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Winemaker's Dinner with Benoit Tarlant

Posted on 29th November 2012 by ewwwebdev There have been 0 comments

Following this month's champagne extravanganza at The Scarlet Hotel, Food and Beverage Manager Meeche Hudd gave us her thoughts on a superb evening of food and wine pairing.

Benoit Tarlant of Tarlant Champagne is a member of the 13th generation charged with overseeing these lands. As such he benefits from a wealth of inherited knowledge and experience from past generations, but is open minded, with a pioneering spirit. He is a very qualified and very proud producer. With passion and desire to make only the best champagnes, he uses not only traditional methods but some alternative strategies too, including organic vines and biodynamic practises. The result is wines which are a true representation of the unique champagne region.

Our evening began by Benoit introducing us to Tarlant; the family, the history, their ethos.  So what better way to start than with a glass of his Zero Nature Rosé. This champagne has zero sugar added to it (hence its name) making it clean, crisp and quite acidic. Add into the equation redcurrants and raspberries and “voila”, you have a fantastic dry rosé fizz to start the evening. To compliment this, Tom Hunter our head chef had created the perfect marriage with red pepper soup and ricotta gnocchi. The two balanced beautifully: It was the beginning of a truly delightful evening.

As Benoit passionately told us the story of Tarlant and how his great grandfather taught him the tricks of the trade, we moved to the next course. This was Cornish smoked salmon with lobster tempura and an orange and basil salad, paired with Tarlant La Vigne D’or. This golden champagne complimented the sweetness of the lobster, and the subtlety of the smoked salmon. The basil and orange lighten the dish, making it refreshing on the palate, so all the flavours of both the food and champagne were skilfully intertwined.

Our guests were now excited and intrigued as to what was coming next! It was the main course matched with the most beautiful champagne Cuvee Louis; words from Tarlant describe this as “exceptional champagne for rare and special moments. The Cuvee Louis is the champagne par excellence to accompany your moments of contemplation.” And this was most definitely one of those moments, accompanied with a dish of loin of Cornish pork with braised cheek and belly, Cox’s Orange Pippins, watercress puree and gratin potatoes. Every mouthful of food complimented the champagne, and the flavours lingered beautifully.

The evening was full of high spirits, with everybody eager to hear more about champagne, the history behind it, and Benoit’s opinions. As the discussions heightened, and our guests listened with intent to Benoit, he began to talk about the final champagne. This was to be our very own house champagne, Zero Brut Nature, which, like the rosé, has no sugar added to it. This champagne, with its golden colour and fine mousse, was a match made in heaven with our final course - Vanilla panna cotta with William pears and caramelised French toast. As soon as our guests began their dessert silence descended, as everyone enjoyed the joyous combination. This final course was the definate winner of the evening. The guests applauded  the elegant flavour combinations of this wonderful dessert and its partner champagne. Simply a fantastic finish to such an enjoyable evening.



This post was posted in Uncategorized, Tastings and other Events, News

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