December 2021 Edition: Champagne Celebration
Hello Champagne Lovers!
No Christmas and New Year are complete without a bottle (or three) of bubbles. And we’re so excited to present this joyous and gorgeous bottle of boutique champagne and artisan cheese for you to savor this month – curated and exclusive.
To many friends in wine and food, I’m known as “Le Bubble Boy”, a moniker that I definitely do not resist. You have to have a hobby in life, right? And as a wine professional, I have made it my life’s work to share my love of champagne and inspire wine lovers to think of it as a “wine for every occasion”, rather than something one enjoys only before a meal.
And there’s no better example than this balanced and brilliant Premier Cru Blanc de Blancs from the western climes of the Champagne region.
Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut by Champagne Boutillez-Marchand
Blanc de Blancs means white of white and in this case, it is made from 100% Chardonnay – one of the three key grapes used in the champagne blend (the others being Pinot Noir and Meunier).
Boutillez-Marchand are known as “manipulant recoltant”, which means they make wine from their own grapes. And more than 90 percent of their vines (approx. 5 hectares) are Chardonnay.
Chardonnay is one of the most prolific white wine grapes and can be found in all winemaking regions. But contrary to belief it is very neutral in flavour and style. It is reliant on where it is grown and the winemaker to provide its character and nuances.
This grape performs so well in Champagne due to the white chalk soil, that in some areas can be dug out by hand. Chalk is a harbinger of minerality and floral complexity that gives this wine brightness and freshness. This is carefully balanced with the House style and its aging in the cellar, bringing notes of brioche, biscuit, and nuttiness. The perfect concoction to enjoy these three carefully selected cheeses (I have a soft spot for Dolly).
Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut
Grape: 100% Chardonnay
Wine Style: dry, extra-brut – less than 4 g sugar per liter
Characteristics: white flowers, Mirabelle plums, buttery lemon pie
Serving recommendation: 10 degrees Celsius. Take out of the fridge 10 mins before popping.
Interesting fact: A recent study by Heineken found that an average bottle of champagne contains more than 250 million bubbles!
This wine pairs brilliantly with pan-seared salmon in a lemon, cream, and butter sauce. Or white truffle macaroni cheese adorned with the grated Schwyzerkäse Rezent found in this box.
I selected this champagne in collaboration with Champagne Concierge – a Swiss-based start-up that scouts the Champagne Region for bottles almost impossible to get outside of France. Our selection is exclusive to you for this special celebratory Gourmet Box – Champagne edition. Enjoy!
Santé, Marc Checkley
Artisanal Cheeses to Pair with Champagne
Our December Gourmet Box by Drink Moi features 3 artisanal cheeses that have gorgeous textures and are perfect to indulge with the bubbles of Champagne.
Dolly is a dreamy-soft, bloomy rind cheese made with fresh ewe’s milk harvested in the Springtime. This artisanal cheese produced by Jumi AG in canton Bern transports you to the Bernese meadows with its light grassy notes. It envelops your senses with its melting center. We love how Dolly flows just at room temperature. Yes, it’s so difficult to let her rest for 30 minutes before diving in, but it is worth the wait!
We love pairing Champagne with soft cheeses that have a silky, creamy mouthfeel that allows the bubbles to dance on your tongue and clear the palate. We had to select another soft cheese for this special Box. Emmenthaler Brie from Dorfkäserei Sumiswald (canton Bern) is a lovely example of this style of cheese. Emmentaler Brie is earthy with flavors of mushrooms. It is creamy with hints of butter and has a tender texture.
As a contrast to the soft cheeses, we offer Huuschäs Wolfertswiler from Käserei Kreuzstrasse (canton St-Gallen). A beautifully aged, hard artisanal cheese that is salty and nutty – and when aged longer, you can chisel off a chunk and pop the golden nugget into your mouth!
Our surprise component to the December Gourmet Box – Champagne Celebration is the Jalapeño Jelly from Primrose Secret Garden. Jennifer Rohr makes all of her products from home-grown fruits and veggies from her urban farm in downtown Neuchâtel. Even the honey comes from her own beehives! This Jalapeño Jelly is not to be missed! Its honey-like texture is lovely on soft cheeses and the spice is a nice contrast to the richness of the cheeses we selected for this Box. Bon appetite!
Celebrate the holidays with the Gourmet Box by Drink Moi – Champagne edition!
A collaboration between Marc Checkley – Drink Moi
and The Cheese Ladies – L’Atelier du Fromage