When should you drink champagne? Some people will say at special occasions while some people like me will say as soon as you can get a bottle. So after receiving an invitation to drink GH Mumm and Perrier-Jouet while eating at Dallas hot spot Nosh Euro Bistro, I could not resist.
While waiting for the rest of the dining party to arrive, we were greeted by Agnes Laplanche-Jones, Brand Development Manager, and a glass of GH Mumm Cordon Rouge. Agnes was here to walk the party through the tasting of the wines. I always love hearing the stories behind the wines and the people involved in their creation, like how the top wine from Perrier-Jouet got its name.
Perrier-Jouet was greatly influenced by the Belle Epoque movement in France when they developing their top wine and thought it fitting to name their wine after it. Then, when the decision was made to send the wine to America, Perrier-Jouet believed we would not understand the name of the wine and thus called it Fleur after the flower design on the bottle. We would be served two Belle Epoques this night, the Brut and the Rose.
After some quick introductions and the Cordon Rouge, a leesy, full bodied champagne that shows off weight and texture of Pinot Noir, it was on to the first and widely considered best course of the night, a farm egg custard with house cured salmon, sturgeon caviar from Rochon and a meyer lemon cream served with the Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut. For those who do not know me, I am not the biggest egg fan (strange I know, trust me I am still trying to get over it) but this custard was to die for. The biggest reason was the caviar.
Siberian sturgeon, farm-raised in mineral water in the United States, who knew? God it was heavenly. Those little black pearls of ocean and brine that ever so slightly pop on the palate added so much texture and character to the dish. I had to find out where I could get me some of this caviar and the representative from Rochon told me that the only retail location so far is a friend to craveDFW, TJ’s Fresh Seafood Market. Needless to say, I will be heading there shortly to get me a tin or three. Seriously, since the dinner, I have thought about the caviar as much as the champagne!
Speaking of amazing caviar, the second course included the same Siberian sturgeon caviar as the custard, this time sitting atop a potato latke with a pan fried quail egg and crème fraiche. I had to take more caviar to round out the Belle Epoque Brut we were drinking. Whoever said that champagne and caviar go together is a genius. As for the dish, the texture and creaminess of the other ingredients perfectly accentuated the caviar and the Belle Epoque.
Next came my favorite wine of the night, the GH Mumm de Cramant Blanc de Blanc. Agnes suggested it be served in a white wine glass to accentuate the beautiful textures of this wine. This is the first champagne I can remember that starts so creamy and toasty on the palate, which then slowly fades into a crisp, mineral finish that lasts forever. One sip could evolve on your palate for a full minute, constantly changing in that time.
I believe that Chef Jon Stevens was trying to mimic this spectrum of texture by serving the champagne with a pan seared diver scallop with a cauliflower puree and citrus. Your first flavor from the dish is that creamy puree followed by the sweetness of the scallop, ending in that tart, acidic bite of the citrus. A truly thoughtful dish.
For the main course, we were served grilled Texas quail with roasted quince, foie gras and a banyuls sauce alongside the Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Rose, an exquisite combination of tart red fruit balanced by striking acidity and a slight toasty, nutty element that truly was wonderful. The quail was so good, I was not alone in picking up the little legs of the fowl and gnawing away those last morsels still clutching the bone.
For dessert, Chef Stevens made a white chocolate “blondie” with raspberries and champagne sabayon that was like a rose champagne in design. Tart, lively raspberries accented the warm brioche toast with strong notes of nutmeg and cinnamon, creating the perception of eating champagne. This was a great end to the meal.
This was a heavenly experience as I was able to not only discover and try three champagnes but also because I found my source of caviar when the time comes. Just remember, every moment is a time to celebrate with champagne!