“Bienvenida en la Capital de Catalunya!”: Barcelona, 9pm, 27°C

My plane finally landed, so excited to be there I forget that I spent half of the day in the eighth circle of hell: Heathrow on the olympics Game’s opening day!
I chose the Cava’s country to run an Exceptionals Champagne tasting!!

6 outstanding champagnes (there are just 3800 bottles of one of them) and 2 surprises paired with Spanish food.
I met my 8 guests in a tapas restaurant before we went to the premium 5 bedrooms apartment that I had booked for us to stay in. It was well situated in central Barcelona right between “la Sagrada Familale” and “la plaza Catalunya”.

On saturday, during the time that my guests were enjoying “el sol con tapas” in la Rambla or others roof terraces in Barcelona I had to find the food to pair with the Champagne on the evening. The best place for that is the main Market “La Boqueria”.

La Boqueria is a very noisy-you can’t-hear-yourself-thinking’s place where thousands of stands attract your senses. Dry fruits, fresh fishes, olives, fruits as figs, strawberries or raspberries and of course the famous Serrano ham stand just under your nose which makes your mouth water. You find every Spanish’s speciality you want, you can also just take a seat on one of the tapas bar inside and eat Spain.

I chose some dry fruits with flavours that can be found in the vintage champagne, and fresh fruits to match the Rosé one.

I bought a selection of catalan cheeses made from Goat, cow and ewe milk.
I bought salmon, chipirones (to cook a la plancha), anchovies filets and other surprises.

On a stand for spanish’s charcuterie the young lady explained me why Serrano’s ham can cost from £60/kg up to £170/kg, she gave me lots of informations about pigs nutrition and about the maturation time, up to 5 years! I chose a selection of serrano’s ham and I felt happy to offer a spanish ham tasting with my champagne tasting!

9:30 pm: Everything is ready, the table is waiting for my guests,Chipirones can’t wait to be grilled a la plancha and  I am personaly under stress!! (do I have to say it? I need a glass of wine.) Well…Alea jacta es!

What are the differences between Prosecco, Cava, Crémant and Champagne? Or why is Champagne so pricy? These are the first questions I have to answer to.
A welcome glass is offered as a blind taste, and I suggest a little game to my guests in order to wake up their senses.

What do primary, secondary, and tertiary aromas mean and where they come from?

They have to recognise 6 aromas we are going to find again later in our glasses.
Time for me to explain  the rules to make quality Champagne and how the wine maker can step in the natural wine process.

From the expression of one Terroir to the perfect Assemblage, every house of Champagne creates its own elixir in order to pour its savoir faire in your flûte. I am here to guide my guests in this journey to the awaken their senses, it is a real happiness to see them becoming aware of what they drink!

From my favourite Champagne houses: Nicolas Maillard and Jacquesson to the so well-known Ruinart Blanc de Blanc and Dom Pérignon 2002 we had a very nice trip across history, the flavors, and champagne country.

2:30 Am everyone is happy to have learnt so much about enjoying food and wine. The cherry on the turron is that no one has to drive to go to their room. Just one word: MAGIC!

I can plan your Exceptional Champagne Tasting in Barcelona whenever you want!

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