Celebrating Climbing Kilimanjaro with Delamotte Champagne


About 18 months ago, I was reflecting on my accomplishments and what I still wanted to do with my life while I still had the will and the physical ability. I had always thought I’d rehike the Pacific Crest Trail, and I’d always thought I’d do the Continental Divide Trail. But those long distance hikes are really hard on the body, so I started thinking about other goals I wanted to accomplish and when and I came up with the following list–

Best laid plans and all that, last summer instead of the Camino in Spain, my son and I walked 90 miles in 8 days on the Wales Coastal Path which you can read about here, so we figured we’d likely head back to Europe in 2019 to do that as well as visit Italy and wine regions there and in Spain.

But then I learned that my friend Tony Fletcher was organizing a Kilamanjaro climb with his Tanzanian-American friend Protus’s company, The Roof Of Africa Adventures, so I figured I’d do that this summer instead of next, if I could get all of the details worked out!

Just over a week ago, our group of five summited Mt Kilimanjaro, at 19,341′ the highest mountain in Africa, and at 16,000 above its “base, the highest “freestanding” mountain in the world!

A week after summiting, 18 days after leaving home, and after a cancelled flight halfway home that left me with a surprise day in Amsterdam to see museums, I finally made it back home. Sue picked me up from the shuttle stop, and then made us pixtos to pair with a wine from Madiran for this month’s Winophiles prompt about wines from the Basque region of France.

But considering Wednesday was International Rose Day  AND I’d just returned home from climbing and summiting Kilamanjaro, the Roof of Africa, and Kathy was coming over too, it seemed to me that sparkling wine was in order– and I knew just the Champagne to fill the bill!

“Pixtos” Menu


Champagne Delamotte – 12% alcohol – SRP $92
Sample provided by Vineyard Brands for my review consideration.

This blend of 20% Chardonnay and 80% Pinot Noir grapes from 100% Grand Crus of the Montagne de Reims (using the traditional saignée method and then co-fermented with the Chardonnay with 3-4 years on the lees before disgorgement) comes from the fifth oldest Champagne house located in the heart of the Côte de Blancs, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Founded in 1760 in Reims by François Delamotte, a vineyard owner, over the years the family developed the project and hosted many spectacular events including the coronation of the final King of France. Today the house is under the umbrella of Laurent-Perrier and under the direction of Didier Depond.

Color/ Appearance:  Rose gold or Salmon gold. Persistent delicate bubbles.

Nose: Lovely expressive nose especially when temperature is a bit warmer with red stone fruit, rose and other florals; when more chilled, more almond and brioche, more like a almond croissant with a bit of fruit preserves.

Palate: Nice acidity, dry, lemon, stone fruit, nectarine, elegant, balanced, easy to enjoy.

Pairing: Fantastic with the potato croquette; the wine really picks up the nutmeg in the croquette. With the smoked salmon, egg, shrimp, anchovy appetizer, the flavors are of the ocean and almost as good as an oyster. Very nice with brie and jasmine jam on a crispy toast. Also fantastic with the white fin tuna toast topped with anchovy. What a fantastic versatile appetizer wine. Fabulous with caviar as well.

Small bites and this bottle of wine would make for a wonderful celebration! What a great wine to sip and enjoy while telling stories about my experiences and adventures in Africa and abroad and to celebrate this special accomplishment!


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