With pure excitement, we attended the Laurent-Perrier Champagne Dinner 2016, held in Citrique Restaurant at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa. Marriott’s Director of Food and Beverage, Andrew Wright, introduced Jean-Sebastien Boileau, Regional Export Director of Champagne Laurent-Perrier, who presented the wines on the evening, making it a great chance to taste and learn about this great French champagne house.
The House of Laurent-Perrier Champagne was founded in 1812. After World War II, the House underwent transformation and expansion when Bernard de Nonancourt changed the role of champagne from a digestif to an aperitif, as well as improving the wine quality by increasing the use of chardonnay in the blend and fermenting in stainless steel vats. De Nonancourt is credited with creating the signature Laurent-Perrier style of freshness, lightness and elegance. Laurent-Perrier is now the largest champagne house, and is run by two women who place great emphasis on quality.
The menu for the night’s dinner was especially designed by the Marriott’s French Sous Chef, Eric Henck, to match French wine. Chef Eric’s menu brought flavours of his previous experience at the Caribbean’s Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman and The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island in Florida. He has also many years of fine-dining culinary experience in several Michelin star restaurants in France, Germany and Brazil.
Following Coffin Bay Oysters Vinaigrette on arrival, we embarked on five courses paired with wines…or should that be the other way around? Without exception, each dish was exquisitely presented with a balance of flavour and texture. Intriguing, exciting and innovative, for us it was impossible to choose a dish of the night, as each one was a uniquely creative work of art. For its sheer playfulness, the presentation of the Blue Cheese crème brulée was a standout. Who could have guessed what the dish held on its presentation! Here is a glimpse of the menu, with accompanying tasting notes:
yellow-fin tuna tartare
hearts of palm – avocado – smoked quail yolk – fish roe
Champagne Laurent-Perrier Brut NV
Tasting notes: This house champagne uses all three wines allowed to be used in champagne, style with 50% chardonnay, 35% pinot noir and 15% pinot meunier. Aged in stainless steel vats then in the bottle for 36 months, it is elegant and refined with notes of fresh fruit – citrus, green apple and grapefruit. The champagne carries a nice acidity, yet has a velvety finish.
oven-dried heirloom tomato – ramson cream – squid ink shortbread – baby sorrel
Champagne Laurent-Perrier Brut NV
walnut & sage chicken roulade
peas – roasted corn – potato croquette – red chicory
Tasting notes: This wine is only made from the finest grapes in the best harvest years, a blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir. Aged for 8 years, the colour is slightly golden. The nose carries fruit aromas of citrus, pineapple, dried apricots, almonds and a hint of honey. A subtle balance between liveliness and ripeness, this wine has excellent ageing capacity.
green asparagus – king brown mushroom – farro pilaf – nasturtium – radish – truffle powder
Champagne Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle
Tasting notes: The Grand Siècle (or Great Century) is a multi-vintage rather than a vintage champagne dedicated, Boileau says, to the 17th century when French gastronomy was at its height. Being a multi-vintage champagne, Grand Siècle is made from grapes harvested in the three best vintages of the last decade, in this case 1999, 2000 and 2002. It is blended only from grapes from Grand Cru vineyards, 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir, holding fresh ripe fruit and hazelnut tones, thin bubbles, great length on the palate with a silky texture. Laurent-Perrier’s vision is about the art of blending, Boileau explains, to deliver the same experience every time (unlike vintages which mean variations in nature which cannot be controlled). The Grand Siècle is a rare, very limited release champagne.
blue cheese crème brulée
crispy lavosh – grape jelly
Tasting notes: Brut Rosé was first made by Laurent-Perrier in 1964 because customers complained that champagne was slightly brown or pink in hue rather than gold, as they expected. Laurent-Perrier began making Brut Rose with 100% Pinot Noir using the saignée method rarely used in champagne. Skins are added to the pinot noir, the maceration taking 48 – 72 hours during the first fermentation in steel vats, the skins literally bleeding, adding colour to the wine. Presented in a signature curvaceous bottle this champagne, with tones of fresh juicy strawberries with a subtle peppery character on the palate, is highly prized; the Number 1 champagne rosé in the world!
pistachio dacquoise – fromage blanc – meringue – cacao noodle – nougat soil
Amazing wines and exquisite food… You may have missed out on this superb dinner experience. If so, keep contact with the Surfers Paradise Marriott for future wine and food events.
158 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4215
NOTE: $135 per person. Good Food Gold Coast dined as guests of Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa.