Last week we were guests of Blythswood Square Hotel in Glasgow which held Moet & Chandon Champagne Grand Vintage Dinner. Guests had the opportunity to discover Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection paired with an exclusive bespoke 3 course dinner created by head chef Zoltan Szabo.
Blythswood Square is an award winning 5-star hotel, located close to Glasgow’s city centre. Not only does it have 100 stunning guest rooms, but it is also home to a luxury spa, first class restaurant, well stocked bars (including the historic Rally Bar, cocktail bar and champagne bar) and private event areas.
Our dinner was hosted by Marie-Christine Osselin from Moët & Chandon wine maker.
The evening started with a champagne reception at the hotel, where guests enjoyed Moët Imperial Brut with some delicious canapes.
Smoked Scottish salmon with caviar, Knochraich Farm crème fraîche on rye
Crispy Ayrshire pork fritter, Arran wholegrain mustard mayonnaise
Parmesan and Kintyre smoked Applewood cheddar croquette
When it comes to champagne, vintage is always an exception. It’s all about free style and freedom, to select the wines they believe to be the most interesting of the year. It’s an interpretation from Chef de Cave, who is looking for uniqueness and individuality. Moët & Chandon possesses one of the world’s most prestigious collection of vintage champagnes. Since 1842 they have released 69 vintage champagnes, all made from the grapes of a single exceptional year. Each Grand Vintage is unique and has its own personality. Each possesses the distinctive, imitable qualities of that year’s outstanding grapes, qualities which have been elevated to their fullest expression through the savoir-faire, experience, and expertise of Moët & Chandon and the House’s chef de cave.
Marie-Christine described the process of making a vintage wine as an ‘act of freedom from the cellar master.
Marie talked about 3 questions that a company needs to answer, before creating a vintage champagne
1) Do we have high-quality wines? (because grand vintage must age in cellars for years).
2) Do we have something special to explain with vintage? (because every vintage is a different style).
3) Does the cellar master want to create vintage? (because he is a guardian and he decides if he wants to tell customers a new story).
Gently roasted fillet of Orkney halibut on buttered spinach, artichokes, baby leeks and rope grown mussels in caviar Champagne butter sauce with Grand Vintage 2008
Seafood is the perfect pairing for champagne, however, you can perfect the ‘perfection’ by serving quality Scottish produce, and excellent vintage champagne!
The halibut was delicious and perfectly cooked and the caviar champagne butter sauce had a lovely creamy texture, and plenty of lemon to cut through the richness of the fish.
The 2008 was one of the coolest years of the last decade, with temperatures similar to 2004 and 1998.
A blend of 42% Chardonnay, 39% Pinot Noir and 19% Pinot Meunier, the wine offers ample weight, yet finishes with delicacy and freshness.
Tasting notes: Aromas of mandarin orange zest with a dash of anise, white peach, nectarine and brioche. The succulent notes of white fruits envelop and channel the freshness towards a mouth-watering finish.
“For me, 2008 is an oceanic vintage,” says chef de cave Benoît Gouez. “Winter was mild, and spring mostly rainy and grey. The summer was cool, and luckily dry as well.
‘Vintage by Moët & Chandon’ and his personal expression of a particular year, in contrast to the house’s flagship Impérial non-vintage…
“If our Impérial is about consistency, then Grand Vintage is about individuality,” says Gouez (source)
Seared breast of Borders quail with wild mushroom tarte fine, quail’s eggs, black pudding, mashed potato & thyme essence with Grand Vintage 1998
Quail is a very small bird that tastes quite similar to chicken. The seared quail breast was tender and the egg yolk was still runny. I particularly liked the black pudding, full of flavour and well-seasoned.
1998 produced wines with high acidity, as the weather was mild with some sunny spells. Rain and cool temperatures prevailed in July, then during the first days of August a heatwave began scalding some of the clusters of grapes.
Wine aged 15 years in the cellar had noticeably more mature notes, with more saturated yellow colour. Aromas of ripe pears, apples and candied citrus fruit, give way to floral expressions of fresh almonds and vanilla with hints of toast. On the palate, the wine was very well balanced.
Mature cheese selection – Isle of Mull, St Andrew’s farm house and Ardmore cheddar with quince, grapes, apples and Arran Oaties with
Grand Vintage 1988
1988 vintage champagne was created in a particularly difficult harvest year, as harvesting began in late September. After very mild and rainy winter, and dry hot spring, flowering and fruit formation took place quite rapidly during the sunny period in June. Heavy rain in July and a hot and dry August/September period ,created very good conditions for fruit ripening.
Pinot Noir: 50% Chardonnay: 30% Meunier: 20%
Tasting notes: The aroma’s top notes are subdued, sombre and dry, smoked, roasted, malted scents with hints of toasted sesame seed as well as rather original oceanic notes, including a touch of nori seaweed. Subsequently come softer, warmer notes of wax, honey, almond, biscuit and dried fruits (banana and coconut)
What could be better than an evening of outstanding food, paired with exceptional champagne, not to mention the stunning surroundings of the private dining room at Blythswood Square hotel?
I enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere of the event, our host Marie was very informative and approachable. We met very interesting and engaging people, and had informative and captivating conversations, the evening will certainly be a memory I will cherish and remember with fondness.
I would like to thank Moët & Chandon for bringing the best vintage champagne, and the team at Blythswood Square Hotel for hosting the event.
Buy Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Trilogy Champagne here
Website https://www.blythswoodsquare.com 11 Blythswood Square, GlasgowG2 4AD01412 488888