Champagne to Start - Wine & Spirits Magazine

Champagne to Start

At the end of a long day, few things are more welcome than a cold beer, except, perhaps, a glass of Champagne. Or eight Champagnes, if you find yourself on the fourth-floor balcony, above Yerba Buena Gardens, at the Top 100. The Oyster Girls will be shucking miyagi oysters, and whether or not you believe Champagne’s chalk soils flecked with fossilized oyster shells contribute in any way to the scent, flavor or texture of the wine, there’s no question that oysters are a pretty great complement to Champagne.
 Gianpaolo Paterlini Gianpaolo Paterlini
Or try some bubbly with lobster, as Acquarello’s team will be stationed right by the Champagne with their Lobster Cannoli.  Gianpaolo Paterlini, who manages the wine list at Acquarello, specializes in Piedmont reds and has a passion for Champagne. His Champagne list runs six pages deep into vertical vintage collections from growers in the Marne Valley, the Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blanks and the Aube, with another two pages focused on wines from the classic houses.
Chef Suzette Gresham Chef Suzette Gresham
And Champagne is what he enjoys with chef Gresham’s Lobster Cannoli.
Lobster Cannoli Lobster Cannoli
“They are light and meant to be a little snack before dinner,” he says. “The bite is crispy-crunchy with sweet, juicy lobster meat so it needs a wine that has the acidity to cut through the texture and enough concentration to complement the sweetness of the lobster. They are best with bubbles or a fresh, slightly fruity but dry white wine. So, Champagnes would be complementary, as would the albariños at the event.” Chef Suzette Gresham describes Acquarello’s Lobster Cannoli as “Fresh lobster, simply adorned with chives in a crispy fried cannoli… What’s not to love?!” Here are some of the Champagnes and albariño/alvarinho wines to taste at the Top 100: Bollinger 2004 Champagne Brut R.D. Bruno Paillard Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blanks Louis Roederer 2009 Champagne Brut Nature Philippe Starck Domaine Jean Vesselle 2008 Champagne Grand Cru Brut Prestige Do Ferreiro 2017 Rías Baixas Cepas Vellas Albariño Soalheiro 2018 Monção e Melgaço Granit Mineral Selection Alvarinho

Joshua Greene is the editor and publisher of Wine & Spirits magazine.

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