The Mistress, Sue Searle, hosted a Champagne Masterclass at 116 Pall Mall, the Institute of Directors, for forty one consorts and a few guests. The theme was Harvest Champagne.
The evening began with a reception with Searcys Blanc de Blanc, NV Champagne and some delicious canapés, including some delicious, mini fish pies.
We were guided through the Tasting Trio of the month, alongside an expertly paired four-course dinner by Martin Dibben, Head of Champagne at Searcys in the beautiful dining room, the perfect setting for such a lavish dinner.
Martin began with a fascinating and entertaining talk covering the history of champagne and explaining the benefits of drinking it from a wine glass as opposed to a flute. Our guests were both astonished and amused and many vowed never to drink it from a flute again! He went on to explain how women were not allowed to own businesses in nineteen century France, but three widows, who were exempt from the rule, created some of Champagne’s most celebrated empires: Veuve Clicquot, Pommery and Bollinger.
Our dinner began with Searcys signature smoked salmon, pickled cucumber, whipped horseradish cream and rye bread, accompanied by Drappier Quattuor, NV. Our main course was butter roast Guinea fowl, heritage potato and root vegetables, with a Madeira sauce, paired with Pommery Blanc de Noir Apanage, NV. We received more of this champagne with a generous cheese course including celery and seeded crackers, an interesting comparison. The dessert, pear and apple tart with clotted cream, was paired with Veuev Cliquot Demi Sec, NV. It was a delicious dinner and so interesting to see how it could be successfully paired with champagne, unusual and very informative, great fun too.