April 27, 2012

Veuve Clicquot luncheon at Area 31

Last week I attended a luncheon with Pierre Casenave the winemaker for Veuve Clicquot at Area 31. Pierre took us through the history of the wine as well as an in depth tasting from the well known Yellow Label to the soon to be released 2004 La Grande Dame, from Veuve Clicquot’s special selection.

Madame Clicquot née Ponsardin was bequeathed the Champagne house in 1805 at the age of 27, when she found herself a widow after 6 short years of marriage. Widow in French is “veuve” thus Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. Brave, bold and exceedingly confident Madame Clicquot went on to revolutionize the world of Champagne.

Clicquot, one of first business women in history is credited with creating advanced methodology in Champagne handling that allowed for mass production of  the wine. In the early 19th century Clicquot with the assistance of her cellar master invented the riddling rack that made the process of dégorgement efficient and economic. Clicquot’s passion for Pinot Noir changed the face of Veuve Clicquot as it became and is still the brands’ signature wine. Highlights that have signified Veuve Clicquot as a Champagne mainstay are: Veuve Clicquot was the first house to make rosé champagne and in 1810 the house of Veuve Clicquot produced the first ever Champagne vintage wine. In 1782 the first shipment of Veuve Clicquot made its way to the United States; for 230 years Americans have been  enjoying the passion of Madame Clicquot.

Pierre Casenave, Veuve Clicquot

I am a big fan of Champagne and have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to sample and enjoy some of the finest wines produced. This luncheon opened my eyes and palate to so much more within the Veuve Clicquot portfolio than just the Yellow Label. All of the wines that we tasted were quite spectacular I cannot say that I enjoyed one over another, as each wine for me has its place and purpose. Sometimes you’re in the mood for a rosé and other times not; that is where the Vintage Blanc or Yellow Label or even La Grande Dame Blanc will come into play, of course depending on your wallet; the retail price of Veuve Clicquot yellow label starts at about $30.

Area 31′s Executive Chef Michael Reidt has created a lunch menu that is light and uncomplicated where as all of our choices paired well with the Champagne. This particular lunch had quite a bit going for it with regards to the food and the Champagne but the view from the 16th floor of the Epic certainly pulled the entire experience full circle.

Off of Reidt’s lunch menu we started with Shrimp Ceviche, Potato-Chorizo Croquettes and Tuna Tartar. For my entree I chose the Spicy Fish Tacos, which actually paired well with the wine. And in true French style we ended our lunch with a cheese plate.

The shrimp ceviche was mild and flavorful; the citrus was well balanced not overpowering the dish. I liked balance of the ceviche best with the Veuve Clicquot Rose.

The potato and chorizo croquettes were a nice fried splurge; the outside was perfectly crispy and the pureed mix of potato and chorizo was light and airy, verses some of the heavy chunky styles that are made. I enjoyed this best with the Yellow Label.

This tuna tartar was outstanding and balanced well with the Vintage blanc.

I’m so glad I ordered this dish. It was a simple dish, as you can tell from the photo but the spicy fish added so much depth to the  fresh vegetable combination. Because of the spice the Yellow Label was the best match for this dish.

Area 31 at the Epic Hotel 270 Biscayne Boulevard Way  Miami, FL 33131 Area 31 on Urbanspoon


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