In October 2008, Ms Essi Avellan MW, invited to Greece by the WSPC, presented a Champagne tasting seminar in the conference hall of the centre, exclusively for WSPC students .The subject matter of the seminar was set by Essi and Κonstantinos Lazarakis MW, Chairman of the WSPC, as «Understanding Champagne House styles through their top bottlings"
Essi Avellan MW is the only Master of Wine in Finland and is considered a leading authority on the Champagne region worldwide. Her thesis for the Master of Wine was on the «Single Vineyard Champagnes " and her conclusions have been published in many relevant journals worldwide . Also, Essi is publisher of the magazines 'Fine Champagne Magazine' and 'Fine Wine Magazine', she has also been involved in leading international publications, is a lecturer for the WSET Diploma in at least four countries and a member of the Educational Council of the Institute of Masters of Wine.
During the seminar, Essi first introduced the six wine houses participating in the tastings, and giving many details about how each approaches viticulture, vinification, aging and the final character that each Champagne was aiming to achieve. Then, the participants did a blind tasting of the six best white Champagnes from each house. Essi offered comments on each Champagne separately and afterwards revealed its identity. Then she covered the wine making characteristics as with the corresponding Rosé Champagnes, which were also blind tasted and finally identified. The number of bottles that were presented was so impressive that it could be described as the top Champagne tasting ever to take place in Greece, certainly by an independent body. Möet et Chandon was represented through their Cuvée Dom Perignon 2000 and Cuvée Dom Perignon Rosé 1998, Louis Roederer through their Cristal 2002 and Cristal Rosé 2000, Taittinger through their Comptes de Champagne 1998 and Comptes de Champagne Rosé 2003, Pommery through their Cuvée Louise 1998 and Cuvée Louise Rosé 1999, Deutz through their Cuvée William Deutz 1998 and Cuvée William Deutz Rosé 1999 and finally Billecart-Salmon through their Grande Cuvée 1996 and Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon 1998.
As Essi noted characteristically to the attendees , "the level of this tasting was so high that even the wine you liked least today, will still overwhelm you if you try it tomorrow - assuming of course that you can afford to buy it!" ... The seminar was open to students of level 4 - Diploma and for graduates and students of Level 3 - Advanced Certificate / Higher International Certificate.