How A Chef Pairs Rosé Champagne With Food
Champagne always brings a sense of occasion to any meal, and its versatility often makes it a confident choice for food and wine pairing. At Épure, the fine dining French restaurant conveniently located in Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui, executive chef Nicolas Boutin and head sommelier Mathieu Marchal recently decided upon two perfect pairings for Laurent-Perrier’s Cuvée Rosé champagne.
“The nose on the Laurent-Perrier rosé is very fruity, very elegant,” explains Marchal. “On the palate, we do have a beautiful acidity but it’s definitely a lot more complex and the fruit is still very pleasant.” Marchal describes a fruit-forward profile full of strawberries, raspberries and even redcurrants, which Boutin used as a starting point for his food pairing.
The first dish Boutin selected is a refreshing starter of heirloom pineapple tomato with black olive and spring onion. The tomato is served thickly sliced, like a steak, topped with a delicate black olive tapenade, a sorbet created from tomato confit, and finished with a light tomato consommé. “The mix of sweetness, the acidity and the freshness match very well with the champagne and the romantic depth,” explains Boutin.
The 100 per cent pinot noir grapes used in Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé are carefully selected from 10 different crus, including those of Ambonnay, Bouzy, Louvois and Tours-sur-Marne. As part of the process, the grapes are macerated between 48 hours to 72 hours depending on the harvest, which contributes to the rich, rose hue of the champagne and its signature intensity.
Lobster, with its robust flavour and texture, is another ingredient that is a natural bedfellow for Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé too, says Boutin. For his second dish, blue lobster is roasted twice—first in its shell, then again with brown butter, and then paired with Cevenne onion from France, prized for its sweetness. “The dish is more about complexity,” says Boutin. “It is matched with the full aromatics of this 100 per cent pinot noir champagne.” The champagne, served chilled between 8°C and 10°C, proves to be the most sensational pairing with Boutin’s elegant creations.
Épure, Shop 403, 4/F, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong; +852 3185 8338; epure.hk