September 2017 Champagne News 

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After a long and cold winter in the Southern hemisphere we are now seeing vine bud throughout our wine regions, a welcome and very late heralding of Spring.

Again, it has been a month of many champagne tastings with many good bottles drunk...perhaps the most outstanding the 08 Pol Roger. 

When rumours surfaced that the 08 blend was more than reminiscent of 1914, which was harvested by the women and children while bombs were falling, and with the men away fighting, extra intrigue was added to what I had merely thought of as an outstanding vintage. Invitingly fresh with apple and pear aromas, the palate is nothing short of thrilling - crunchy attack, superb tension, extreme length. This champagne can be cellared for many years. Buy lots, and experience its evolution.

Kaaren Palmer
Champagne Editor Galaxy Guides

The 2017 champagne harvest

was successfully completed early, and was all over by mid-September, with permitted yields of 10,300 per hectare plus 500 kg per hectare drawn down from the storage of reserve wines from prior years. Weather in the earlier part of the season was sunny and dry. Although there was rot in vulnerable areas, no doubt caused by the previously reported hailstorms just prior to harvest, many healthy grapes were carefully selected and made it to the press. The Comité Champagne expects the outcome to be promising. Jancis Robinson’s worthwhile blog reports on the occasion, and visits nine of the major here to read the article. 
Moreover, there’s another excellent article by Jancis Robinson on the release of the latest Salon, along with tasting notes on sister house, here to read the article.

And perhaps next year, you can enjoy the harvest spirit in Champagne, and attend this amazing tasting reported on by The Drinks here to see the article.
Champagne editor's note: I should point out that Jancis Robinson charges an annual fee for full access to her site but given the depth and breadth of the content it seems a modest fee. KP
The grimace shows the effort at Champagne Larmandier-Bernier, whose enchanting champagne is on pour at Australian Gourmet Traveller's Australia’s Top Restaurant 2017, Orana, in Adelaide, South Australia.

Photo copyright © champagne importer Victor Pugatschew of the keen visit Victor's  web site and see Victor's champagne range
please click here 

The Ten Year Anniversary

of the South Australian Springfield Champagne Club was an affair to celebrate last month. Congratulations all round, ladies and gentleman. The word is out that a few other groups are springing up. Basically, each of us takes turns to host, and we delve into the complexities and intricacies of champagne based around varied topics. The next event, for example, will examine different expressions of Blanc de Blancs, and include some venerable bottles collected over the years. It’s a relatively sober, educational affair during the serious part of the tasting, with fine palates and increased and increasing knowledge around the table. We haven’t had one visitor who doesn’t want to join!
Fun along the tasting journey, photo courtesy of Anthea Greig

Vue de Monde

has installed a vending machine, a rather darkly positioned item, in their foyer. Who would ever have thought that the words ‘vending machine’ and ‘Dom’ would be mentioned in the same breath?! click here to read the full story. 

And, if you’d like to read about the latest release of Dom, 2006, here’s the tasting rundown from the time-eating and fascinating Tasting Book website: please click here 

May I humbly suggest that instead of decanting away those palate-enhancing bubbles, that you open the bottle an hour prior to tasting, and keep said bottle on ice. The suggested glassware is excellent. KP

Biodynamic and organic

producer, Champagne Francis Boulard’s Les Rachais 2008 wins coup de cœur, literally ‘heart-striking’, in the respected RVF (Revue de Vin de France). The Australian distributors are ANONYMOUS WINE at Heidelberg West in Victoria.
Tel: 0488 777 831

Wonderfully full information on
Francis’ and Delphine’s exemplary website:

Champagne Competitions

The Buyer reports on the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships (CSWWC ). Three specialist judges, all wines tasted blind, surprising and unsurprising here to read the article.  
The Drinks Business reports on the Champagne Masters, a blind tasting with a formidable panel of judges including no less than five (!) MWs and a Master Sommelier. Well worth an here 

Tyson Stelzer

launches his 2018–19 Guide in person with a champagne cocktail party at The Ed, Monday 9 October, 6–8pm.

click here to book and I’ll see you there!

from Ann Oliver

There's currently a lot happening with new web sites for both Kaaren and myself. Kaaren will move to and Galaxy Guides will rebrand as

Whilst both sites will remain permanently intertwined Kaaren and I will have separate blogs that will enable us to post more instantaneous content. Galaxy Guides is an old fashioned web site that requires coding for every of this shackle posting content will be so much easier. In the coming six weeks there will be very limited new content on and weekly postings will go straight to the new data base. 

We have started to video new recipes and techniques and plan a cuisine-extreme YouTube TV that will be linked to the new site and promoted via instagram and twitter. A new facebook page cuisine-extreme will also be put in place.

Yes, a lot happening but very exciting...there are bound to be glitches so cut us some slack, and, if you see mistakes that we have been missed please email me...grammar, just plain wrong...whatever!

Kaaren and I look forward to a new an exciting phase of our role in the world of food and wine and al the surrounds.

Ann Oliver
food editor and publisher galaxy guides
Signs of Spring at last, vine bud at Coates Wines new cellar door which will be open to the public in a couple of weeks. If you are a fan of Burgundian whites their 2016 Reserve Chardonnay is amazing...delivered to your door click here

Coorong mullet escabeche Port Lincoln mussels, fennel, wood sorrel... Coriole Vineyards....chef Tom Ried

Gazander oysters, charred cucumber, bonito (4)....Botanic Gardens Restaurant Adelaide....chef Paul Baker

Images unless otherwise stated copyright © Ann Oliver 2017
text copyright 
©  Ann Oliver and Kaaren Palmer 2017

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Photo courtesy Besserat de Bellefon

Final Call for Bookings

for what is surely the best value champagne dinner of the year with Champagne Besserat de Bellefon, $125, Windy Point Restaurant, October 18, 7pm, bookings phone 8278 8255

Most of the remaining seats are tables for two, the wonderful front row seats for the sparkling Adelaide light view with a few remaining for communal Galaxy Guides tables..take your pick!

Besserat de Bellefon – 174 years of prize-winning history and expertise in the glass. See you there!



Kaaren Palmer
Kaaren Palmer
Deluxe paperback 434pp third impression
$140 AUD + $15 postage
within Australia, available soon

Meticulously researched, Champagne, a tasting journey appeals to the cognoscenti and beginners alike. The work comprehensively encompasses history, geography, the grapes, the regions, production, politics, the people, the flavours, and aromas – each of the 44 chapters is accompanied by a tasting guide, which illuminates the topic discussed in the chapter.

A link to European distribution and Champagne Houses selling Kaaren's book will be updated when stock is available. Soon!

Palate in need
of honing?

Want to compare yours to that of an MW? The Drinks Business runs through the top 5 champagnes by volume, with a recap of champagne terms. Have an inkling that a couple of the major players have lifted their game? You’d be right. Worth a look click here  
Photo courtesy Veuve Clicquot


to Clément Pierlot on his appointment as tenth chef de cave of Champagne Pommery. An agronomist who has been managing the House’s 250 hectares of Champagne vineyards, thirty-seven-year-old Pierlot trained at Montpellier’s famous school. In 2010, he joined the tasting committee with former winemaker, Thierry Gasco. Gasco has not retired, but has moved across to supervise the sparkling wine ventures of Vranken Pommery.

On Special

At Dan Murphy’s the greatly cellar-worthy Lanson NV Black Label, for a mere $41.90 in any 6, and the palate-pleasing Piper-Heidsieck NV at the party-encouraging price of $37 in any 6.

Vintage Cellars have the Pinot-dominant Veuve Clicquot NV
for $58.99 in any tasty 6.
Check out Galaxy Guides recipes for a terrific poached chicken and asparagus here

Spring Lunches

South Australia

We've been out Coriole Vineyards, the most exquisite setting and the intelligent mature cooking of chef Tom Reid who is clearly revelling in local and seasonal.

The Botanic Gardens Dining Room...oh my how good is this? After almost 25 years of trying to get to the garden's produce Chef Paul Baker has finally got there and it shows throughout his menu. Incredible value for money...and whilst there are some things that have been on his menu for some time (annoying as it is, I get being stuck with dishes by popular demand). However, it was easy to find four dishes that were entirely new to me. 

Reviews, our first in some years, will follow at the end of the week.

Yes, we are going to be reviewing again...If you are sick and tired of the ubiquitous Tripadvisor and facebook reviews by authors with dubious knowledge, we'll be back with the grit. And, remember if there isn't something great about a venue it will not appear in cuisine-extreme listings...after 40 years of running restaurants and cooking for a living I think I can tell the difference between a bad night and a bad restaurant and I'm in favour of the notion that although, we always aim for 100% we are human!!!

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