The Sparkling Brut

The Sparkling Brut - Anna Johnston -

When the event brief for a Champagne & Sparkling Masterclass hosted by Ned Goodwin MW (Master of Wine AKA The Sparkling Brut) landed on my desk, not gonna lie, my interests were peaked. You see friends, not only does Ned look a bit like Robert Downey Jr #swoon he has got some pretty amazing credentials under his belt as well.

He worked as a Sommelier at Veritas restaurant in Manhattan, New York City and for those that don’t know, Veritas boasts one of the best wine lists in the world. He is an educator, show judge, consultant, has his own Japanese TV wine show, is a host and wine writer too & not half bad on the eyes either. #mightberepeatingmyself

Anna Johnston & Ned Goodwin MW - The Sparkling Brut - Anna Johnston -

The Sparkling Brut has featured in the New York Times, WINART, The Japan Times and Elle, he has been on CNN and has written for Wine Business International and Qantas Inflight too. And if all that isn’t cool enough, he is one of only five Masters of Wine in Asia, and the first in Japan. #boom

Who would have thought I’d share this decadent drinking session with someone who really knew their bubbles huh. But there Ned & I were all cozied up in the private dining room with 18 other lucky gals.

Champagne Sweep 3 in! The Sparkling Brut - Anna Johnston -

Chef Daren’s incredible food was action packed as usual paired beautifully with every new bottle opened but once Ned hits go, he was off to a sparkling start that held us all captive right to the end. We adventured around the world via the 9 different glasses of bubbles experiencing ‘drink without think’ lower end of the market wines to the creamy complex high end wines.

Oyster Natural - The Sparkling Brut - Anna Johnston -

We were all spellbound & listened eagerly as he shared his extensive knowledge from the double-fermentation process of Chardonnay grapes, to the importance of the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) designation, which ensures that only sparkling white wine made in the Champagne region of northern France can be labelled as such. He even shared stories about Dom Perignon’s initial efforts to remove the bubbles from his wine. #whatthe

Ned referred to himself as a GEEK ~ GEEK ~ GEEK with a sneaky cool streak. But in my humble opinion anyone that has Astroboy holding a bottle of champagne tattooed on his arm is WAY cool. #thesparklingbrut

Taltarni Tache 2010 - The Sparkling Brut - Anna Johnston -

I’d love to know, have you ever done a champagne or wine masterclass? And have you ever met someone that looks very similar to a famous person? If yes, who?

Are you ready to take this relationship to the next level?

Subscribe by entering your email address to receive freshly published blog posts from shenANNAgans just like this one.




shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - October 9, 2014 Reply

What a fantastic event. Anything to do with bubbles works for me 🙂

    Anna - October 9, 2014 Reply

    Such a fabulous event Tandy! I had a ball! 🙂
    Noted re the bubbles too.

Norma Chang - October 8, 2014 Reply

What a delicious experience, I would love the opportunity to learn about bubbles and wines.

    Anna - October 8, 2014 Reply

    It really was wonderful Norma. He was so super knowledgeable and pretty to look at too. 🙂

Sue - October 8, 2014 Reply

How fantastic is that?!

    Anna - October 8, 2014 Reply

    Sooooooooooo Fantastic Sue! 🙂

The Squishy Monster - October 8, 2014 Reply

Very cool—and pleeeease tell me you saved me some oysters!!

    Anna - October 8, 2014 Reply

    Hahaha…. Come on over for a feed of oyster. lol!
    It was so much fun. Interesting too. 🙂

Jean | Holy Smithereens - October 6, 2014 Reply

You know Anna I don’t really drink but if this guy asked me to..I will down a gallon 😉 haha! What an awesome experience!

    Anna - October 8, 2014 Reply

    Bahaha! You crack me up Jean! 🙂
    It really was great, feel pretty darn lucky being able to attend cool events like this.

Gourmet Getaways - October 6, 2014 Reply

That’s just SUPER! A cool guy in a great event with excellent wines! What more can one ask for?!

Gourmet Getaways

    Anna - October 6, 2014 Reply

    I hear that! One super experience I was lucky enough to get to go too. 🙂

Dedy@Dentist Chef - October 5, 2014 Reply

I think i should go to this kind of winery class since can only taste delicious and very delicious wine, and it made my x-girlfriend go mad at me, just like i get mad at her since she can different prime wagyu and cheap beef steak.

    Anna - October 6, 2014 Reply

    Oh yeah Dedy… Def get on learning about wines from Masters like this. It really was a wonderful experience. 🙂
    Hahaha… Oh dear, that ex-girl of yours, I can see how that would be rather upsetting to a chef as fine as yourself.
    Hope you are having a wonderful weekend my friend.

marcela - October 4, 2014 Reply

wow! what an amazing event!

    Anna - October 5, 2014 Reply

    It really was Marcela! 🙂

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl - October 4, 2014 Reply

You glamorous lady you, living the lovely life! <3

    Anna - October 5, 2014 Reply

    I really am having some amazing adventures of late. 🙂

Sriprae - October 4, 2014 Reply

You are living it up! I love it! Oh, dearest Anna, the things you get to experience are wildly wonderful. You are my “reality TV”. Love hearing about your adventures and discoveries. You brighten my day. 🙂

What sparkles my day? Feeling pleased with a job well done. When a client gushes over my work. When a friend drops me a note (or comment online) 😉
When my love unexpectedly visits and we watch comedy until tears run down my face.

Have a marvelous weekend my delightful friend!

Much love! xox

    Anna - October 5, 2014 Reply

    Haha… I sure am experiencing some wonderful adventures of late. 🙂 Thank you for your lovely words, you brighten my days too. 🙂
    OH heck yes, so many wonderful things brightening your days. What are you watching to make you cry from laughing? I want in that funniness. LOL I am glad you are having fun times, its super wonderful actually, that makes me happy. 🙂
    Hope you are having a wonderful weekend too lovely Sriprae. Hugs and love. xox

My Inner Chick - October 3, 2014 Reply

the life of a diva.
Can I be your secretary? xx

    Anna - October 3, 2014 Reply

    Heck YEASSSSS Kim! You’ve got the job. Oh the fun we will have. xox

Amanda (@lambsearshoney) - October 3, 2014 Reply

Wow – what a great opportunity for you. I’m heavily into champagne at the moment as I’m reading a biography of the widow Cliquot, or as we all know her, Veuve Cliquot.

    Anna - October 3, 2014 Reply

    It was A-MAZING Amanda. A really special event, great to meet someone with SO much knowledge.
    Cooooooool! Sounds like a good read, I’ll have to chase down a copy.
    Happy Friday. Here’s Cheers!

Alice - October 2, 2014 Reply

Talk about a serious dose of amazing!!! Not only to get time with a Vino master, but also the perfect bites & nibbles to accompany it! I won’t deny it’s been a long time since my last glass, but I love that we get to enjoy and learn vicariously through you!!!

    Anna - October 3, 2014 Reply

    Heck Yeah Alice, it was one awesome event to attend. I’m not really a big champers drinker, but when you have someone talking you through the taste and story behind it, you really get an appreciation for it. Thanks for joining me on the journey lovely Alice. Hope you are well! Hugs and love. xox

Bam's Kitchen - October 2, 2014 Reply

Great event! I want one day on my to do list is to be more informed about wines and pairing them with dishes. This sounds so interesting.

    Anna - October 2, 2014 Reply

    It was absolutely fascinating Bam, he was so knowledgable. It was one of the best wine nights Ive ever been too. 🙂

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - October 2, 2014 Reply

Haha he DOES look like RDJ!! You look good together too! 😉

    Anna - October 2, 2014 Reply

    Well I thank you for that lovely compliment Lorraine. Too bad Ned is married! 😛

Krista - October 2, 2014 Reply

I just love hearing about your adventures. 🙂 You meet the most amazing people and I like being inspired by them through you. This week baby chickens are making my days sparkle, and Bear bringing me chocolate ice cream at the end of a long day. 🙂 xo

    Anna - October 2, 2014 Reply

    I do have some pretty fabulous adventures, thanks for sharing along in my journey Krista. 🙂
    Baby chickens… YAY! And that Bear of yours is brilliant, high fives and fist bumps headed his way.

Kathy @ Olives & Garlic - October 2, 2014 Reply

What an awesome event. Not going to lie that oyster is calling my name 🙂

    Anna - October 2, 2014 Reply

    The event was amazing! 🙂 And word on the street is, those oysters were some of the best many have ever eaten. 🙂

Hannah - October 2, 2014 Reply


As one of the lucky 18 gals this event was just fantastic!

Ned was informative and educational without being a wanker. I’d go as far as saying he is the David Attenborough of wine!

Let’s do it again!!!

    Anna - October 2, 2014 Reply

    Yeah it was! 🙂
    LOL… Ned really is the David Attenborough of wine, what a wonderful way to explain his awesome. 🙂
    Agreed. Lets do it again. Ned said he was keen to come back…

lizzygoodthings - October 2, 2014 Reply

Too good, Anna, and especially loved Charlie’s comment! What a wonderful job you have and how hunky is that man, er I mean how excellent are those bubbles!

    Anna - October 2, 2014 Reply

    It was pretty neat Liz. 🙂 And couldn’t agree more about the hunk factor, the bubbles were pretty fabulous too. LOL! 🙂

Hotly Spiced - October 2, 2014 Reply

You, Ned and 18 other girls? It sounds like an episode from The Bachelor. What a great experience and like you say, Ned certainly does have a lot of credentials and what a fabulous career xx

    Anna - October 2, 2014 Reply

    LOL Charlie, it does sound like an ep of The Bachelor huh?! 🙂
    It was a wonderful experience and inspiring to meet someone who is soooooo crazy passionate about his craft.

Erin | The Law Student's Wife - October 2, 2014 Reply

Ahhhhh SO JEALOUS! What an amazing event!

    Anna - October 2, 2014 Reply

    It was amazing Erin! Had a ball I did! 🙂

Raymund - October 2, 2014 Reply

Hey I wanted to do something like this, the last time I had something similar was this sake and cheese tasting quite a new concept but was surprised that cheese and sakes matched well together.
Look at that oyster on your last photo, I just want to suck it off its shell. So appetizing.

    Anna - October 2, 2014 Reply

    Wow Raymund, I wouldn’t have thought cheese and sake worked at all…. But I’m no sake connoisseur, so maybe its a thing. LOL!
    Yep, as always, the food was incredible, the oysters were delicious and worked wonderfully.

Choc Chip Uru - October 2, 2014 Reply

Oooh this is so exciting! Seems like so much fun (and hot damn, he DOES look like RdJ!!) 😀
I would totally enter but I don’t know bubbly from goon… ok maybe I do but I think this drink is a little above me 😛
Glad you had such a great event!

Choc Chip Uru

    Anna - October 2, 2014 Reply

    Hahahaha CCU, the difference between champagne & goon! Well…. one strips your braincells rather painfully, and the other makes you feel like you belong in the South of France wearing one of those oversized sun hats and elegant summer dresses. 🙂

Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) - October 2, 2014 Reply

Oh, what a fab event, Anna – in more ways than one!

    Anna - October 2, 2014 Reply

    Soooooo much fun! 🙂 I sure am lucky being able to go to such cool events.

Agness - October 2, 2014 Reply

I don’t know if I like your smile more than champagne or not :).

    Anna - October 2, 2014 Reply

    What a beautiful thing to say Agness. Thank you! xox

ela@GrayApron - October 1, 2014 Reply

Wow, nice! A glass of real Champagne would definitely make my day sparkle!

    Anna - October 2, 2014 Reply

    Oooooo it was and it did Ela. 🙂

Mandy - The Complete Book - October 1, 2014 Reply

What was making my day sparkle was reading your beautiful story BUT then… “cozied up in the private dining room with 18 other lucky gals” – the other 18 gals kinda ruined it. Thought you had a one-on-one bubbly session. Seriously though Anna, what a wonderful experience! I would love to have joined you for something like that.
Cheers darling. Think I will crack a bottle of bubbly this evening, just because I can.
Love and hugs to you my sweet friend.
🙂 Mandy xo

    Anna - October 2, 2014 Reply

    Hahaha…. That’s hilarious Mandy! 🙂 Although I’m pretty sure we were all pretending it was a one on one champagne class. 🙂
    Oh yum, hope you enjoyed that cheeky glass of bubbles.
    Lots of love and many hugs to you too.

Elizabeth - October 1, 2014 Reply

Ummm How do I get your job???? 🙂 Liz x

    Anna - October 2, 2014 Reply

    Haha… Don’t worry about getting my job, how’s about you be my +1 to one of these cool events. LOL! 🙂

Leave a Reply: