Wine Makers' Dinner Friday 23rd November 2012
Saturday, 28 November 2012
Benoit Tarlant of Tarlant Champagne is a 13th generation winemaker and it shows.
Open minded, cultivated and with a wealth of knowledge and experience inherited from three centuries of family winemaking, Benoit is a highly qualified and passionate producer.
He uses a mix of both traditional and alternative methods, some organic vines and bio dynamic practises to produce on the very best champagnes
Our Scarlet Winemaker's Evening began with Benoit introducing us to Tarlant - the family, the history and the ethos. And what better way to start than with a glass of his Zero Nature Rosé. This champagne has zero sugar added to it, hence its name, making it clean, crisp and quite acidic; add into the equation redcurrants and raspberries and voila - you have a fantastic dry rosé fizz to start the evening. To compliment this, our head chef Tom Hunter created a perfect marriage of red pepper soup and ricotta gnocchi. The two blended harmoniously together and made for a delightful beginning to a truly delightful evening.
As Benoit recounted the Tarlant story with passion, including tales of his great grandfather teaching him the tricks of the trade, we moved on to the next course. Cornish smoked salmon with lobster tempura and an orange and basil salad - all paired with Tarlant La Vigne D’or. This golden champagne complimented the sweetness of the lobster, and the subtleness of the smoked salmon. The basil and orange lighten the dish making it refreshing on the palate so all the flavours of both the food and champagne were skilfully matched together.
Our guests were now excited and intrigued to what was coming next! It was the main course matched with the most beautiful champagne Cuvee Louis; words from Tarlant describe the champagne as “exceptional champagne for rare and special moments. The Cuvee Louis is the champagne par excellence to accompany your moments of contemplation.” And this was most definitely one of those moments, accompanied with a dish of loin of Cornish pork with braised cheek and belly, Cox’s Orange Pippins, watercress puree and gratin potatoes. Every mouthful of food complimented the champagne, the flavours lingered and you didn’t want it to stop.
The evening was full of high spirits, everybody eager to hear more about champagne, the history behind it, and Benoit’s opinions. As the discussions heightened, and our guests listened with intent to Benoit, he began to talk about the final champagne. Our very own house champagne, Zero brut nature, like the rosé this has no sugar added to it. This champagne with its golden colour, and fine mousse, was a match made in heaven with our final course. Vanilla panna cotta with William pears and caramelised French toast. As soon as our guests began this course the table went silent as everyone enjoyed the joyous combination of dessert and champagne. By far the definate winner of the evening, the guested applauded the taste combinations of this wonderful dessert and its partner the champagne. Simply a fantastic finish to such an enjoyable evening.