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Champagne Pommery: celebrating 140 years of Brut

"In order to speak about the house of Champagne Pommery," says cellar master and establishment director Thierry Gasco, "you must note it's a very old house."  The occasion? An intimate dinner celebrating the 140th anniversary of the first vintage brut in the history of Champagne: Pommery Nature 1874.

"Before madame Pommery, before the vintage 1874, Champagne was very sweet," Gasco says. "But when madame created the Champagne Brut Royale, with its elegance, fruitiness and vivacity, she must have known that when you taste this champagne, you want to taste more, more, more and more."

The MCA's Ocean Room, overlooking Sydney Harbour, was an apt choice of setting given Mme Pommery's extensive patronage to the arts. Spread across two long tables, overflowing with candles, crystal vases and white blooms, 70 guests were treated to a five-course dinner by Ross Lusted of The Bridge Room.

The Pommery continued to flow well into the evening, as did Gasco's charm. "I have never seen Australia and I have never seen Sydney," he said, "but tonight Sydney is behind me, I have a lot of new people in front of me and it's marvellous."

The food Sydney rock oysters with verjus jelly, sorrel and apple (matched nicely with Pommery's Brut Royal NV en magnum) kicked things off. Queensland mud crab topped with whipped prawn bisque, parsley root and puffed rice opened the more formal proceedings, followed by a fillet of John Dory cooked in butter with a rich artichoke custard, potato crisp and celery salt. Guinea fowl came next, served with burnt pear pureé, mushroom ash and dried mushrooms, while new season, "perfumed" fruits (white nectarines, mulberries, lychees and peach) served with an aerated Pommery Brut rosé NV ended the show.

The drink Pommery Brut Royal NV en magnum, Pommery Summertime blanc de blanc, Pommery Grand Cru 2005, Pommery cuvée Louise 2002 and Pommery Brut rosé NV.

We loved The cuvée Louise 2002 was by far the best-looking lady in the room.

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