If there are yellow jerseys on the field at the Calgary Polo Club…… and people like Gael-Anne Hatch and Chad Oakes (producer of must-see TV shows Fargo and Hell On Wheels) in the VIP Lounge…… then it must be the 2015 Veuve Clicquot Calgary Polo Classic. This is where the bubbles meet the storied hardwood of the Ranch House bar.Leslie Echino, owner of Blink Restaurant, and Katy Bond of Parker Bond PR managed to look dewey fresh and delightful despite 30-degree heat.While Rob Peters, the man who started Peters & Co, Elaine Duncan and leather-vest wearing horse whisperer John Scott kept cool inside.Katrina Prokopy, the inspiration behind hubby Ross’ team KatSaw Farms (he named it for his wife and son Sawyer), knows this is no time for a Mona Lisa smile. Especially with a pair of Prada Baroques perched above. Go big or go home!Meanwhile, alpha male Ross Prokopy of GMP Securities proves that not only does he play an aggressive game of polo, he also makes a mean mimosa.Despite the talent in Club League, I celebrated a rare summer week of bruise-free legs. Veiled spectator-sporting Paula Marie took support staffing to a stylish new level.While Gordon Ross of Remax and Bernadette Geronazzo, who’s accustomed to being In The Public Eye, toasted the game…… that was still in progress, beyond the revelers at the Ranch House. Mitch Horne checks up for Land Rover, under Allison Rooney’s watchful eye.It was only fitting that Team Veuve, aka Northern Blizzard, took home the cup. John Rooney, CEO of Northern Blizzard Resources, hoists his bubbly, with long-time pro Joe Henderson in the background. Cheers!
There’s a new champagne on the liquid landscape…… 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.
Coming 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.On 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.Only 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?Anyway, 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.Once 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.Those 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!
Taking in a game at the Calgary Polo Club is always an exciting way to spend a Sunday afternoon, but when Team Veuve is playing, look out.Welcome to the 2013 Veuve Clicquot Calgary Polo Classic.As mallets clashed on the field, the Ranch House morphed into Maison Veuve. Signature orange umbrellas served a vital dual purpose — protecting the beautiful people from the sun while keeping the champagne cold.Power player clan of the day: Bill Lloyd of Black Watch Property, Bev Jarvis of Urban Development Institute, Margot Seaman and Josh Morrissey, recently scooped up by the Winnipeg Jets in the NHL draft.Just in case there wasn’t enough on the field, Maserati and Ferrari had extra horsepower ready to roll.Patronus president Cathy Butler, polo apropos in her Ralph Lauren tank, with South African polo pro Warren Lurie, taking a brief bubble break from his hectic summer match schedule in the 6 goal league.It’s all in the details: you can never have enough equestrian-style accessories, as evidenced by Cathy’s covet-worthy gold Gucci.Meanwhile, there was a game to watch and more champagne to drink. Remax’s Gordon Ross reminds us he’s both a gladiator on the polo field and in his sandals. Beside him Lawrence Roeck, director and producer of Diablo, starring Clint Eastwood’s son Scott, takes time out from pre-pro to take in Team Veuve.Polo fans were too polite to tell me to get out of the way while I seized the limelight, courtesy portrait photographer Barbara Blakey. Perhaps they realized the world would be a better place with my farmer’s tan recorded for posterity. Sunglasses, Dior. Dress, American Eagle. Hat, random Jysk offering for $3.50.At halftime, the genteel and well-heeled are put to work. And when a divot stomper is this dedicated, you know a future polo patrona can’t be too far away.In the yellow jerseys, Team Veuve went on to win the day. ¡Enhorabuena! to Roberto Foster, Chris Fochuk, Daniel Roenisch and Pedro Orellano.Polo and champagne, the perfect pairing. Vive la Veuve and carpe diem at the Calgary Polo Club!