A spontaneous luncheon at Le Bernadin is always an irresistibly festive affair — all the more enhanced by a fine champagne. But when the illustrious festivities are inspired by the champagne, well that is a new sort of irresistible charm. The sort of charm that has you swooning, and not because it happens to be intoxicating itself, but because its discovery is such a fabulous revelation.
Such a revelation is Collet Champagne, and I am thrilled to be one of the first in New York to have had the privilege of tasting its crisp, clear, but deeply nuanced bubbling perfection.
Just released to the US market, this sublime, authentic brut that is 100% from Champagne, comes in a lovely selection of varieties, with each bottle’s label artfully designed to incorporate both the spirit of and inspiration behind the wine it contains.
The four course luncheon was the perfect introduction to the champagne varieties that Collet offers — tasting each one in succession really emphasized how champagne could have a unique personality, distinct and pronounced like flirtatious sisters from a beautiful family. Still, each one paired beautifully with each luxurious course.
And, to verbally illustrate this course succession: a wild king salmon crudo that glistened like it was made of rubies paired with richly floral and exciting Brut Art Deco; a buttery seared scallop served in shell with an earthy miso broth was paired with delightful, lingering brightness of Millesime, and an insanely fresh poached halibut that was so tender it almost trembled beside its pairing of the smooth, almost creamy Collection Privee 2006.
The story of Collet Champagne is as charming as the wine itself — small growers cultivating their land from generation to generation, keeping alive the traditions that their fathers and grandfathers had passed down to them. It is the combination of the knowledge to make an exceptional Champagne and the love they imbue into that really sets this wine apart. As it says on their website: This wine is their life, their passion, their pride.
Cheers to that.
– Ava Fedorov