Brown Brothers Sparkling Masterclass

This week I was reminded about how one of the most valuable investments I ever made in my own education was on a wine appreciation course. It was run through the firm I worked in at the time and presented by two partners who had interests in wine. It covered the basics from how to hold a wine glass (e.g. if chilled, hold by the stem rather than the glass itself as your hands will warm up the wine) to differentiating between say a chardonnay and a riesling and how to suggest wine for clients based on the food that they ordered. It’s was valuable because it’s given me knowledge to confidently try different wines plus a skill that I get to use lots in both work and play!

So you can imagine how excited I was when I was invited to a Brown Brothers Sparkling Masterclass to refresh our knowledge of sparkling wines – just in time for the upcoming festive season!

Brown Brothers Masterclass Business Chic


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Caroline Brown of Brown Brothers and Andrew Harris, Brown Brothers Wine Educator.

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My favourite sparkling wines

I don’t know about you but I find it really difficult buying wines if I haven’t tasted them first. So whenever I get the opportunity to taste wine, I keep notes of ones that I think my family and friends will like (as well as the ones I like myself!) as it’s much more enjoyable sharing a drink with friends. Personally when it comes to sparkling wines I prefer clean, crisp sparkling wines that are slightly grassy or citrus-y but definitely  not sweet; I prefer pairing my sparklings with oysters rather than strawberries. I really appreciated that as part of the Masterclass we tasted some other brands for comparison of methods. As a result here’s my shopping list of sparkling wines I’ll be enjoying this Spring/Summer:

I’m genuinely very excited by Brown Brothers Prosecco NV (RRP $19) – I think it’s a great crowd-pleaser with just enough sweetness to keep my moscato-loving friends happy but still crisp and clean enough that I can drink it too. Perfect picnic tipple.

Brown Brothers Pinot Noir Chardonnay Pinor Meunier NV (RRP $25) – can you see that I drew love hearts around this one? I found it crisp and clean, and refreshing with each sip. Perfect for days in the sun when your mouth is starting to feel a little dry! It also hit the spot for me with Fatto’s pairing of seared scallop and green apple. Yum.

Then came along the 2008 Patricia Pinot Noir Chardonnay Brut  (RRP $48) which stood out to me even more than the rest. I found it clean, green and a nice balance of acid and flavour. Only the best vintages earn the name “Patricia”- Caroline’s grandmother who played a key role in the business and whose only requirement for her name to be used was that the wine “better be bloody good!” I think I would have really liked Patricia!

In case you are wondering – there is no waste: where this blend fails to make the top three in a blind-tasting of  twelve top sparklings (from a mix of makers), it become the Limited Release. To that end, I quite liked the Brown Brothers Limited Release Prosecco 2013 ($21) which was very nice indeed with oysters.

Brown Brothers Sparkling Masterclass

A tasty education learning to tell the difference between Prosecco from Methode Traditionelle accompanied by delicious morsels at Fatto.

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Caroline Brown shared family stories behind the family’s range of sparkling wines. Support local!

“A good Prosecco is where you can have it with a fresh oyster and not need a squeeze of lemon” – Caroline sharing her father’s advice on how to tell that a sparkling wine has the right amount of acid.

Business Chic

I could not resist asking to photograph some of my table mates – such a great collection of BusiChics!

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Amelia epitomises effortless chic in a knit top and classic work pants made fun by way of accessories and great shoe. Fun fact: I randomly sat near Amelia and through conversation we worked out we had a connection – Amelia’s Dad happens to be THE God-Father of BusinessChic (if you do click on that link, note that it is a very old post that I’ll need to refresh but his words still ring true)!

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Rose-gold and white accessories bring out Amelia’s tan and the blue of her top, beautifully.

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A serendipitous pairing: Amelia’s bracelets aren’t by the same brand as her necklace but how perfectly do they go together?

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How wonderful is the clear heel detail on these edgy peep-toes?!

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Anna pairs a classic blouse with edgier leather pencil skirt and heels.

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Statement stud pared back with delicate wishbone necklace to create a nice balance of accessories.

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Those shoes. Fabulous.

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Melissa rocking it in a great day-to-night look.

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Bravely layer prints and textures like Melissa’s great hair, giraffe-print sunglasses, snake-print blazer and statement necklace.

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Bling bling! Another fabulous spot of rose-gold accessories!

Such an effervescent event and company! Thanks to Soda Communications for having me as a guest.

What kind of wines do you like? How do you go about choosing yours?

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