Bottoms Up — February 5, 2016 at 11:30 am

Uncage Your Heart with Taittinger Champagne

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It’s not your average Tuesday activity to be romanced with delicious treats and exquisite champagne, but Taittinger is not your average company. Drawing direct parallels between the stages of love and your personal relationship with Taittinger’s champagnes, a story is woven throughout this tasting series that allows you to fully consider your emotional relationship with their brand. It was an expert way of weaving style and flavor seamlessly into Taittinger’s portfolio.

Vitalie Taittinger is the heir to her house’s regal corner of the champagne marketplace, and she chose to work for her father to continue the legacy of her family’s business. As beautiful as she is knowledgeable, it was a thrill to listen to her speak about the 100 years her family has been producing this delicate champagne. Vitalie’s guided tasting was accompanied by Gotham Bar and Grill wine and beverage director, Heidi Turzyn. Together, they were the perfect team to explain the thought process behind each bottle, as well as suggest food pairings that would complement and accentuate the flavors of each wine.

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Brut, the most accessible of Taittinger’s portfolio, was dry and classic, a middle of the road champagne that doesn’t shine too brightly in any direction, but rather delivers a simple message of structure and balance. The acidity of this wine would pair well with salty foods like oysters or quail eggs. This ties directly to the first stage of love, friendship, which collects people of like minds and interests who bond over sips of this well-boned wine.

Nocturne, Brut’s flashier older sibling, comes adorned in sparkly purple wrapping, with a bit more flair then the brut. Its subtle sweetness and hint of stone fruits would pair perfectly with richer dishes like pate or even desserts.

Prelude, the introductory Grand Cru, had elegant, clean lines and boasts a specific vintage for each bottle sold. Strict champagne limitations apply to the Grand Cru category, and each bottle is 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Meunier. Taittinger explained that behind each wine, the grapes and proportions are the same, but as experienced winemakers, they have the opportunity to evolve the brand and the wine.

Prestige Rose, this Pinot Noir based sparkly gem of a wine, exudes bright notes of raspberry and cherry. It is delicious and smooth and would pair well with raw bar and lighter appetizers, but also can be drunk on its own without a food pairing.

The grand finale was the Comtes de Champagne, the crown jewel of sparkling rose. Aged for ten years, this wine grows more complex and interesting over time, and ties back to the ‘stages of love’ theme of the event by proclaiming it “lasting love.”  70% Pinot, 30% Chardonnay, this gorgeously structured wine is as scintillating as it is thought provoking and delicious.

Taittinger’s overarching message of this event was that if you don’t share a beautiful bottle of champagne with someone you love, it just doesn’t mean as much. Message received.

Twisted Talk: With V-Day approaching, will you be popping a bottle of bubbly? Have you had any Taittinger champagne before? Discuss below!

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