Saturday, December 21, 2013

Champagne and Oysters

Days before Christmas a few weeks ago Vineyard Gate held a Champagne and oyster tasting extravaganza. The event was festive, educational, and decadent. Champagnes from Barnaut, Lilbert, and Jacquesson overflowed, while equally staggering were three man-piles of fresh, juicy steam boat, kumamoto, and blue point oysters.

The oysters were supplied by long-time San Franciso-based seafood wholesaler to the restaurant trade, Royal Hawaiian Seafood. The company focuses on sourcing high quality seafood that is safe, traceable, and sustainable. It will soon be introducing a consumer-subscription "Fishbox" program, modeled after a CSA, that allows households a steady supply of their highly desirable seafood products. If everything goes as planned Vineyard Gate would be the first pick-up site for the "Fishbox."

Tasting six different Champagnes side-by-side with the three varieties of oysters was an eye-opening experience. Certain oysters paired better with a particular Champagne.

One of the consensus was the sweet and delicate tasting kumamoto was a perfect match with the evolved 2007 Lilbert Brut Blanc des Blancs.

On the other hand, the meaty, mouthfilling taste of the steam boat oysters was particularly suited to the bone-dry, racy character of Jacquesson's Extra Brut 736.

Champagnes featured in the tasting included:

Champagne Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs, Barnaut NV

Champagne Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs, Lilbert & Fils NV

Champagne Extra Brut "Cuvee No. 736", Jacquesson NV

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