Reading through the review of the single-parcelled grower champagne by Megan Nunn on facebook sometime back, I happened to read about how she noticed the notes of Indian Spices in a champagne she tasted. Megan is a devoted enthusiast of small grower champagne houses with a keen interest in their wines, regions, cuisines and culture
Now being from India, this certainly kindled my curiosity and so in the comment box of the post, I requested her to elaborate more about it. She brought out that indeed “hints of cardamon, orange peel, turmeric, cinnamon and cumin were all at play” in the champagne she tasted which was Le Fond du Bateau, Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc.
This aspect was further highlighted by the producer of this champagne, Antoine Bouret, who said that...”not only can you find some spicy notes in this cuvée, but I also consider that it can be a beautiful pairing with some Indian food“.
To find hints of Indian spice in a champagne surely seems a welcome sign. It is a general perception (often a reality too) that most of old world wines are difficult to pair with Indian cuisine. So if Indian spice notes are being experienced in champagne then this is likely to open up possibilities of successfully pairing champagnes with Indian food. A positive development.
Le Fond du Bateau champagne comes from the house of Pertois-Lebrun which is a Récoltant-Manipulant (also known as grower champagne or champagne propriétaire). It is from the eponymous locality “Le Fond du Bateau”, at the southern end of their Grand Cru Classé vineyard in Chouilly whose Chardonnay vines are more than 50 years-old.
Pairings – this champagne makes a great accompaniment to a creamy chicken casserole, aged cheeze…and even with spicy Thai or Indian cuisine.
Indian Food – Wine Pairing Mantra On this often tricky pairing, Antoine Bouvert, the producer of this champagne feels that…”when I refer to a pairing with Indian food I think spices must remain quite light so they won’t kill the wine“. This, I feel is surely the first principle. And an overall mantra to successfully pair Indian food and wine is – “Indian food will go well with a wine, if it has been prepared with a judicious selection of spices and using innovative cooking techniques (like slow cooking etc) – that’s the trick.