Champagne TastingA thick tussle and thrust down Oxford Street over the weekend has poignantly made me aware that Christmas is not far away.  As yet I have not given it a moments thought… well until now anyway.  In a flash of inspiration and email circulating we have decided to hold a champagne tasting with a few friends tomorrow evening.  Below is the prescribed menu that we all hope will turn on our inner Christmas lights and create laughter where there was formerly chapped grimaces.

Okay... to start with we'll have a blind tasting.  There'll be one champagne and two non-champagne (sparkling obviously).  We'll see if people can guess which is which (served with water biscuits and small amount of smoked salmon these cheeses: Brillat savarin, Langres, chaource).  Here we'll be serving Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Non-Vintage, a bottle of ******** and **********.  It will be interesting to see what people choose as their preferred sparkler as opposed to what they think they've chosen.

We will then compare a pure chardonnay champagne (Blancs de blanc) with a blended chardonnay & pinot noir (blanc de noir).  These will be the all chardonnay Mandois Cuvee Victor 2002 (a terrific smaller Champagne House) and the blended Taittinger Brut 2004.

Accompanying the rose champagne we'll have a lemon chicken dish with baby new potatoes in butter and parsley with green beans.  I'm hoping this will demonstrate how this champagne is able to stand up to and cut through the fat in the butter and textures of the meat.  This champagne is the Taittinger Prestige Rose NV (Another guest has been asked to bring a rose champagne so I do not know as yet what they'll choose).

For dessert we need something rich and sweet to match the sweet champagne (Sec).  I am thinking Cheese cake and white chocolate truffles.  Some creamy blue cheese as a side option will also be sensational.  We have a bottle of Taittinger Nocturne Sec.

The tasting takes place tomorrow evening so I'll be posting the results on what people thought.  Any other suggestions for pairings are welcome!

Post Script:  Two wines have been blocked out so that attendees of tomorrow eve do not know what is in the blind tasting.


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