Tuesday, July 31, 2012
So last week, I was invited to a great dinner at Otto e Mezzo for a wine pairing dinner with Krug Grande Cuvee champagne to learn more about the champagne house. Rather than going through each pairing dish by dish, I'm going to instead go through the highlights of the evening as we are all posting about this dinner this week and I'm sure you probably don't want to read the same things over and over again.
If you've been following me on Instagram or Twitter, you'll probably have seen these photos because I'm a lazy blogger. (I think I was the only one at this invited meal where the iPhone was the choice of gadget for photos compared to other bloggers who carried DSLRs and 'real' cameras) What can I say? The Geek in me likes to travel light.
So, onto the evening. We started with a tasting session of four bubblies, the 98 Krug Clos Du Mesnil, the Krug Vintage 98, the Kurg Grande Vucee and the Krug Rose. My favourite of the night was the Krug Vintage 98, but then again I'm slightly biased, as I just opened a bottle of the same vintage for my birthday a couple weeks ago so there's a sentimental factor there. We had a fantastic five-course dinner and seven hours later, I was still in a food coma.
Dishes will be interspersed throughout the post in the order that we had them from Warm Lobster Salad on Roast Ligurian Artichoke, Savoured with Cinta Sense Ham, Roast Duck Foie Gras with Piedmont Hazelnut Sauce, Smoked Duck in Dice and Greens, Homemade Fettuccine with Fresh Black Winter Truffle, Butter and Parmesan, Spiced Roast Challans Duck Supreme with Apple and Eggplant Compote and the Crispy Pear Tart. Think of the text as the conversation we had while we indulged in the food to get a sense of the evening. (Probably also why towards the end, spam came up as we had all indulged in a little too much Krug by then!)
So where does the header of seduction and spam come in? Let's break it down.
Seduction: Fun fact of the evening shared by the Krug team. Apparently, the founder Joseph Krug used to be an accountant at another champagne house and he fell in love with the owner's daughter and seduced her. After marrying into the family and rapidly rising in the ranks, he didn't quite agree with their methods and broke away to start his own house that took traditional champagne blending beyond what was traditionally being done in the 19th century. So what's so special about his method? This all lies in the Krug Grande Cuvee. Apparently this blend uses around 120 wines from ten different vintages and three grape varieties to blend and is a result of at least six years of aging in the cellar.
According to Arnaud Mirey , Brand Ambassador Asia Pacific at Moët-Hennessy, the Grande Cuvee has great potential for ageing and he suggests that it's a good idea to buy and store the bottle for at least another five years before consuming. However, the question comes up on how can we tell when the bottle was produced, as it's a multi vintage wine and so isn't labeled? He taught us a little trick. Each bottle has a white number printed on the label. By reading the first two numbers on the bottle, you'll be able to tell when it was issued.
Onto the Spam, how does that fit in a high end fancy dinner at the only Italian three-star Michelin restaurant outside of Italy? Well, I can only say that when you throw in a group of foodies, the conversation will undoubtedly take a turn to cooking and our love for food. We started speculating whether or not Krug would go well with Spam and also the various spams on offer in the market. The consensus around the group was that in order to do spam justice, you need to cut thin slices and pan fry it until the oil comes out and creates a crispy exterior. When I mentioned that I like air frying my luncheon meat, we started coming up with ideas of spam nuggets and how it should be able to pair well with the Grande Cuvee as this bubbly has flavours of hazelnut, barley sugar and honey. The theory is that since we are essentially caramelizing the spam, having a wine that has sweet notes should complement it well. Will this theory pan out? Stay tuned. I'm sure one of us will be sure to try it soon.
Special thanks to WOM Guide for arranging this fantastic dinner for us. We hear that our post will be placed on their Facebook page and there will be a friendly competition to see who has the most likes so loyal readers, please mobilise yourselves, click through and show us some love!