Recently at the Chicago Gourmet Grand Cru wine tasting, I had the pleasure of meeting Lily Baetche, the Midwest Regional Manager for Laurent-Perrier Champagne. Over one the best brut rosé I’ve ever had, Lily invited me to a Champagne vertical tasting at Pops For Champagne downtown. Since I’m not one to turn down a free wine tasting, especially one that pours Champagne from 1993-2000, I agreed to attend.
You Know You're at a Champagne Vertical When...
Other than tasting a Beringer vertical at the Grand Cru, the Laurent-Perrier tasting was my first real vertical experience. And let’s just say this wine tasting was one of the classiest ones I’ve been to. All the Champagne was fantastic; I particularly enjoyed the 2000 and the 1995 vintages. But, honestly, the best part about this tasting was the scene–so different than my usual crowd of 30-somethings with strollers at local wine shops pretending we really know anything about wine.
Instead, my friend Kelly and I were some of the youngest people there. And while we held our own, we felt a bit out of place. With all the passed hors d’oeuvres and the opera singer–yes, Katharine Goeldner, the star of this season’s Carmen at the Lyric Opera of Chicago sang for the crowd–the event felt sophisticated in a way to which I’m not accustomed. “You know you’re at a Champagne Vertical when men are wearing ascots,” Kelly chuckled.
She was dead on: When you’re sipping $200-magnum bottles of Champagne, you’re in a new league of wine drinkers. Somehow I’ve entered this world–and I don’t want to leave.