Champagne Taittinger at The Groucho Club London
“My name is Vitalie, my legacy is Taittinger, my passion is Champagne” says the glossy advert featuring a very glamorous shot of 4th generation Vitalie, daughter of Pierre-Emmanuel and Claire Taittinger. In fact with Champagne Taittinger it really is all about family. When Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, grandson of the company founder, decided to take back control of the family champagne house in 2006, both Vitalie and her brother Clovis rallied to the family cause. Business trained Clovis spearheads international sales and is a frequent visitor to Australia, where I’ve had the privilege of hosting champagne dinners with him for Qantas Epicure members.
With her background in art and design, sophisticated yet accessible, his sister Vitalie is a natural born brand custodian and delightful company in any situation, whether she is presenting the traditional Taittinger Toast at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in California’s Hollywood or swopping media stories and vintage tasting tips with a posse of journalists in the heart of London’s Soho media institution The Groucho Club.
Always quick to laugh at herself, when I asked Vitalie about her Hollywood paparazzi red carpet experience “You know Jayne” she confided as we sipped Comtes “we had to film that revolving champagne bottle opening 25 times to get it right. Hollywood is surreal like that” and then having swopped notes on the last three vintages of Taittinger’s flagship cuvee she was gone. To my mind the Comtes 2000 is a splendiferous vintage that just keeps on giving, the harder to find Comtes 2002 is wonderfully perky, but Vitalie and I both agreed that the Comtes 2004 still needs a little bit of time to really show its pedigree.
In typical Taittinger family style (they really do seem to live and breathe their own marketing catch phrase “timeless elegance”) this cocktail function was very laid back and elegantly understated. Taittinger Brut Rose was served from magnum on arrival and then guests were free to wander at their own leisure around a discreet tasting table featuring the full range of Taittinger Cuvees available in the UK market. With the Taittinger marketing team from Champagne on hand to answer any questions, the room buzzed with bonhommie and lively champagne conversations between bloggers and print journalists whilst The Groucho Club staff discreetly offered plenty of snack sized canapés to wash down the delicious champagnes.
Always a fan of Taittinger Rose, the magnums did not disappoint and the Brut Reserve was as classy as I last remembered it. It was a real pleasure to revisit some of the rarer cuvees like Prelude, Nocturne and Folies de La Marquetterie, but I must confess that I much prefer Taittinger Brut 2004 to the newly released 2005 which I personally found a bit flabby. Last but not least it was delightful to be allowed to finish the night on my personal favourite Comtes 2000 when Vitalie personally congratulated me for winning the “2012 Champagne Educator of the Year” award at The Champagne Summit which is sponsored by Taittinger.
Learn more about Champagne Taittinger here.