When good things happen in life, Champagne tends to be there too, dancing along beside us like a fizzy French fairy. That’s because it’s the drink of parties, celebrations and midnight boat trips watching shooting stars off the coast of Mauritius (OK, so maybe we’re still waiting for that last one, but you catch our drift).
But there is a whole other way to enjoy this iconic drink beyond your next big shindig and that’s by pairing it with different food types. In fact, there is an entire world of sweet and savoury flavours that perfectly complement different types of Champagne. So to find out more, this 5pm writer accepted an invitation to the launch of the Taittinger Trio Tasting Flight at Glasgow’s Champagne Central.
Taittinger takes centre stage
This new tasting experience from the Grand Central Hotel’s luxury bar offers a chance to sample three Champagnes from the iconic Taittinger label, all lovingly matched to canapés by Executive Chef, James Murphy.
On arrival, guests were greeted with refreshing and zingy Champagne mojitos whipped up by the bar maestro, which quickly put us all in the mood for the Taittinger tasting rollercoaster to come. If you are not familiar with the label, it is one of the last great independent Champagne houses and has been perfecting its craft since 1734 (excitingly, they have actually planted a vineyard in the UK but the first bottles won’t be available until 2023, so we have a bit of a wait yet).
Champagne and canapés
First up in the tasting trio was a glass of Taittinger Brut Reserve NV paired with a choice of either Cumbrae oyster & smoked sea salt or oaked smoked Hebridean salmon with Avruga caviar. Here, the delicacy and depth of the Reserve NV, with its notes of fresh fruit and honey, was a perfect counterpoint to the smoky, salty seafood flavours. A promising start.
Onto the next course, where a Taittinger Prestige Rosé NV was matched with a choice of treats from luxury Belgian chocolate brand, Callebaut — either dark chocolate & raspberry or white chocolate & strawberry. Here, the hint of fresh red fruit in the Prestige Rosé echoed the berries in the petit fours perfectly. As well as this, the champagne’s fine “mousse” (foam) nicely complemented the smooth texture of the chocolate.
The grand finale was a pairing of Taittinger Nocturne Sec NC with either a duck & orange canapé or a mini meringue. The subtly sweet flavours of this Champagne, alongside its delicate fruit and floral notes, echoed the sweetness found in both pairing nibbles. Also, the Nocturne’s soft aftertaste meant that it didn’t overpower either accompaniment, resulting in a lovely finish to the tasting flight. Take a bow, Taittinger.
By the end of our mouth tingling evening, we all felt decidedly more educated on all that the famous Champagne house has to offer and also, decidedly tipsier. In short, this 5pm writer hopes to return to Champagne Central faster than you can say amazing-grape-bubble-odyssey.
Here’s an idea for a great evening — enjoy dinner at Tempus restaurant in the Grand Central Hotel, then relax in Champagne Central bar afterwards with a glass of Taittinger. Browse and book our latest Tempus dining deals.