Yesterday lunch prepared by Dom Pérignon chef de cuisine Pascal Tingaud at the appropriately grand Ellerman House in Bantry Bay to celebrate the launch of the 2002 vintage of this iconic Champagne.
Guests joined Tinguad in the kitchen to sip on the 2000 vintage as he prepared apetisers, then the 2002 vintage with first soup of lobster and Thai herbs and then lissé de foie gras. The 2000 displays plenty of developed character relative to the 2002, more than might be expected given that it is only two years older, but delicious for all that. The 2002 is being hailed as one of the great Champagne vintages and this wine was magnificent for its freshness, finesse and length.
On to the Oenothéque 1996, recently disgorged after 15 years in the Dom P. cellar. Plenty of secondary aroma and character and it paired well with the earthy flavours of guinea fowl, aubergine and fig mouseline and pureed celeriac.
Lastly Dom Pérignon Rosé 2000 with lukewarm Turkish Delight ice-cream, a somewhat counter-intuitive but extraordinarily good food and wine combination.
Top-end Champagnes might be perceived as either elitist and stuffy or ridiculously over-priced and bling, but after yesterday I can assure that when you actually get to drink the stuff, it is very, very good indeed.