The program read: Champagne Taittinger presents The Art of Celebrating The Holidays, Christmas in July.
As soon as I arrived I was given a glass of Taittinger Champagne and bottles of Taittanger Champagne were everywhere. One room featured oysters, clams, shrimps and lobster to go with the Champagne.
It was shaping up as quite an event and the Taittinger Champagne and Calvisius Caviar seminar that I had signed up for was not going to start for another half hour.
The moderator for the seminar was Vitalie Taittinger, Aristic Director, Taittinger Champagne.
She said that Taittinger is one of the few remaining family owned and operated Champagne houses. It is located in Reims, France. Its distinctive style is influenced by a greater proportion of Chardonnay in the blends and a longer aging period before release. The panel members were Chantelle Pabros, Sommelier, and John J. Knierim from Calvisius Caviar.
John said that Calvisius is an Italian company located in Calvisano, between Milan and Venice. It is the world’s largest farmed caviar producer accounting for 20% of global caviar production from its 150 acres of sustainable aquaculture pools.
There were four champagnes matched with caviar. The Caviar was on small metal spoons next to each champagne. John said caviar should only be served using mother of pearl spoons because a metal spoon could change the taste. Since we only had metal spoons he suggested we put the caviar on the out side of our hand just below the thumb and taste it that way.
Champagne Taittinger Brut La Française NV made from 40% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier. This is a champagne with aromas of peach, white flowers and brioche with fresh fruit and a touch of honey on the palate. $59.99
Paired with Calvisius Caviar Traditional Prestige. White Sturgeon (Acipenser Transmontanus) from the Pacific Coast of North America between Alaska and Baja California. The eggs are large, about 3 millimeters, color: dark gray to black. It requires about 11 years of the sturgeon life cycle. Delicate and elegant with hints of cream, butter and sea salt. 28 grams $74.99
Champagne Tattinger Prélude Grands Crus NV made from 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir. Fresh citrus aromas and flavors with hints of white peach and a touch of cinnamon. $94.99
Paired with Oscietra Caviar Oscietra Classic (Acipenser Gueldenstaedii) Also known as Russian Sturgeon. it is an ancient species originally native to the Black Sea, Caspian Sea and the Azov Sea. Medium size eggs 2.6 to 2.9 millimeters. It requires a 12 to 13 year life cycle. It is a firm egg, dark brown in color with a golden hue. It has a rich nutty and creamy flavor with a hint of the sea. It was a perfect combination with the croissant and brioche aromas and flavors of the Champagne. 28 grams $ 119.99
Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2006 100% Chardonnay. This is a complex Champagne with hints of citrus fruit, lime blossom and a touch of grape fruit. $198.99
Paired with Calvisius Caviar Siberian from Siberian Sturgeon (Acipenser Baerii) native to the fluvial basins of Siberia, from the Ob river to the Kolyma river and in the Baikal Lake. Its caviar has size that varies with age, 2.2 to 2.7 millimeters, in shades of grey and amber. It requires 6 to 8 years of the sturgeon life cycle. 28 grams\$ 261.99
Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosè 2006 Made from 30% Chardonnay and 70% Pinot Noir. Delicate bubbles, complex aromas of strawberries, cherries and black currants and a touch of almond on the finish. $261.99
Calvisius Caviar Oscietra Royal. Special selection of Oscietra that has large grains that are dark brown with shades of amber. The roe has a velvety firm texture evoking rounder and more balanced flavors than the Classic. It is rich and creamy with notes of butter, hazelnut and a touch of the sea. 28 grams $139.99
John said that in theory this should not have paired well but to him it was one of the best pairings and the other two panel members agreed.
On the way out I saw in another room Jacques Torres, the famous chocolate and confectionary maker.
I sampled all of the chocolates, the macaroons, the chocolate cookies and last but not least the chocolate caramel popcorn.
It was an evening to remember and I kept thinking why wait for the holidays to celebrate with Taittinger Champagne, Calvisus Caviar and Jacques Torres chocolates? it was all so wonderful on a summer evening in NYC.
For more information www.taittinger.fr and http://www.calvisius.com