Blog: Taittinger's 'The Art of Celebrating the Holidays'
In spite of scorching July temperatures, we celebrated a combination of Christmas and New Year’s Day right in the middle of the summer Wednesday evening. With the help of some crisp and refreshing pours of Taittinger, we discovered that as long as there is Champagne, celebrating the holidays is simply a state of mind. In an evening dubbed “The Art of Celebrating the Holidays,” three distinctive setups would be utilized to showcase the different use of the Champagne: a holiday cocktail party, a sit down Christmas dinner and an outdoor New Year’s Eve throw-down. And the fist holiday event of 2015 had us yearning for new ways to celebrate.
An East Village pop-up space would somehow be an ideal hosting site for the affair, sponsored by Champagne Taittinger and paired with the delectable cuisine of Birds & Bubbles Chef Sarah Simmons. Almost immediately we were welcomed into the bar space and handed pours of the bright and golden “Brut La Francaise.” The bubbly wine was complex, highlighted by ripe peach and citrus undertones that paired deliciously with a selection of freshly shucked oysters being served at the bar. Around us, the atmosphere was ornately decorated from the elegant cocktail party to the classy dinner table setup where we envisioned a Christmas dinner shadowed by a full-on tree adorned with some of Taittinger’s gorgeous glass bottles.
As we sipped upon our first refreshing pour, we noticed the wait staff doling out some delicious passed around fare curated by Chef Simmons to match the celebratory champagnes. Bite sized offerings like the crunchy “Brussels Crostini with Champagne Vinaigrette,” the freshly prepared “Shrimp Rillette with House Made Black Pepper Crackers” and the rich decadence of Chef Simmons’ “New York Cheddar Puff Pastry” made for some savory pairings as we continued to indulge in the effervescent bubbles. Though we enjoyed the “Brut,” Taittinger’s “Prestige Rose NV” drank like more of an everyday Champagne- perhaps because Rose is more of a summertime staple. Nevertheless, offering up a bit more spice than we’re used to with a Rose, each glass seemed to explode with fresh berries and nicely washed down the Chef’s tasty “Crispy Potato Latke with House Cured Trout” that we quickly devoured.
Among the four glasses of Champagne that we tasted, the “Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs” was our hands down favorite. Offering up hints of white fruits like pear and apple, the texture was downright creamy and yielded a nice soft finish. We so thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Blanc’ that we even braved the heat outside where we continued to imbibe while the sun still shone over downtown Manhattan. The evening’s fourth and final option, Taittinger’s “Nocturne” was perhaps the smoothest Champagne of all- velvety and refreshing. Served in a stylish purple bottle, the Champagne is trademarked by a sweet long finish making it an ideal bottle to serve at a multitude of different types of parties.
Closing out our tasting experience with a serving of chocolate truffles and macarons was a touch of genius as we continued to mingle with the many happy guests and hosts on hand. Though technically a weeknight, it was hard not to completely immerse oneself in a party atmosphere where the holiday spirit and the delicious food and Champagne pairings kept all in attendance completely happy. The calendar may soon read August, but Wednesday night’s evening with Taittinger left us longing for those December holiday parties.
- Jackie Benavides