Nouveau Rich

Rich Champagne at AzuridgeThere’s a new champagne on the liquid landscape…Rich Champagne on ice with garnish… and a new way to drink it:  in a Chardonnay glass. With garnish. Over ice. RICH by Veuve Clicquot was designed to be mingled with other ingredients. Mixology, move over. This is Cliquology.

Rich Champagne at Azuridge HotelComing to just one store near you (Zyn gets the exclusive listing in Calgary), Veuve Clicquot’s new champagne isn’t easy to find. And after taking two years of research before jumping on the mixology trend, Veuve likes it that way. The local launch party for Rich wasn’t even in Calgary — it was held at Azuridge, Priddis’ hidden hotel jewel.Clarence McLeod, Azuridge HotelOn my way in, I bumped into Clarence McLeod, the only guilded butler in North America. Besides being the Queen’s man on the ground in Canada, he is also the general manager of  Azuridge. The hotel’s Opal Dining Room will be the only restaurant in Southern Alberta pouring Rich.Rich Launch at AzuridgeOnly five Canadian cities are enjoying the honor of a formal introduction to the French sparkling wine with the Anglo name, and local media had to work for their knowledge of the best way to serve the new bubbles. The women were up for the task of slicing infusers like cucumbers and bell peppers, but please note the blank looks on Ryan Massel and Vincent Law. I get it. Is there a bartender in the house?Rich Champagne over ice with cucumber or pepperAnyway, back to the cocktails. Apparently I over-peppered, but it didn’t matter. Rich is sweeter than Veuve’s staple champagne, allowing it to work nicely with various vegetables and melting ice. Un peu trop doux for me (I prefer vodka with my cucumbers) but fans of pinot gris will love it. An infusion of grapefruit and tea leaves was my favorite, but risky. The potential for tea leaves in my teeth was too great. Also, while I support the specially designed glasses – they hold more champagne than your average flute – sipping while restraining an ice avalanche takes skill that might not be in abundance after a few glasses.Drew Tollerud, IBMOnce the champagne kicked in, so did the photo-ops. Drew Tollerud of IBM demonstrates just what would inspire a mad genius to make a mad dash:  beaucoup de Champagne and snappy orange accoutrements.Tiffany Burns, Rich Champagne Launch CalgaryThose accessories included Veuve swag in the form of these silver shades, all the better to discern the dazzling view from Azuridge. A votre sante, RICH!Besos

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