There are more than a few perks of being a magazine editor in New York. For the most part, I write about the cool cars I get to drive, the golf clubs I get to test and, sometimes, the weird things sent to me to try out. I also used to attend wine tastings, but I have not done that much in recent years. However, when the invite for a lunch at Krug House arrived in my email, I couldn't say no. If you love fine things, tasting the current releases of Krug Champagne is like playing Augusta or dining at Per Se or getting fitted for a Savile Row suit.
I set off to the location, which changes every year, one of those relatively new marketing concepts called a pop-up. This year, Krug House was in a spectacular West Village townhouse, just off Washington Square; when I googled it, the address appeared on some real estate listings. (If you have to ask, you can't afford it.)
The house was a lovely, completely renovated six-story townhouse on a tree-lined block. Each floor of the building was decked out by Krug with its current marketing and promotional idea, "Stirring the Senses," which touches on the five senses (taste, smell, sight, touch and sound) with a sixth one, Enlightenment, added for the rooftop level, which had a partial view of the Empire State Building. The lunch was held in conjunction with one of New York's leading wine retail shops, Sherry-Lehmann. Three guys there—Shyda Gilmer, Matt Wong and Chris Adams—are cigar lovers, too.
The wines were spectacular. We started with the Krug Grand Cuvée, a non-vintage Champagne that nonetheless uses much older wines in its blend than most non-vintage Champagnes. We also drank a 2000 Krug, a 2000 Clos de Mesnil, which is a single vineyard in Champagne and a Krug Rose. With desert, we drank a 1989 Krug, from the Krug Collection, a stunning example of how well good Champagne can age.
I won't give you all my tasting notes. Let's just say that I could drink every one of those Champagnes every day of the year, and never get tired of them.
Olivier Krug spoke eloquently about the history of the Champagne house, and its philosophy regarding making great wines. Olivier is the sixth generation family member to run the Champagne house, and he's a vibrant personality who is a great ambassador not just for his own family's brand, but for Champagne in general.
Yes, I did return to work that afternoon, with memories of Champagne bubbles dancing in my head.