15 March 2010

Nyetimber 2001 and 2003 with dinner

 smoked salmon

People often come into the stall with the ingredients for their evening meal and ask us for our wine recommendations. We have plenty of great red and white wines but I just love a sparkler with dinner. We have some lovely champagnes but let's not forget the sparkling wines that  come from our own backyard.

A few months ago we began stocking Nyetimber English Sparkling wine which was recently voted the best sparkling wine in the world. We put both the Nyetimber 2003 Cuvee and the 2001 Blanc de blanc on tasting and both were smash hits with our customers.

I love food and wine matching and I was recently invited to partake of a Nyetimber dinner at Chapter One in Kent. The chef had matched each vintage of Nyetimber with a particular course. Since we sell the '03 and '01, I'll give you an idea of what the chef thinks would work best with those two wines.

The Nyetimber 2003 Cuvee was served as an aperitif and was great with the spicy peanuts and chili papadoms. It worked really well with the spicy flavours. The wine washed away all the spiciness and it was great to sit in the cool bar of Chapter One and enjoy the wine. We easily polished off that bottle between the two of us while we were waiting for our table. The 2003 Cuvee is a classic champagne blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot muenier. 

After spending a delightful half hour in the bar we moved onto the dining room where we started with a first course of smoked salmon on a fennel salad with a honey mustard dressing and poached quail egg. The chef had paired this with the 2001 blanc de blanc. The blanc de blanc is made from 100% chardonnay. The salmon had been lightly smoked for only 12 hours so that it would match perfectly with the '01. The salmon was soft and silky, almost sashimi-like, it pratically melted on my tongue. The '01 was a refreshing match. Nutty notes at first followed by lemon and apple flavours coming through. The miniscule bubbles were a great palate cleanser, washing away the smoky salmon. It was an uncomplicated dish but so well done, an absolute pleasure to eat. I would have ordered another plate if I could have but we had 3 more courses to go.

I won't go into detail but we did try the Nyetimber '96 Blanc de blanc, the 1995 Classic Cuvee and their very first vintage 1992 Blanc de blanc. All in all a wonderful showcase of how well Nyetimber can be paired with food. If you have any ideal food and wine pairings, I'd love to hear from you.