By this time of year, we've usually got our Christmas dinner reservations in place, parties organised and family stay-cations booked in. But it's rather different and uncertain this time...so while nothing else can be planned, think about what is certain...that you and someone you love (whether that be your family, friend or dog) will be cracking open at least one chilled bottle of something sparkling to sipple on, in the days leading up to and over Christmas.
But what sparkles do you go for? And what do you eat with them? There's a long list of possibilities, and we can help windle down your options while not compromising on quality or enjoyment, but enhancing it...this year we are starting with Champagne Tarlant...
A bit of background info - Champagne Tarlant produces top-quality Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay from which they fashion an impressive range of wines. This superb family run champagne house is centred in Oeuilly in the Vallee de la Marne. 12th generation Benoit Tarlant is one of the few champenois along with Krug and Bollinger that still ferment their base wines in barrels, block the malolactic fermentation in order to give greater ageing potential and believe in ageing their wines for far longer than the legal minimum. Impressive ey?
Tarlant Zero 'Brut Nature' is a frank and fresh champagne which reveals the character of the fruit. Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir grapes are hand-selected at optimum maturity and carefully blended. The first fermentation is in stainless steel, the reserve wines are drawn from oak casks. On the nose, experience the scents of wax, honey, lemon and mandarin. On the palate enjoy the length and citrus finish, delivered with a lovely honesty and openness.
Champagne is so beautifully versatile when it comes to food pairings. If you're doing starters and /or canapes this year, give these a go alongside your champagne and you'll wish you'd done it sooner!.. Lemon and chilli dressed Avocado slice wrapped in smoked salmon, poached egg with smoked salmon and parmesan toasts (make small 'soldiers' wrap half in salmon - they're done - and the other half dust in parmesan and bake until crisp) dip away! Or grilled pear, Brie and Honey Crostini (oh my - yes!). The flavours and textures of both the Champagne and the food will do nothing but pleasure the palate.
Now for some Cremant! Paul Mas' Prima Perla Cremant de Limoux Method Traditionelle, from the Languedoc region, is a delicious alternative to Champagne and an even better value for money. Made in the same method as champagne, with a blend of Chardonnay, Chenin and Pinot Noir, this sparkling is not messing around. On the nose are intense aromas of honey and acacia combined with subtle notes of candied citrus. In the mouth, superb harmony of fine creamy bubbles and excellent balance of sugar and acidity. The fruits in the nose are found in a long and persistent finish. Truly divine!
For a heavenly combination, try serving the Cremant with: slices of apple and brie wrapped in Prosciutto with a balsamic glaze (pear and blue cheese in the Prosciutto would also be a winner) miniature Chicken Caesar salad on a stick (slide on and layer your chicken, lettuce, parmesan etc and drizzle with dressing) or Scallops on a parsnip an truffle oil crème (sprinkle some lardons on there too if you fancy it) and wow - you've got bubbles and bites fit for a King!
All there's left to do now is get at food shopping list written and bubbly ordered! Don't leave it too late though as it will definitely all be gone before Christmas!
Both wines are available with a special offer of 10% off six bottles or more, please click on the links below to have either them delivered or collect from our shop from now all the way until Christmas Eve.