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Amazing photos April, what a truly amazing looking event xoox

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April@MyFoodTrail March 28, 2012 at 8:24 am

Thanks Shellie! It was an amazing event 🙂

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msihua March 27, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Amazing amazing! Those photos are superb!!! So jealous you got to booze up so much!!

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April@MyFoodTrail March 28, 2012 at 8:25 am

Haha, thanks! Natural light photos always look best

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Agnes March 27, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Awesome Razzie. I wish I could drink champagne every day too. 😉

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April@MyFoodTrail March 28, 2012 at 8:26 am

Maybe one day when our money trees start growing 😉

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Jules March 28, 2012 at 5:29 am

Great photos, and now after your encounter with Jayne, only $500+ bottles of champagne will cut it as your choice of booze!!!

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April@MyFoodTrail March 28, 2012 at 8:26 am

Haha, I wish… though I’ve always had expensive taste 😉

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michelle March 28, 2012 at 7:24 am

ooh the golden bottle looks nice

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April@MyFoodTrail March 28, 2012 at 8:27 am

It’s so pretty!

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Em March 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I am soooooooooooooo jealous. I would drink champagne every day if I could afford it.

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April@MyFoodTrail March 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Me too! 🙂

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Cara @ Gourmet Chick March 28, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Ooh looks so amazing – Vue de Monde plus free flowing champagne – what could be better?

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April@MyFoodTrail March 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Well, it wasn’t technically free flowing, but there was a lot of champagne to try and I’m normally a cheap drunk! Vue De Monde was the perfect venue for this event.

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Hannah March 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm

I’m not much of a drinker but I do like a nice glass of sparkling to celebrate, and I love a crisp dry Rose. I had no idea that a champagne could also be a Rose! It’s like all my Christmasses have come at once… in my imagination.

What a wonderful, wonderful event. That dessert looks like heaven, and I can only dream of one day trying something that costs $600 a bottle!

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April@MyFoodTrail March 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm

It’s good to have something to aspire too hehe 😀

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Champagne Jayne March 30, 2012 at 10:28 am

Hey “Razzie” (gr8 nickname) your review makes me re-live this wonderful event – so glad that I broadened your champagne horizons – agree Vue de Monde is the perfect partner in crime for these experiences … All bubbly best and see you for more champers soon Cheers! CJ 🙂

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April@MyFoodTrail April 3, 2012 at 9:17 am

Thanks for the invite Champagne Jayne! It was a pleasure meeting you 🙂

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Sarah March 31, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Looks amazing! Love that last picture of the gold champagne bottle! 🙂

xox

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April@MyFoodTrail April 3, 2012 at 9:18 am

Thanks! I seized the opportunity to grab an empty bottle and bring it outside to take a photo! 🙂

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Flower@Nevertoosweet April 1, 2012 at 6:39 am

Ohh great post and event to attend 🙂 I use to think the same thing too lol that Champagne = Sparkling Wine but that’s not actually the case hehe ~ I’m not really a big drinker so I don’t usually have wine with my dinner but I really like how they’ve all dishes with a champagne ~ YUM!

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April@MyFoodTrail April 3, 2012 at 9:20 am

I don’t drink too much either, but a glass of wine every now and then is good! Especially if it’s champagne 😉

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Thanh April 7, 2012 at 7:46 pm

What an amazing meal. Great round up of everything. Love the photos too.

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April@MyFoodTrail April 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Thanks! It took a long time to write up and there were so many photos!

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Tonya Jennings April 10, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Hi Jayne

Great newsletter – thanks for adding me to your list. I look forward to reading more. We loved our/your champagne lunch at Vue de Monde and it has been good to re-visit it here with the photos and write – a good reminder of that lovely day. The champagnes were divine and the lunch was superb…we will be there next year – it cannot be anywhere else – the best Champagne Jayne in Melbourne’s best….i am going to link it to my Musings page – if that is ok with you?? Regards Tonya

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April@MyFoodTrail April 12, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Hi Tonya, this blog post was written by me (April), not Jayne so if you want to leave a comment for her, you are best to go to her website at http://www.champagnejayne.com! I’m happy for you to link to this blog post if you would like!

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Tonya Jennings April 16, 2012 at 10:22 am

Hi April – i thought it was all a little strange??/ i obviously read it too quickly! and I thought you must have been Jayne’s publicist!! Anyway – i great write up of the day – and i would love to link it to my Musings page – thank you…

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Champagne Jayne April 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Hello lovely ladies – sorry only just spotted this conversation as I was about to send a link to this article to a Festival organiser – glad you both had fun (so did I) and can’t wait to come back to Melbourne for another round. Maybe you should write to Vue de Monde or Shannon and tell them to get me back again!!
Cheers and Happy Champagne Friday to you x

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Tonya Jennings April 16, 2012 at 10:24 am

hi Jayne – I am pleased you read this great write-up…I will email Shannon – that is very weird that you will not be there next year – we have already told our friends and we were going to arrange a table….keep working on it – best wishes Tonya

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Tonya Jennings April 16, 2012 at 10:33 am

I am also writing about your lunch in my Musings page on my website – so send that link as well to the organisers and add my comments – good luck – Tonya

My Musings page http://www.cookingonthebay.com.au/tonyas-musings/

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April@MyFoodTrail April 17, 2012 at 9:50 am

Thanks for the link Tonya!

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April@MyFoodTrail April 17, 2012 at 9:46 am

Hopefully they do now that I have helped you spread the word! 😉

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