Every Friday TheChampagneSommelier will ask 5 questions about 5 coeur de bouteilles to friends and Champagne lovers from near and far.
Gina’s experience living abroad in both Asia and Europe for over a decade, has developed her appreciation for great food and a special interest in wine. She is the blogger behind @champagnesquadofficial bringing the world of Champagne to her followers in a fun and approachable way.
She has pursued her love for wine with Certifications such as WSET level 3 and her current enrolment in the Wine Scholar’s Guild Champagne Masterclass. She has honed her skills with UC Davis Wine Tasting: Sensory Techniques for Wine Analysis, and studied the Richard Juhlin’s Champagne Masterclass. She has most recently co-founded A Vine Affair, a bespoke wine and culinary experience company that provides small intimate affairs, virtual tasting and corporate wine events. A Vine Affair will also be hosting the first Champagne Weekend Event in South-West Florida in 2021.
Which Champagne would You treat your parents or in-laws?
I love teaching my parents about Champagne, and I try to share really classic, iconic examples with them. I love to pull out Billecart-Salmon, because they recognise the label, and their wines are always a crowd pleaser. I have treated my parents to the classic Billecart-Salmon Rosé several times, but for something really special, Cuveé Nicholas Francois is my choice.
Which Champagne would You treat your lover?
My lover is my husband, and if he were a Champagne, I think he would be Krug. I often think rosé for romantic settings, and since we got married in 2012, I would treat him to Krug Rosé 2012, great vintage, and a fully gastronomical Champagne. He’s a red wine lover, so I think this would perfectly replace his red wine at a dinner. For a more everyday treat, I always have Jacquesson ‘700s’ and Geoffroy ‘Rosé de Saignée’ on hand!
Which Champagne would You treat your boss?
I am my own boss now, but when I did have bosses, none of them knew Champagne well, so any suggestion or gifts would be approachable, great quality (but not expensive), and a grower champagne. I always enjoy introducing new Champagnes to people, ones they don’t know by the label. I love gifting Blanc de Blancs, as they are great on their own, but pair well with celebratory food. So my go-to’s are Pierre Peters, Pierre Gimonnet and Frerejean Freres. These are all great expressions of Blanc de Blancs, elegant, and taste more expensive than they actually are.
Which Champagne would You treat yourself?
Realistically? I think Jacques Selosse ‘Substance’. I have had this powerful champagne once in London, and I will never forget the taste. Would love to treat myself to this!
In a dream world, Champagne Salon Cuvee ‘S’ Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut 1985 (my birth year) or 1964 as I saw this was available to buy recently.
Which Champagne would You treat a dream guest, and why?
I would give anything to have a glass of Champagne with Marilyn Monroe. I’m into vintage movies and she’s the queen of Hollywood. How can you not love a girl who took baths in Champagne? And all the Hollywood gossip you would get from her! Her biographer George Barris said that she drank Champagne “as if it were oxygen”, and I would hope someday someone will say that about me!
In 1953, Marilyn Monroe stated, “I start every day with a glass of Piper-Heidsieck because it warms me up”, so.. I think I would pop open a bottle of Rare Millesime 2006 since she would have never had Rare (by Piper-Heidsieck) and 2006 was a warmer vintage, so I think it would be a perfect start to her day!
PS [ what piece of music would you listen to drinking champagne?]
I am all about creating a mood when drinking wine. My favourite music to listen to while I am drinking Champagne is Jazz. It always takes me back to my time when I lived in Tokyo. There is this Jazz bar there that I loved to go to called Maduro, and we would always order a bottle of Taittinger ‘Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs’ to drink for the evening. The dark city atmosphere of the bar, the smell of expensive cigars, the live Jazz music, and the bottle of Comtes was always my favourite mood!