Deciding which is better, the 100 year old Courvoisier Initiale Extra or the 130 year old Hennessy Paradis is a splendid dilemma and just the sort of quandary we found ourselves in last night at Generation XO: The Tasting Sessions. Held at the ultra-swish five star Sanderson Hotel (with a preceding dinner at the hotel’s Malaysian inspired restaurant, Suka), this was the fourth in an ongoing series of Tasting Sessions.
The collaborative effort of Angella Newell and Hayley Sudbury, two transplanted Aussie lasses bent on bringing “a contemporary approach to the old school wine club,” Tasting Sessions breathes new life into the age old tradition of sipping drinks while chatting up likeminded imbibers. Past tastings have taken on biodynamic wine and sake (next month promises to tackle “Big Reds” and May is reserved for whiskey). And, if last night’s session was indicative of what’s to be expected at future events, we reckon Angella and Hayley are bound to succeed - or at the very least have a phenomenal time with a bunch of friendly folks along the way.
Beyond pondering our premium Cognac preferences, another delightful predicament of the evening was settling on whom to talk to next - there were just so many lovely attendees, all seemingly keen to strike up a conversation. In fact, the Generation XO Cognac tasting (with brandy, port and sherry thrown in for good measure), provided a wonderful networking opportunity without making us feel as though we were stuck at some contrived networking event. Upcoming Tasting Sessions (which we’d love to attend!) should present excellent settings to meet potential clients, dates, drinking buddies ... who knows?
Attending last night’s session would have set ya back £65. But, that would have included massive amounts of delicious food, plenty o’ booze and access to stimulating conversations with a variety of people from a range of interesting backgrounds. And - just to keep things in perspective - a single shot of some of last night’s Cognacs at any London bar probably would have cost you as much or even more. Previous non-dinner sessions have been priced around £25. Visit http://thetastingsessions.com for more info.
Photography courtesy of the Tasting Sessions