‘Sex On Springs’ was the description our esteemed host, Champagne connoisseur Greg Williams from Moet Hennessey Australia used to describe our third Champagne of the evening. I’ll defer to his judgement on that, but I can tell you the fizz was fantastic.
I was at a preview of a new series of one off Luxury dinners to be held at the InterContinental Sydney titled Beauty, Purity and Luminosity where fine beverages are matched with the exceptional cooking of the hotel’s resident chefs in what can only be described as a sensory journey. On this occasion we were being transported to Northern France via the judicious application of French food and Champagne. The Champagne was from the house of Ruinart, the Champagne regions oldest established Champagne house, established in 1729. The meal was prepared by the hotel’s resident French chefs, Julien Pouteau and Tamas Pamer who aren’t just great chefs but are also best mates, having cooked around the world together.
It is a rare thrill to be able to sample a number of different Champagnes from the same Champagne house, as it gives a great insight into the ability of Champagne to take on so many different characteristics, both with food and without.
We started with Ruinart’s flagship champagne, the Blanc de Blancs. I understand the concept of luminosity now, as the bottle itself becomes luminous when light plays through the clear glass of the bottle as the Champagne is poured. The Champagne is 100% Chardonnay which gives it a lovely straw like complexion. It more than held its own with its accompanying dish, Hiramasa Kingfish which was served both sashimi style and smoked, and a small cylinder of Alaskan king crab.
Our second Champagne for the evening was ‘R’ de Ruinart a multi-vintage blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. It had an almost nutty flavour and matched beautifully with Hervey Bay Scallops, persimmon curd and small wafers of pork crackling.
The highlight of the evening for me was a special preview of the ‘sex on springs’ Dom Ruinart Rose 1996 a beautiful coppery salmon coloured Champagne, redolent with hints of cardamom and peach. A mere infant at 22 years old, this Champagne is a stunner that will cellar for at least another 30 years. This was paired with a beautiful marron lobster tail served with a very French Armoricaine cream, a delicate sheet of horseradish paper and quandong, a native Australian plum.
There were many other highlights to this stunning meal, including the Valhrona P125 chocolate marshmallow served with Cacao granola, crème chiboust (a pastry cream), candied mint and chocolate ice cream which was paired with the Ruinart Rose NV but after the experience I had, I can tell you that the best way to experience this sensory journey is to let your own tastebuds do the travelling.
The inaugural event – Beauty, Purity and Luminosity – A Sensory Journey with Ruinart– will be hosted in partnership with Moet Hennessey Australia in the Tasting Room of the InterContinental Sydney’s Cafe Opera restaurant on May 16th.
Tickets are $290 and include a 5 course meal with matched Champagnes including ‘R’ de Ruinart, Ruinart Blanc de Blancs and Dom Ruinart Rose.
Jeremy Bowell attended as a guest of the InterContinental Sydney and Moet Hennessey Australia