Friday, March 17, 2017

Toasting Seventeen Years with Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut Champagne #Winophiles

Seventeen years ago, this month, I married Jake. On one hand that feels like a lifetime; on the other, it seems to have passed in the blink of an eye.

In these past seventeen years, we've had two boys, lived in two states and six different houses, and juggled probably a dozen different jobs between us. We've traveled to Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Florida, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona; we've visited Italy, Canada, and Costa Rica. We've SCUBA'd, zip-lined, canoed, and tangoed. It's been an amazing adventure.

But it's also been work. A lot of work. A lot. Don't let anyone tell you that marriage is easy. Maybe that is what makes the celebrations all the more sweet.

So, when I saw that the French Winophiles were celebrating Champagne this month, I decided to actually buy some champagne - not my typical go-to Prosecco, Cremant, or Cava. And this bottle is particularly special because one of my best friends - and her mom - bought the crystal flutes from my wedding registry and gave us a bottle of Moët & Chandon. In honor of that, I decided that would be my bottle for this event.

To Champagne and About Champagne...
To start: 'Champagne' refer to both a libation and a region in France. A quick primer: Champagne can only be grown in the Champagne region of France. It is made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. It must be made in the Méthode Traditionelle that requires the wine’s secondary fermentation take place in the same bottle from which it will be served.

From the Winophiles, Champagne is...
…crafted uniquely, from start to finish, as Lynn from Savor the Harvest reveals in her post, French #Winophiles Explore Champagne From Beginning toBubbly Finish.
…dynamic and constantly refreshed, as Jane from Always Ravenous examines in her story, The Evolving Culture of Champagne.
…always enchanting, unfailingly attractive. Lauren from The Swirling Dervish writes about The Enduring Allure of Champagne.
…consistent and timelessly refined. Camilla from Culinary Adventures of Camilla shares a special perspective in her piece, ToastingSeventeen Years with Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut Champagne.
…personal and skilled, as we will learn in the story of Women in Wine: Floriane Eznack, Cellar Master, Champagne Jacquart from Gwendolyn at Wine Predator.
…food-friendly, approachable and versatile, as we’ll learn from Jeff at Food Wine Click in his story Everyday Celebration with Champagne and Curried Shrimp Salad.
…affordable and surprisingly accessible, revealed as Martin from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog answers the question Under $30 Vintage Champagne?Oui!
…worth fighting for, as Jill from L'Occasion learned from the story of Bernardde Nonancourt of Laurent-Perrier: Champagne Résistance Fighter


In My Glass...
Champagne is one of those drinks that almost everyone likes. There's something about the effervescence that makes you happy. It's the bubbles, the elegant flutes, and the bubbles. Did I already say that?!

Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut Champagne is, in short, spectacular. It boasts a delicate, citrus nose. It's elegant, bright, and silky. On the tongue, there is a both minerality and creaminess that complement instead of compete. Imagine the most delicate, buttery brioche you've ever had, slathered with a lemon-passionfruit curd. It's pure deliciousness. This champagne is distinctive and it's no mystery why Moët & Chandon has been one of the most distinguished Champagne houses forever.

On My Plate...
And speaking of brioche. There's not much better than homemade brioche. It's worth the effort. I promise. I have yet to perfect a gluten-free homemade brioche. One of these days...it's on my to-do list!

Homemade Brioche

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C warm water
  • 1 T active dry yeast
  • 3 T organic granulated sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4-1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 10 T butter, at room temperature
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 T heavy cream, for egg wash

Procedure
Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Let bloom for 5 minutes. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, add 2 C of the flour and the salt and mix for 5 minutes. With the mixer still on low, add the remainder of the flour and mix for 5 more minutes. Scrape the dough into a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

This is what the dough looked like in the morning.


The next morning, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. I don't have any brioche tins, so I opted to use a muffin baking dish. Butter the hollows of a muffin baking stone. Set aside.

Add the softened butter in chunks, and mix for 2 minutes. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and divide the dough into balls and place them in the hollows. I tried to make that tell-tale dough marble on the top of each brioche, but it didn't quite work out, except on a few. Cover the dish with a damp towel and set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. When the rolls have risen, brush the top of each with the egg wash, sprinkle with some more granulated sugar, and bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops spring back. Turn the rolls out onto a wire rack to cool.

Serve warm with a tart lemon curd. One year I made a Blood Orange-Meyer Lemon Curd. And we made a Prickly Pear Lemon Curd last summer that was so tasty.

6 comments:

  1. Happy Anniversary Cam. It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating with Cheesecakes. Love the brioche recipe.

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  2. Beautiful story and wonderful recipes! As I sit here with my tea, I wish I could break open a warm brioche to go with it. Cheers, and happy anniversary!

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  3. I've made lots of bread, but never brioche. What a brunch with some Champagne....

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  4. Two things I need to try: making my own brioche and Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut. Your description has me sold Cam!

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  5. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary. That Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut is a nice bottle!

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  6. Happy Anniversary! This post is so enchanting. My hubby and I have been married 15 years and my marriage is my treasure...and I think that a Champagne toast is appropriate. Thanks for sharing that delish brioche --- you always make me hungry. I'm glad I married a man that can cook and that I have blog friends like you to tempt me! Cheers!

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