Friday, March 15, 2019

Glazed Beet & Burrata Toasts + Alice Paillard #Winophiles


For the March edition of The French Winophiles, Julia of her eponymous website is hosting. You can read her invitation where she disclosed, "Our March event focuses on the Women of Champagne. Champagne has a rich heritage and we have many women to thank include Madame Moët, Madame Clicquot, and Madame Pommery. I am also excited to highlight amazing women in various roles in Champagne, including winemaking and business." I am very excited to look at champagne with a new lens this month.

The Other #Winophiles' Posts

In My Glass

Besides the obvious female to Champagne connection - Barbe-Nicole Cliquot Ponsardin - I wasn't sure where to begin. More on 'the Widow Clicquot' soon, I promise. So, I started researching and reading. Then, sourcing a wine to match my findings was another challenge.

Since Julia opened up the field of posts to women in any aspect of the Champagne business, I ended up turning my spotlight on Alice Paillard. A bit of background: Bruno Paillard bought his first vineyard in the mid-1990s. He aquired three grand cru hectares in Oger in the Côte des Blancs. Then he began to bolster his holdings and he now holds over thirty hectares, including a dozen grand crus. Those vineyards provide half of the grapes he needs; the rest he sources from independent growers.

In January 2007, his daughter Alice joined the family venture. After working her way up from the vineyards and the cellar, Alice now co-manages the Maison Bruno Paillard alongside her father and is poised to helm the business in the future.

Back in December, my friend Cindy of Grape Experiences posted a great piece about Alice Paillard. Read that here.


The  Bruno Paillard Première Cuvée is an interpretation of the region, comprised of a blend of 45% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay, and 22% Pinot Meunier. And it's aged longer than the legal requirement with three years sur lie and another five months minimum after disgorgement.

To the eye, this has a very pale straw hue with tight bubbles. To the nose, I got primarily citrus. But as it stood in the glass, it leaned towards the more exotic fruit such as pineapple. But it was on the palate that this Champagne really glowed. The citrus aromas were matched with the first sip. But it progressed to an almost earthy sparkler that reminded me of the best brioche you've ever had. It's simultaneously bright and filling. 

On My Plate

My friend Pia made these and brought them over for the birthday dinner along with a bubbly-friendly cheese platter that included a blue cheese from Vermont, a creamy brie, Muscat grapes, and fresh berries. We like how the earthiness of the beets, creaminess of the burrata, and refreshing bubbles of the Champagne complemented each other. I will definitely be making this again when I have another bottle of Champagne on hand.

Glazed Beet & Burrata Toasts
slightly adapted from foodandwine.com

Ingredients
  • 3 organic red beets, approximately 3/4 pound
  • 3 to 4 fresh organic thyme sprigs 
  • 1 t peppercorns 
  • 1 T red wine vinegar 
  • 1/2 C sherry vinegar 
  • 2 T organic granulated sugar 
  • 1 rosemary sprig 
  • 1/4 C water
  • salt
  • sliced bread, brushed with olive oil and toasted 
  • 1/2 pound burrata cheese, cut into 12 pieces 
  • 12 small watercress sprigs 
  • olive oil, for drizzling 
  • flaky salt, for serving

Procedure  
In a medium saucepan, cover the beets with cold water. Add thyme sprigs, peppercorns, and red wine vinegar. Bring to a boil, then simmer, partially covered, until the beets are tender, approximately 45 minutes. Add water as needed to keep the beets covered. Drain the beets. Once cool enough to handle, peel and dice them.

Return the diced beets to the saucepan. Pour in the sherry vinegar. Add the sugar, rosemary, and water. Bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat until a syrupy glaze forms, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the rosemary and season the beets with salt.

To serve, top each toast with a spoonful of the glazed beets, a piece of burrata, and a sprig of watercress. Drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with salt and serve immediately.

6 comments:

  1. Now this is something I think I can make tonight for dinner and I have a bottle of Bruno as well.

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  2. Superb recipe! We need to eat beats more often!

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  3. The earthiness of beets and the brightness of watercress and the richness of burrata sounds like a perfect pairing with a champagne! I love the information on Alice Paillard!

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  4. Great description of the Bruno Paillard Prem Cuvée! I especially like the pineapple note!

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  5. This look like a magic pairing. Yum! And what a lovely description of the Paillard!

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  6. I love BP Champagne! You app sounds amazing. Will have to try that one! Thanks for sharing Cam!

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