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An Evening with Olivier Bonville from Champagne Franck Bonville

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by Jeanette Muscat (subscribe)
I'm a copywriter, editor and self-confessed word-nerd. Through my business, Little pink typewriter, I work with clients - and collaborators - to create content, print and digital products.
You had me at champagne

When I read about the opportunity to meet winemaker Olivier Bonville of Champagne Franck Bonville, who would be visiting Australia (for the first time), coupled with the idea of sipping champagne on a summer afternoon in January, while enjoying gorgeous, ahem, champagne views of the Indian Ocean from The Shorehouse, there were too many pros, and frankly, no cons, to dissuade me.

And boy am I glad I tottled along.

Confession: I enjoy wine. I enjoy champagne. I enjoy taking food and wine journeys, literally and figuratively, and experience-based events. But I am not a champagne expert per se, so this is not a champagne review per se. In fact, I was hoping you didn't have to be the most knowledgeable champagne connoisseur on the planet to appreciate the event, nor feel like a numpty turning up to such an event solo.

Turns out it was absolutely fine to be a novice, an expert or anywhere in between. And flying solo.

Given an immediately warm welcome from both the hostess with the mostest from The Shorehouse, greeting and ensuring guests were armed with champagne at all times (and water, if required/desired), and Olivier himself, it was a very relaxed soirée.

Brought to Australia by WA's very own Burch Family Wines (who produce Howard Park, Mad Fish and Jeté wines), Wine Club Manager David Stredwick shared a few words about the champagne house, and introduced Olivier and his wife, Isabella, who have enjoyed an adventurous week or so around Margaret River and surrounds.

Olivier then talked about the family-run business, the Côte des Blancs region, and the resultant delectable champagne we were drinking.

Guests – okay, primarily women – as noted by Olivier ('so many gorgeous women') sampled Franck Bonville Brut Blanc de Blancs NV, perfectly matched with foie gras with champagne jelly, crabmeat radicchio, and, of course, oysters.

You can read more about the house and the champagne here.

Olivier was very generous with his time, managing a 'chinwag' with every table, and when he got to ours, we managed to get onto his second passion (and a subject also dear to my heart!) – tennis. Champagne and tennis? And the Australian summer? Perfection.


If you're interested in attending similar events, check out Howard Park Wines' upcoming events here.
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Where: 278 Marine Parade, Swanbourne WA 6010
Cost: $55
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