Champagne

And the Moët Oscar Cocktail Winner is…

…the Moët Red Carpet Glamour!

Adam Seger of Chicago is the winner of the inaugural Moët Oscar Cocktail Contest held through the Moët & Chandon USA Facebook page. His Moët Red Carpet Glamour “captures the essence of Hollywood glamour with exquisite notes of heady cardamom and kaffir lime that develop a refreshing and harmonious taste. This winning cocktail was chosen for its modern combination of the Hum® botanical spirit with Moët & Chandon Imperial, which highlights the flavor profile of champagne and truly celebrates the elegance of the Academy Awards.”

The Moët Red Carpet Glamour cocktail and Moët & Chandon Imperial will flow generously at the 2012 Governors Ball, the after-party of the 84th Academy Awards® this Sunday, February 26, 2012. This year the Governors Ball takes on a new spin. Special events producer Cheryl Cecchetto created an open format allowing the Ball’s 1,500 guests (Academy Award® winners and nominees, show presenters and other telecast participants) to circulate among a variety of seating configurations while enjoying the cuisine created specifically for the event by master chef Wolfgang Puck.

The 2012 menu created by Puck and Chef Matt Benciveng features more than fifty dishes, from one-bite hors d’oeuvres to small-plate entrees that will be passed throughout the evening. It includes signature favorites such as smoked salmon Oscars®, chicken pot pie with shaved black truffles, and Pastry Chef Sherry Yard’s gold-dusted chocolate Oscars alongside inventive presentations such as lobster tacos with tomato and pickled Shallots, and beet salad with pistachio butter, burrata and citrus balsamic.

For your Oscar party at home, make your own Moët Red Carpet Glamour Cocktail…

  • Fill a chilled Champagne Flute 1⁄2 way with ice.
  • Stir 1 ounce of Fresh Squeezed Sour Mix and Hum® Botanical Spirit with fresh ice.
  • Strain into Flute to fill 1⁄2 way.
  • Top with Moët & Chandon Imperial.
  • Garnish with a Single Rose Petal.
  • Continually refresh as you wish with Moët & Chandon Imperial as the Champagne will float on top of the Hum Sour, but its effervescence will deliver Hum’s heady cardamom & Kaffir lime notes.
  • Fresh Squeeze Sour Mix Preparation: Combine 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water until sugar is completely dissolved. Add 1 cup fresh lime juice and 1 cup fresh lemon juice and refrigerate.

Other new tools for planning your Oscar party…

  • Evite’s Postmark Invitations: Marc Friedland, designer of the Academy Award winners’ envelope, created the first-ever collection of Academy sanctioned invitations for Oscar Sunday viewing parties for Evite’s new premium site Evite Postmark. The Oscar Collection by Marc Friedland has ten designs from classic golden age of Hollywood to modern, fun takes on Oscar. Each invitation has a matching designed envelope, custom stamp, and features the never before available Oscar statuette and the use the of the “official” Academy Awards title.
  • My Oscar Ballot: Develop your own prediction list and share with friends via Facebook.

Cheers to Sunday night Oscar Parties!

Next Awards Show, New Wine List…the SAG Awards

Next up is this Sunday’s 18th Annual Screen Actor Guild Awards®. Red carpet festivities kick off with an official Taittinger Champagne toast. The Taittinger Moment will be hosted by Vitalie Taittinger, the Champagne House’s Artistic Director and heiress, and Matt Czuchry, ensemble nominee for “The Good Wife.” The SAG awards are another fun show as the ceremony takes place over dinner, celebrates film and tv, AND it only last two hours.

Champagne Taittinger, the only marquee family-owned and operated Champagne house, is celebrating its 12th year as the official Champagne of the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Champagne Taittinger’s Brut La Française NV will be served over dinner, on the red carpet, backstage in the green room and at the after parties.

Also celebrating their 12th year with the SAG Awards is Dry Creek Vineyards. This year the featured wine is their Cabernet Sauvignon, Endeavour, crafted from their estate vineyards in Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, California. The 2006 Endeavour will be presented in a beautiful 1.5L magnum for each table at the awards show. Their 2010 Fumé Blanc will also be served with dinner. During the show, Dry Creek Valley Vineyards also hosts a complimentary tasting bar allowing SAG Awards guest to sample their 2007 Mariner and 2009 Foggy Oaks.

Dry Creek Vineyards also created a special 2008 SAG Awards Cuvée, Dry Creek Valley to celebrate their 10th anniversary with the awards show which was released in November. The wine is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 8% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot. You can get your own bottle on their website.

The SAG Awards® ceremony will be simulcast live nationally on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 29, at 8 p.m. (ET) / 5 p.m. (PT) from the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center.

Cheers to Taittinger and/or Dry Creek Valley Vineyards…enjoy the show!

Tonight’s Golden Globes = 10,000+ glasses of Champagne & Wine

The 69th Annual Golden Globe® Awards airs tonight and kicks off the big awards season. Always my favorite awards show as it combines film, tv, awards, food, wine and champagne!

To celebrate there will be lots of bubbles from Moët & Chandon, the official champagne of the Golden Globes for the 21st year. More than 1,000 mini bottles and 500 magnums of Grand Vintage 2002 Moët & Chandon champagne, specially created for the show, will be served on the red carpet and inside the Beverly Hilton Hotel’s International Ballroom at tonight’s event. That’s over 9,000 glasses of champagne at $84.95 a bottle ($84,950 worth of champagne)! And don’t forget the over 400 bottles of wine, 2,500 glasses, that will also be served.

Executive chefs Suki Sugiura and pastry chef Thomas Henzi have created an elegant and mouth-watering menu reflecting the global nature of the Golden Globes and it will take a team of 40 chefs and 110 kitchen staff members to prepare it on show day. It will include an appetiser of pistachio crusted pistou ravioli with wild arugula, smoked tomato, kabocha compote and burrata; a combination entree of miso and sake lees marinated pacific sea bass with grilled king oyster musroom and braised prime short rib of beef with porcini pine nut herb ragout in a light cream of sherry wine ginger tamari sauce with roasted fingerling potatoes, candy striped beets, baby bok choy and yellow baby carrots.

For dessert Chef Henzi will be serving a trio of chocolate delice almond crunch terrine and acacia honey, caramel and fresh berries, which will pair ideally with the Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2002 and the 23K edible gold Italian chocolates.

For your party open one of Moët & Chandon‘s many options… White Star Impérial (their flagship), Rosé Impérial (the Glamoruous Champagne), Nectar Impérial (the Daring Champagne) and Nectar Impérial Rosé (the Extravagant Champagne).

Cheers to the 69th Annual Golden Globes Party!

Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving Dinner

It’s that time of year. Thanksgiving dinner shopping and choosing wines to serve with it. There’s lots of advice out there this week on-line so thought I’d share my pairing guidance.

Whether you chose red or white wine, I recommend serving both, the general advice is pair simple wines (lighter and less complex) with complex meals (meaning rich foods, heavy spices and herbs) and pair complex wines with simple meals. Thanksgiving dinner is a little of both so totally up to you! I’m going with simple wines for our big dinner at friend’s house…probably a bottle or more of each category below.

Bubbles

Any special meal should start and end with bubbles! You could go high-end Champagne or serve a bottle of Prosecco or other sparking wine.

Red Wines

Red wines with low tannins are suggested for Thanksgiving so a lighter bodied fruity wine to go with the richness of the meal.

  • Beaujolais: Beaujolais Nouveau, a red wine made in less than 10 weeks from the Gamay grape in Burgundy, France, is meant to be enjoyed immediately upon its release last week (always the 3rd Thursday of November). It’s a light bodied fruity, easy to drink wine. Georges Dubouef’s is the classic you’ll see everywhere ($11). Or you could go with a fuller bodied Beaujolais-Village from Dubouef or Louis Jadot (either $14).
  • Pinot Noir: Another great option is go American with Oregon’s red wine specialty, Pinot Noir, made of ripe red fruit for lots of berry and juicy flavor. Last weekend I discovered Lachini Vineyard‘s amazing Pinot Noir wines. Their 2008 Estate Pinot Noir was full of raspberry and white pepper with taste of sweet fruit, floral and dark chocolate ($40). King Estate is another great option…their namesake Signature Pinot Noir ($30) or their Acrobat ($19).

White Wines

White wines with bright flavors are perfect for Thanksgiving dinner.

Snooth and wine.com are great resources for your wine ordering online.

Cheers to Thanksgiving week with great wine and food!

“You CAN Have Champagne with Food!”

Toasted Pascal Boye, director of Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, kicking off the French Regional Wine Luncheon at the 2011 Epcot Food & Wine Festival. Four delicious Bistro de Paris courses were paired with four sublime Champagnes from Nicolas Feuillatte and proved just that. Most people think of Champagne only as an aperitif or celebratory beverage but its great for all occasions and perfect with food.

Founded 30 years ago by Nicolas Feuillatte, who started out in the coffee business, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte (pronounced f00-yacht) is now the #1 selling Champagne brand in France and the #3 Champagne brand worldwide. They have 2,200 hectares of vineyards in Champagne, France including 13 of 17 Grand Crus and 33 of 42 Premier Crus (villages in Champagne are classified according to their quality, Grand Cru is 100% and Premier Cru is 90-99%). Winemaker Jean-Pierre Vincent and his team turn lovely wines into exquisite champagnes. As Pascal called out for us, Champagne is a wine before the yeast is added and the wine is aged a minimum of 3 years thus producing Champagne. While the company was sold in 1986 to Centre Vinicole de la Champagne, the largest union of Champagne producers, 86-year-old Nicolas at 86 years old is still involved in the business he created.

Over the three-and-a-half-hour luncheon, Eric Weistroffer and his fabulous Bistro de Paris team popped bottle after bottle of Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, 65 bottles to be exact for the 85 of us, to serve with our lunch.

Amuse-Bouche paired with Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, Brut N.V.

  • Combines 2004, 2005 and 2006 grapes and aged 3 years
  • Grape Variety: 40% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Meunier
  • Aroma: White fruit, herbal with a touch of nut
  • Taste: Delicate bubbles combine with smooth, balanced herbal notes
  • Price: $30
  • My thoughts: Great everyday champagne and at a great price for this quality.

Snapper with Champagne Sauce paired with Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Cuvee 225, Vintage 2003

  • Aged 7 years
  • Grape Variety: 50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay
  • Aroma: Hints of honey, spice, vanilla
  • Taste: White fruits with vanilla
  • Price: $55
  • My thoughts: This was my favorite course and pairing! The Champagne itself is divine but then paired with the gruyere cheese and bread crumb encrusted snapper and the Champagne sauce, it knocked my socks off! This Champagne has more structure, depth and a nice lingering aftertaste.

Veal Medallion & Sweetbread Forestiere paired with Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Cuvee Palmes d’Or, Vintage 1999

  • Nicolas created this champagne in 1985 in memory of one of the loves of his youth. It comes from 8 famous Grand Cru Vineyards.
  • Aged 10 years, 1999 was a great vintage
  • Grape Variety: 50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay
  • Aroma: White flowers, honey, pineapple, vanilla
  • Taste: Soft round small bubbles accentuate the aromas and leave them lingering on your pallate
  • Price: $139
  • My thoughts: The story that goes with the Champagne is fabulous and when you see the bottle designed for it, its amazing! A lovely and very complex Champagne with many layers. This grand Champagne would be a wonderful gift or add glitz to any special occasion.

 

White Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry and Praline paired with Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, Brut Rose NV

  • Beautiful pink color comes from brief skin contact of Pinot Noir grape with the wine.
  • Grape Variety: 60% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Meunier
  • Aroma: Red fruit bouquet
  • Taste: Full of strawberry, raspberry and blackberry layers
  • Price: $50
  • My thoughts: I love rosé and this Champagne variety is no exception! Not only is it gorgeous in the bottle, the pairing with dessert brought out the fruit of the wine, lightened sweetness of the praline and sweetened the mousse.

It was an incredible afternoon of champagne, food and meeting new people, including my table mates Pat, Pat and Denise, and one of my highlights of this year’s festival. See the gallery for more great photos.

With all the holidays coming up, try pairing Champagne with some of your meals. Everyone will be pleased!

For more on Champagne, see more Grape Occasions articles.

Santé!