There has been a lot of talk about John Tesar these days, it could be because he is truly talented. At a small media pairing dinner at The Comissary, with Moet & Chandon Oenologist Marc Brevot for the release of the 2002 Grand Vintage Moet & Chandon Champagne last week, guests had an opportunity to taste how wine and food can be paired to perfection.
With the help of Sommelier DLynn Proctor, Tesar started the pairing with the Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne, the everyday bubbly of Moet which is crisp, dry and fruit forward with citrus and green apple flavors. This was paired with two preparations of oysters, a fried and raw. The raw dish was a tribute to a classic way to enjoy Champagne, with simply shucked oysters in a consomme of their juice and topped with caviar. Delicate and refined, a great way to prepare the palate for the meal to come.
Also paired with the Imperial Brut was a tribute to the bright, clean flavors of the bubble with a Hamachi with watermelon, herbs and a chili oil. The crisp citrus and herbal notes of the Chardonnay in the Champagne blend really popped with this dish.
Next followed a tribute to the smooth, creamy texture of Champagne with a seared Diver scallop with celeriac puree and a chlorophyll emulsion. Beautiful, with a sizzling sear on the scallop with the emulsion adding great color without overshadowing the flavor of the sweet scallop.
This was paired with the newly released 2002 Grand Vintage Brut Champagne. Much richer than the Imperial NV Champagne, with toasty, creamy notes like buttered bread, but keeping a layer of crisp fruit. The creaminess of the sparkler was further accentuated with the dish that followed, a scrambled, earthy duck egg with sea urchin and uni butter. Creamy and earthy, bringing out the Pinot Meunier flavors in the bubbly blend.
The true taste treat for the night came with a 1975 bottle of expertly aged Grand Vintage Champagne. Deeply golden in color with hearty dried apricot and apple aromas followed by fruit, nuts and baking spice on the palate with a surprising amount of balanced acidity still shining through in the 30+ year old Champagne.
This was paired with a decadent poached lobster with foie gras and a port wine and foie gras butter. An incredibly elegant and luxurious dish for a luxurious wine.