The Original New York Champagne Week, now in its third year, returns to city restaurants and bars beginning November 9. From special dinners and bar/store tastings to a cocktail contest and gala ceremony, NYCW offers fans of bubbly the opportunity to try new (and favorite) brands and learn that Champagne is more than just a sometimes drink.
In fact, this week-long event makes a point of showing New Yorkers that Champagne isn’t just some white tablecloth elitist sip. Founder Blaine Ashley has invited young, innovative sommeliers from around the city to participate in tastings, product launches, pairing menus and more. “I’m a big fan of the high-low trend,” says Ashley. “Think Birds & Bubbles. I strive to create an experience that is welcoming and friendly.”
Designed to tantalize both the hospitality industry and the public at large, some events cater specifically to each group. For the public, Bottle Rocket Wine & Spirits is hosting daily tastings, including the “Blow Your Mind Champagne Tasting” on November 11 where for $60 you’ll taste through six classics (including Dom Perignon Brut 2005 and Krug Grande Cuvee Brut) alongside Champagne educator Alyse Mizia. You can also sample boutique brand Champagne Devaux on Thursday 12th at Back Label Wine Merchants with brand ambassador Anne-Caroline Dussort. http://nychampagneweek.com/event/the-blow-your-mind-champagne-tasting/ Meanwhile, La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturals (a wine-focused bar/restaurant with an already impressive, reasonably priced Champagne list) is offering up a Champagne Happy Hour nightly highlighting a number of grower selections at $10 per pour.
“This bubbly-laden celebration is unlike your standard wine-centric event in that there is no grand tasting, featuring all participating brands,” says Ashley. “Instead, we’ve developed custom events featuring different brands. We work very hands-on with brands; it’s all a really personal process.”
For the public, another high-profile event worth putting on your radar:
The Bubble Bash Closing Party (November 13, 9 p.m. to midnight) takes place onboard the Hornblower Hybrid yacht. A gala event, guests will “dance and sip the night away” with multiple stations pouring brut and rosé Champagnes all night long, along with DJs, food and a VIP option ($250, available to 100 people) featuring an oyster station, dessert bar and Champagne cocktails. Uber credits are included in the price of admission. ($100 for general admission)
New York Champagne Week takes place November 9 – 14. Tickets and information at nychampagneweek.com
Full disclosure: author has been invited as a media guest to several events and will be judging the industry event, the Third Annual Champagne Cocktail Competition.