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Nestled in Emirates’ business class lounge at Dubai Airport’s Concourse B is the Moët & Chandon Champagne bar, where passengers can sample a range of fizz from the well-known winery before their Emirates or Qantas flight.
That’s where you’ll find not just the ‘regular’ Moët Impérial Champagne as poured in Emirates business class and elsewhere in the lounge, but also the brand’s Rosé Impérial, Nectar Impérial and Grand Vintage 2008 drops – more comprehensive than offered in Emirates’ first class lounges!
Because it’s always 5pm somewhere in the world (and from Dubai, you could easily fly there...), I naturally stopped by the Champagne bar at 7am on a Monday morning, local time in Dubai, for an impromptu tasting.
After clearing security and immigration at Dubai Airport, I followed the signs to Emirates’ business class lounge. Because those formalities take place at Concourse B when beginning the journey in Dubai, I didn’t have to change terminals.
From there, signs pointed me towards the ‘Moët & Chandon Champagne Lounge’…
… and after a very long walk through the bustling Emirates lounge, I discovered the Champagne zone over in the far-right corner:
While described as a ‘Champagne Lounge’, considering that you’re already inside the Emirates business class lounge makes this more of a ‘Champagne bar’ rather than a separate venue.
Approaching the bar, I found Champagne kept on ice…
… but didn’t need to pour my own drink, as there’s a bartender on standby to help out. The friendly Eldho encouraged me to try one of everything, and who was I to refuse!
I began with the Moët Impérial (second from the left): the brand’s entry-level and best-known Champagne.
Admittedly, Moët has never been my favourite drop – I'm more in the Bollinger, Taittinger and Veuve Clicquot camps when it comes to non-vintages (and, if there’s Dom Pérignon 2005, you’d better leave me the bottle!).
However, the Moët Impérial was handy to establish a ‘baseline’ against which the other Champagnes could be compared.
I moved on to the Moët Rosé Impérial, but also didn’t find it to my personal taste, being a similar blend of Pinot Noir, Pinor Meunier and Chardonnay as the standard Impérial: just with a dash less Pinor Noir and splash more Chardonnay in the mix, and a different maceration process using the skin of red grapes to colour the wine pink rather than yellow.
The Moët Grand Vintage 2008 cuvée proved a better match for my palate, with pleasing hints of florals and citrus delivering more complexity and a better finish than the non-vintage Impérials I’d tried so far.
Last stop at the Champagne bar was the Moët Nectar Impérial. Classed as a Demi-Sec (semi-dry) drop rather than the drier and more standard Brut, the Nectar is appropriately-named as the sweetest wine on offer, proving to be my pick of the four.
Along with bubbles, the Champagne bar also offers matching canapés with each wine, but given my early morning visit, I wasn’t particularly in the mood for smoked salmon wrapped in nori with wasabi mayonnaise as pairs with the Grand Vintage, for example.
Instead, I went and fetched a more time-appropriate breakfast from the lounge’s busy buffet zone, before returning to the Champagne corner to enjoy the meal in peace – as given its location, this is surprisingly one of the quietest areas of the lounge, despite the flowing fizz:
For that reason, it’s also a great place to open a laptop and get work done, even if Champagne isn’t on your agenda, particularly as the tables in this zone provide sneaky access to AC power underneath (which could be better-signed: we only discovered this by accident).
All in all, there are far worse ways to await your flight than by tasting Champagne and kicking back with a glass of your favourite: particularly when there’s no bar tab to worry about, and in a business class lounge at that!
Emirates’ Concourse B business class lounge in Dubai is open 24/7, including the Champagne bar inside it, and welcomes Qantas and Emirates business class and first class flyers, plus Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold and Skywards Silver members and above.
Qantas Club members can also stop by when travelling on a Qantas QF flight number (including codeshare flights operated by Emirates), with paid access offered for US$100 (A$132) for Skywards Blue members, or US$130 (A$171) for non-Skywards members as well.
Chris Chamberlin travelled to Dubai as a guest of Emirates.