Undeniably the world’s greatest sparkling wine, Champagne is the antidote to bad humor and the ebullient companion to a vast diversity of cheeses.
Each week we roll out a new cheese board in our Wine Bar, and I have the great pleasure of taking a few minutes with our incredible staff to discuss new cheeses and wine pairings. I cherry pick my favorite bottles from the list–Huet’s impeccable Chenin Blanc, Kante’s rich and briny Friulian Chardonnay, Ganevat’s exuberant Pinot Noir, to name a few–matching them to cheeses I think will work best.
Almost always, I mention that Champagne pairs with almost all of these cheeses.
When I do forget, Ashley or Brittany are quick to remind me of the incredible power of Champagne. Undeniably the world’s greatest sparkling wine, Champagne is the antidote to bad humor and the ebullient companion to a vast diversity of cheeses.
The fine bead and piercing acidity of Champagne provides levity to decadent triple-crème cheeses like Brillat Savarin ($7.50/quarter wheel) and the exquisite double-crème Perigord truffle-studded Brie aux Truffes ($36/lb). Try these with the stunning Moncuit Blanc de Blanc $46.99, a 100% Chardonnay bottling that we love pouring by the glass in our Bar with creamy cheese and oysters alike. Champagne also loves funky cheeses identified by their pinkish-orange rind (often washed with a simple brine or liqueur) and pungent aroma. What better pairing than Langres, a brainy-rinded cylinder from the Champagne-Ardennes region. This cheese was crafted just for bubbly, with an indentation or fontaine on top designed to be filled with Champagne before serving. When you cut through the topped cheese, the delicate rind yields a gorgeous cream line and cakey interior, which saturates with Champagne as you slice. Pair this with a pot of our Housemade Chicken Liver Mousse ($10/jar), Pickled Mustard Seed “Caviar” from American Spoon ($12/jar), and J. Lassalle’s creamy Brut Rosé $64.99, and you have one of the most splendid mouthfuls imaginable.
SUSTAINABLY SOURCED CAVIAR
This week I’m bringing in a small selection of sustainably sourced imported and local caviars and all the fixings you need for New Year’s Eve.
For the gourmands we have a Siberian-Osetra hybrid caviar from Royal Belgian. These Russian Osetra and Siberian Sturgeon hybrids produce exceptionally fine pearls with a dark olive, gray-green color and a rich and complex flavor to please to most passionate aficionados. We’re bringing in just a few pieces of this caviar for $90/30gm–please let me know if you’d like some set-aside.
For something domestic, try the Royal Snake River Caviar for $65/1oz. This Idaho caviar comes from American White Sturgeon in the Snake River, which produce a medium size pearl, with a light charcoal color, creamy texture, and nutty finish.
Lastly, our best value “caviar” comes from Atlantic Sea Trout Roe raised in Denmark, which yield a large, brilliant orange pearl similar to salmon roe with a briny, clean flavor and a satisfying pop. For $40 for 4.4oz, this larger format roe is great for piling on top of blinis and topping oysters.
In addition to caviar and roe, we’re bringing in the essential Mother of Pearl Spoons for $12/each. 16 packs of ready-made Blinis for $14/pack, and Vermont Creamery Crème Fraîche $10.
All you need is Champagne and you’re on your way.
Would you rather party at Dedalus? Call us our check out our website to make a reservation for New Year’s Eve. We’ll be serving all of the above alongside Champagne, pét-nat, oysters and more.
UNEXPECTEDLY GOOD BUBBLY PAIRINGS
While cheese and caviar are the obvious pairings for Champagne and bubbly, some of my favorite pairings are the least expected.
My first “ah-ha” moment with Champagne was with a bag of potato chips and some Premier Cru Blanc de Blanc.
Toasty, salty, nutty, fried–these flavors complement the autolytic flavors of our favorite Champagnes and help bring the wine down from the pedestal of unaffordable luxury. Join us tomorrow from 4-7pm for All That and a Bag of Chips & Champagne for a tasting of Spanish Torres Chips alongside beautiful grower Champagnes.
My personal favorite combination: Torres Jamón Ibèrico Potato Chips ($4.50/7 bag) dunked into Jasper Hill Harbison ($10.50/21 whole/half) with a bottle of Benoît Lahaye’s bone-dry, slightly savory Brut Nature ($66.99). For something more adventurous, try our Water Buffalo Milk Burrata ($11) topped with La Roque Boquerones ($18) and a side of Quicos Kikos ($11/lb). Creamy, briny, toasty, bubbly–what more could you want?
Ask your cheesemonger about our favorite New Year’s pairings and we’d be more than happy to give you a taste of something extraordinary.
Artisan Food Manager