Sydney’s new Champagne bar

The Sofitel Champagne Bar is a nice spot, with a fine third-floor view over the Darling Harbour precinct. (Photo: Sofitel Hotel Darling Harbour)

Fellow fizz freaks might like to know the smart new Sofitel Darling Harbour has a Champagne Bar.

It’s a nice spot, with a fine third-floor view over the Darling Harbour precinct.

On the plus side, there are eight Champagnes by the glass, the most interesting being Louis Roederer’s marvellous Philippe Starck Brut Nature 2009.

The annual Vivid light show was on when I was there, which was a bonus. The occasion was a comparative Champagne tasting between Ruinart and Larmandier-Bernier wines, co-hosted by Rob Walters of Larmandier’s importer Bibendum, Bruce Nancarrow of Ruinart’s importer Moët Hennessy, and John Noble of the Champagne Bureau.

Excellent finger food was served with the wines.

It’s a new hotel so I could probably be forgiven for not knowing it had a Champagne bar. But, alas, it’s not an adventurous Champagne list – nothing more than you’d find in any smart restaurant. They offer 27 Champagnes, all of them from big houses. No small grower wines, which is ironic as Walters’ brief was to address the issue of grower Champagnes, which are Bibendum’s speciality.

On the plus side, there are eight Champagnes by the glass, the most interesting being Louis Roederer’s marvellous Philippe Starck Brut Nature 2009. This was being featured as the ‘signature pour’, at AUD $25 a 100ml glass or AUD $240 a bottle. (Why would you buy a bottle when you can theoretically have 750ml in 7.5 pours for AUD $187.50? Or 9.6 pours, 960ml, for the same AUD $240?)

Some of the big name cuvées are there, such as Louis Roederer Cristal, Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires and Pommery Cuvée Louise, for those who have a loose six or seven hundred bucks.

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