This year, NYC’s Champagne Week turned eight. The opening night took place Upstairs at The Kimberly Hotel’s rooftop lounge, which boasts a 360 degree breathtaking views of New York City, along with an impressive retractable glass ceiling. Needless to say, Big Apple’s expansive views, mouthwatering small bites, and four different champagnes made it a night to remember. New York City Champagne Week was launched by Blaine Ashley, aka Champagne Blaine, in November of 2013. Ashley launched the week-long celebration as an ode to the specialness of champagne via a plethora of creative events, pairing experiences, brand launches, small producers, seminars, and more. Save the dates for next year’s annual celebration, November 7 – 13, 2022. Champagne Week is known for providing the best of the best in quality fizz. Here is the lineup from opening night.
Our Hostess, Blaine Ashely, and guests had the chance to sip on four different champagnes while dancing to old school hip hop tunes.
Champagne Charles Heidsieck
This champagne is the smallest of the Grandes Marques champagne Houses. Based in the Reims region of Champagne, it is one of the best-known producers for both vintage and non- vintage cuvée. This Champagne is a France-A complex, and consists of an elegant nose providing a hint of freshly baked brioche, rich toasted notes of sun drenched fruits accented by dried fruits. This champagne offers the palate a taste of velvety cream pastry filled with red plums and ripe cherries, while the finish has notes of praline and vanilla. A 750ml bottle of Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve starts up at $66.99. It’s a handsome bottle you might want to bring along to the in-laws. charlesheidsieck.com
Champagne La Caravelle Cuvée Niña
This champagne pays homage to the legendary NYC French fine dining restaurant La Caravelle which Rita and André Jammet owned. Rita, herself, was on hand at the event and we had the chance to taste Champagne Cuvée Niña, which is the signature brut named after one of the Caravelle ships that sailed on to discover the New World. This elegant cuvée features a blend of 40% chardonnay, 30% pinot noir and 30% pinot Meunier. When having a delectable meal containing seafood, white meat, and any salty items, the Champagne La Caravelle Cuvée Niña is a must pour. The Champagne La Caravelle Cuvée Niña starts at $23 for a 375ml. lacaravelle.com
Champagne Pol Roger
Trying to find the right bottle of bubbly to celebrate a special occasion? Then Champagne Pol Roger might be the one for you. The Brut Réserve that was poured at the event, is a blend in equal parts of the three champenois grape varieties: pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay from 30 different crus. 25% reserve wines are used to produce this cuvée. Wines utilized are: The Pinot Noir that is mainly produced from some of the best crus of the Montagne de Reims; The Pinot Meunier ensuring freshness, roundness and fruitiness; and The Chardonnay that adds its aromatic complexity, finesse, elegance and lightness. The classic label adds to the sophistication of the season! A 750ml bottle of Champagne Pol Roger Brut starts up at $45.97. polroger.com
Photo, right, a couple of guys that know a bit or two about wine: left, Senior Editor for the Wine Spectator James Molesworth, and Waverly Inn Beverage Director Jeff Harding.
Champagne Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé
The Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé was my favorite champagne as it had a sweet touch and paired well with the crispy appetizers passed around throughout the night, such as the crispy artichokes and french fries. If you’re up for something fresh, then this is the champagne for you, as the nose consists of intense aromas of ripe red and black fruit, complemented by a hint of exotic pomegranate. As for the palate, it is considered to be lush and lively while lingering into a full, generous finish. A bottle of Champagne Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé starts at $75. perrier-jouet.com
Photo, top left, a bonus at the event, a pour of Lanson by wine enthusiast and podcast host Shakera Jones, seen with wine writer Noël Burgess.
As mentioned, the event was held at The Kimberly Hotel’s rooftop, known as Upstairs at The Kimberly. This space is on a penthouse level and offers the ultimate experience which focuses on refined service in a poised yet ritzy setting. The one-of-a-kind rooftop experience makes the guests want to return as the Kimberly provides views of the prominent Chrysler Building as well as a magical escape where guests savor an airy vista or a beautiful starry night in the heart of midtown Manhattan anytime of the year.
Upstairs at The Kimberly Hotel, Penthouse Level, 145 East 50th Street (betw Lexington/Third Ave)