Moët Academy: So, I’ve Decided to do a Masters. In Moët

I couldn’t think of a more fitting post to write on my birthday.

What do you do when you can’t get to Champagne on a Tuesday afternoon in April? Moët & Chandon brings Champagne to London, of course. It’s scorchio on the South Bank and all I know is that I’m in for a 90-minute lesson in fizz with industry peeps from the likes of OXO, Selfridges and Corbin & King. It’s one class I won’t be skipping.

This immersive session adds another layer to the humble pop-up experience. Bubbles are a given, but they’ve brought barrels, too. Hell, they’ve even planted vines for crying out loud. We start with a whistle-stop tour of the Moët & Chandon brand, and it all comes to life when we get amongst the vines and sniff out our Meuniers from our Chardonnays.

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We enter the cave, of which there can be three levels underground, where the magic (okay, fermentation) happens. Trying a blend of base wines, which will one day be turned into Champagne, is a very lovely thing. I am studying hard. Riddling (which sounds more fun than it is) is the process of turning bottles every other day to move yeast to the top. Disgorgement, removing said yeast, looks like a barrel of laughs. Dosage, refers to the addition of sugar, sounds pretty sweet.

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Engaging Master of Wine Peter Richards (of Peter & Susie on Saturday Kitchen) hosts the tasting. We start with a sense of smell test. I’ve got No.48, which I think is biscuit. It’s toast. Detention! Gliding our way from the creamy Brut Imperial NV to the elegant Rosé Imperial through to the decadent Grand Vintage 2006 makes for a merry ride. I even have a hold-up-are-we-in-Ibiza moment when the Moët Ice arrives. The spittoon stays bone dry throughout, obviously.

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A raspberry macaron brings me back to reality. We’re not in Champagne, nor are we in the Balearics, but we are in London during golden hour. Summer, you may begin.

Over and out, Dr. K-Fizzle.

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Five Very Kerri things about Moët Academy

  1. Of the 320 villages in Champagne, Moet owns the 17 Grand Crus villages. Get in
  2. The blend of Champagne-to-be base wines
  3. Light-hearted conversational tasting
  4. Everybody’s riddlin’
  5. Success is a matter of style