Moët & Chandon's Elise Losfelt Talks Champagne & Truffle Fries

Categories: Booze

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Photo by Molly Dunn
The Grand Vintage 2006 is now available in the United States.

Moët & Chandon recently released the Grand Vintage 2006, a champagne that completely reflects that harvest year, but only if it was an outstanding and exceptional year in the eyes of the winemakers.

"I like to describe this champagne as a champagne that is floral, succulent and expansive. Why floral? Because its blend is dominated by 42 percent Chardonnay...Here for this Vintage, it's the Chardonnay that dominates. The Chardonnay brings today to this champagne a lot of aromas of floral that you might have had on the nose; it's also quite nutty today," Losfelt says. "So Chardonnay is floral, it can also bring some buttery aromas but this will come when the champagne ages. Succulent and expansive, this is for me linked with the texture of the Champagne on the mouth...The 2006 has a lot of density, it's thirst-quenching, it develops on the bottom part of your palate... it has a huge length and it stays really long, developing slowly all the levels of aromas of the champagne in your mouth. So actually you have more intensity and more complexity in the aromas of the 2006."

Like the Moët Imperial, the Grand Vintage 2006 is also a Brut Champagne, but its sugar content is much lower. The Moët Imperial has 9 grams of sugar per liter, while the 2006 has 5 grams. Then you have Coca-Cola which has nearly 100 grams of sugar per liter.

She suggests pairing a glass of Grand Vintage 2006 with your main course. Match those intense aromas with veal and potatoes, or a risotto mixed with hearty mushrooms, lemon or pumpkin. An addition of creaminess to your dish brings out the fruitiness and freshness of the Chardonnay blended in this champagne.

For a surprising barbecue pairing, Losfelt suggests swapping beer for the Rosé Imperial. It's simple and intense, and pairs nicely with red meat or game meat, along with peppers and peppercorns. She also suggests it as a refreshing wine to drink during the hot summer months.

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Photo by Leif Carlson
Elise Losfelt enjoys a glass of Rosé Imperial during the summer.

"Sometimes in the summer I know that Rosé Imperial is what people are craving for because it has a little bitterness at the end that brings a lot of freshness, actually, and when it is really hot outside, people are craving for freshness and the Rosé Imperial is something that can bring that," she says.

When serving a non-Vintage champagne, ensure it is chilled to approximately 8 to 10 degrees Celsius (about 50 degrees Fahrenheit), and 10 to 12 degrees Celsius for Vintage bottles (about 54 degrees Fahrenheit). Placing your bottle in the refrigerator the night before will allow it to reach this chilled temperature. If you're serving a large bottle of champagne, or one you don't expect to finish that night, then serve it in an ice bucket.

Losfelt suggests serving champagne in white wine glasses instead of flutes, too.

"If you want to enjoy completely the aromas of the champagne, I invite people to try [it] with white wine glasses," Losfelt says. "The flutes are nice because they have a celebratory shape; you see the bubbles, etc. But when it comes to tasting really good champagne, it's really not the best glass. So, if you want to taste the champagne, use a white wine glass. Don't pour too much because as it's wider, the champagne gets warmer quicker and it loses its bubbles quicker. But, if you want to do a dinner with champagne, or you really want to impress your friends, you can do it with the white wine glasses."

When storing your champagne, don't leave an unopened bottle in the refrigerator for more than four day because the air in the fridge dries out the cork, altering the aromas of the wine. Place it in the refrigerator the night or two nights before you plan to serve your bottle. Open bottles must be stored in the refrigerator with the appropriate stopper that has a silicon seal to maintain the pressure.

If you don't finish it within two days, just cook with it! Then open another bottle of bubbly because you're cooking with champagne.

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