"[A] fantastic blog... which ranges from opinions on food and wine to daily adventures in a culinary-related profession."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Champagne & Charcuterie

Friday night, I decided it was finally time to break open the Moët & Chandon, Nectar Impérial which Danny had given me on my birthday. Confirming with Danny that it's "a tad on the sweet side," I decided I should pair it with some good, salty cheese...

birthday gift from Danny

The last time I enjoyed a very fine sweet wine was about two years ago when I picked up a bottle of Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey Sauternes as a part of David's holiday gift. After purchasing, I stopped at Westside Market to pick out some nice cheeses to pair with the wine. The very knowledgeable seller helped me select "the best blue cheese." He was right; to this day, it's the best blue I'd ever had. I figured it would be a good pair for the Nectar Impérial.

some of the best cheese money can buy

While at Westside Market, I also picked up a block of their domestic feta--David's favorite feta--and I also thought that some (salty) prosciutto wouldn't be a bad idea either. Standing in the sliced meats department, I told the seller I was looking for a salty prosciutto. He asked if I was going to cook it, then pointed out several different options. After cutting me a fresh taste of his top recommendation, he suggested I also consider the German prosciutto which they were offering at a deep discount. I went with his final recommendation and also picked up some mustard seed salami as well.

salty pairings for our demi-sec wine

Before opening the bottle of Nectar Impérial, we started with a half bottle of dry Piper-Heidsieck champagne. We mainly stuck to the domestic feta and saved the saltier Roquefort Société for the Moët. I also picked up, at Westside Market, some lovely homemade grape jam that paired well with our feta on crackers.

"Maria's homemade grape jam"

My first impression of the Nectar Impérial was that is was not at all cloying or sugary-sweet. Its sweetness seemed to come from fruit, rather than sugar. It paired wonderfully with the remainder of our meal--even unto the last drop. Sometimes with sec wines, all you can take--at most--is about a glass and a half... but the Nectar Impérial--I wouldn't mind enjoying again. Perhaps next time, I'll even try pairing it with chicken!
Post a Comment