Pol Roger is not a champagne maker with a big following in Australia historically speaking. Bolly, Verve, and Moet are much better known at least by the general public.
But as of last night Canberra now has a champagne bar devoted to the brand.
As they were kind enough to invite the RIotACT team to the launch and pour their product down our throats in significant quantities it would be churlish to not share the impression.
Firstly the concept has some promise.
On Friday and Saturday evenings, and Sunday afternoons, from now until the end of the French Masters exhibition on 5 April, you can pop down to the sculpture gardens at the National Gallery and have some nibbles and some fine French champagne (for a price of course).
Throw in a tour of the exhibition and you’ve got yourself a pretty hot date. (Frankly if that doesn’t get you some loving then you need to start looking elsewhere.)
I can’t claim to have drunk enough French Champagne to have strong opinions on the comparative merits of Pol Roger. But the stuff the nice waiters kept topping me up with last night certainly went down well.
But according to their wiki entry (no doubt written by corporate hacks) it was Winston Churchill’s favourite, and he was man well able to make comparisons. He drank so much of it the company went into mourning on his death and now name their premier bottles after him.
The canapes, I must note, were sensationally good. If their regular service is close it’s worth going just for that. Venison tartare on caramelised onions, barely seared tuna on bamboo spears with a dob of wasabi cream, oysters in truffle oil topped with salmon roe.
None of the deep fried conformity which has dominated cocktail parties in recent years.
So, without being able to speak to the paying customer’s experience I can say I had my socks pretty comprehensively knocked off at the launch last night where the great and the good hoed in with the customary gusto that is their manner.
More details on the NGA’s page.