Every Saturday TheChampagneSommelier will ask 5 questions about 5 coeur de bouteilles to friends and Champagne lovers from near and far. This week we took a bubbly chat with Norwegian Champagne lover & sommelier Knut-Espen Misje. Merci Knut-Espen !
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Knut-Espen has worked with wine all his life. He is a sommelier by training and was among the first Norwegians to pass the WSET Diploma in 2002. Wine education and wine communication are his passions and he has educated sommeliers and written about wines for more than 20 years and he is currently the coach of the Norwegian sommelier team.
He has owned and operated restaurants, bars and wine import businesses and his focus today is the two wine bars in Stavanger he runs with his partner Silje Hanasand. Norvald Vinebar (@norvaldvinbar) is situated in the center of town and serves up both classic and more contemporary bubbles and wines from around the world as well as cold cuts and artisanal cheese. Coravin is utilized for both still and sparkling wines so the selection by the glass is numerous. This year they opened Hermetikken Vinbar & Vinbistro (@hermetikkenvinbar) overlooking the beautiful Ledaal park just outside the city center. Her quality dishes made by the British chef Stuart Barber (Fat Duck ***, Studio London **, Marston Hall *) is paired with wines in an homely and informal venue.
Which Champagne would You treat your parents or in-laws?
‘A night with them calls for something special so I would serv a bottle of Ulysse Collin Blanc de Noirs Les Maillons Extra Brut. I love the current release based on the 2018 vintage. The generous amount of reserve wine (50%) from 2017,2016, 2015 and 2014 adds both complexity and drinkability at present.‘
Which Champagne would You treat your lover?
Which Champagne would You treat your boss?
‘I like to say I´m my own boss, but Silje is the really the boss, so ideally we´ll share a magnum on a lazy Sunday afternoon. If I could get hold of it I have great memories of a magnum of 1982 Cristal Rosé served many years ago in the legendary restaurant Bon Lloc in Stockholm.’
Which Champagne would You treat yourself?
‘Personally I love Blanc de Blancs and if I have to choose one for myself I love the 1996 Dom Pérignon for tis racy acidity.’
Which Champagne would You treat a dream guest, and why?
‘A dream guest deserves a dream Champagne and one of the best bottles I know is 1988 Salon Blanc de Blancs in magnum. There are many people I admire and would dream to share this bottle with but if I could choose it would be so cool to share a this bottle and with the late John Lennon.‘
What piece of music would you listen to drinking wine with Your dream guest?
‘Jay-Z The Blueprint (double album) on vinyl, I think John Lennon would love it!’