Clicquot + oysters
Champagne. One of my favourite things on the planet, yet so often overlooked and just plonked in the posh department.
We sat down with Christophe Pannetier, Head Chef of Veuve Clicquot's Hôtel du Marc, to find out why we need to stop discriminating against this heavenly bubbly beverage and start making it more of a regular occurrence.
Introducing Part I of our new Veuve Clicquot food pairing series . . .
How is champagne pairing different to other wine pairings?
"Champagne is perfect for a celebration, yet also for matching gastronomy," explains Christophe. "There is nothing better than coming to Champagne to discover all the originality of our terroir!
"It's important to understand, however, that champagne pairing is different than other wines because of its delicate bubbles. This effervescence inspires chefs when creating dishes, as it can be interpreted differently with different textures and temperatures.
"The freshness of champagne, even for the back vintages, brings vivacity and energy that you can integrate into your recipes. Think citrus, vegetables or fresh fruits," he explained.
"Veuve Clicquot champagnes enable us various styles of food pairing, which means we can experiment with unique and daring pairings, often very different from traditional French cuisine. For instance, sushis, makis and Japanese cuisine in general are an exceptional pairing," Christophe said.
What are the best flavours to pair with Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label?
"Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label is a very versatile wine. We recommend savoury recipes, with fresh, spicy and fruity notes - perhaps seafood, fish, poultry, depending on the season.
"However it is hard to go past the marriage of oysters and champagne, with their iodine taste revealing the minerality of our wines.
"Oysters are a product of character, with a strong personality, which requires time to age, savoir-faire, human attention and magic of nature, just like our vintage champagnes. Natural or cooked, oysters are always the best friend of our champagnes, especially our vintages."
Oysters with a tangy mignonette sauce
Half a dozen fresh oysters (keep half shells)
1/2 cup of good-quality champagne vinegar
1 minced shallot
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
the juice of 1 blood orange
a lot of ice!
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the champagne vinegar, minced shallot, salt, pepper, and blood orange juice - you've now made a mignonette!
Transfer your ice to a serving platter
Place the oysters in their shells over the ice
Pour your mignonette into small jug and pour gently over the oysters