Last night was so.much.fun.
And, really, how could it not be with 100 people at The Urban Grape, all there to enjoy unique Champagnes, delicious ports and briny oysters? I’ll admit I was a little nervous before last night. It was the biggest event we’d done at the store and I was worried that people would arrive wet and cranky (deservedly so), and feel cramped in the space. Instead, the store accommodated everyone beautifully, and every single person arrived with a smile and a warm and patient attitude to enjoy the evening. As one woman put it, “Only my respect for your store and my love for Champagne could have gotten me out of my pajamas tonight.” I believe I even saw some digits being exchanged!
There were several stars of the show last night, but the most talked about aspect of the evening was an unassuming bottle of Rose Champagne, the H. Goutorbe Grand Cru. I say unassuming because the bottle does not do the Champagne inside justice. It was a stand out crowd pleaser. In all, however, everyone was thrilled to try six Champagnes of such variety and to learn about the growing regions of Champagne.
And learning about the importance of growing regions was, after all, the whole point of the night. Alicia Towns Franken, the Northeast Director of Events for The Center for Wine Origins, has been charged with helping us understand that Champagne comes from Champagne, France and Port from Portugal. She did so brilliantly last night. It was wonderful to learn how terroir can change the characteristics of the Champagne itself, depending on the region of Champagne in which it is grown. I also loved tasting how three Blanc de Blancs could be manipulated to have such a different taste.
A thousand thank you’s to Jeff of Neptune Oyster who probably shucked 500 oysters last night. He proved again that Neptune Oyster is one of Boston’s best gems. Thanks also to Alicia, who spoke without stop for three hours straight. I’ve known Alicia for a long time as a fellow mom, and it was so fun to be with her in her other element – wine education. And, of course thanks to the Center for Wine Origins for making such a fun party possible!
And now, some pictures!
Alicia’s table, set and ready to go.
TJ’s table, looking equally gorgeous. A huge kudos to our staff, who turned the store over so quickly after we closed to prepare for this event. We have the best staff around!
Pamphlets that explain the importance of the growing regions for Champagne and Port.
Full disclosure time: I don’t really like oysters. But even these looked good to me. People raved about them!
Jeff shucking…non-stop for three hours with his best shucker Dora next to him. That’s a lot of shucking…
This is SUCH an Alicia expression. Love it.
TJ popping bottles.
And, at the risk of sounding like The Pioneer Woman when she talks about her husband on her blog…um, how good looking is this guy? He’s in his element and it shows.
Here is another write up about last night’s event from Meghan at Travel, Eat, Love.