I just lately had the pleasure of attending an beautiful tea, wine, and meals pairing occasion at the Baccarat Hotel in NYC. I picked up suggestions for pairing tea with champagne and meals in essentially the most stunning room, whereas sipping on essentially the most scrumptious tea, champagne, and meals. Sounds like a dream, proper? It was fairly a night.
This unimaginable occasion was created by Gabrielle Jammal, the incomparable tea sommelier at Baccarat. Over the previous 12 months she has been working tirelessly to create tea occasions on this luxurious but intimate setting, to indicate friends the true magic of tea. So, on to the magic…

Walking in to the Baccarat lodge, I felt immediately remodeled right into a jet-setting debutante. Everything is dripping with crystal in a tasteful, elegant ambiance. Ushered into a personal room, I used to be handed a glass of champagne in a flute that value greater than all of my glassware put collectively. The night’s wine was solely champagnes offered by 
Rare Champagne, an organization with a small, fastidiously crafted line of vintages to take care of a excessive normal of high quality.

Cold brewed Mao Feng

While sipping the bubbly, I fortunately chatted with fellow tea-amigo Jee, and noticed In Pursuit of Tea‘s Ana and Sebastian who handed me a cold-brewed mao feng, the right technique to refresh the palate and prepare for the meal forward. The candy and flippantly nutty tea went properly with a wide range of handed hors d’oeuvres. 

The essential job for In Pursuit of Tea was to pair their teas with the champagne, but additionally retaining the meals in thoughts. Pairing tea and champagne could sound like pairing apples and oranges, however when you consider it, tea and wine have so many similarities it makes good sense. They share related traits that affect taste akin to area, terroir, culture, processing, and many others.

The desk, decked out with Baccarat crystal

Pairing Tea, Champagne, And Food- The Courses

I knew we might be in good fingers with Ana and Sebastian, as they’re specialists at pairing meals with their pretty teas. Speaking of the meals, the preparation was overseen by Baccarat’s new culinary director, Gabriel Kreuther. We all sat all the way down to our first course of golden ossetra caviar, and quail egg buttermilk mousseline. This was a dish that was salty, briny, savory, and tangy. Brut Reserve champagne paired properly with the caviar (when would not champagne pair with caviar??), however I used to be most impressed with the tea, a sencha Yabukita which had savory, candy, and vegetal notes that paired actually properly. I used to be shocked at how properly the sencha labored with the champagne.
In Pursuit of Tea’s Sencha Yabukita

The second course was a diver scallop and black truffle tartar. I’m not often a fan of scallops (particularly uncooked), however including within the truffles made this fairly scrumptious. This was paired with the Cuvée Rare 2002 Champagne, and Temi Estate 1st flush tea. Made in Sikkim, the tea has related traits to Darjeelings with a bit extra spice and heft. I discovered the tea accentuated the grape and floral notes within the champagne, and the wine introduced out barely bitter notes within the tea. These flavors labored properly with the dish.

Curry-Poached Lobster

This subsequent course was my favourite pairing of the night. Curry-poached lobster served with a Tsunami Daxue sheng puerh and Cuvée Rare 1999. The wine and tea have been a stunning pairing. I discovered that they each had related hay and slight earthy/leather-based notes, and they each highlighted the sweetness and minerality echoed within the lobster.

Rose and Shan Lin Xi

We have been then served Australian lamb that was ‘in a haystack’, mainly cooked with grasses and hay to impart an attention-grabbing grassy and barely smoky taste. The tea was Shan Lin Xi, and Cuvée Rare Rosé 2007 champagne. The little woman in me did a bit of squee at the pink champagne, however let me guarantee you this had grown-up flavors with notes of herbs and strawberries. I loved the floral, buttery excessive mountain oolong paired with this champagne. I’m not an enormous fan of lamb, so I could not recognize the meals pairing with this one.

combined berry vacherin

We completed off the night with a combined berry vacherin- think about essentially the most decadent layers of meringue, ice cream, and sorbet. I could not imagine how intense the flavors have been. I’ve been to Gabriel Kreuther’s namesake restaurant a number of occasions, and I’ve to confess his desserts are my favourite factor on the menu. There weren’t any beverage pairings with this final course, however the dessert was so flavorful that I did not thoughts.

We have been surrounded by champagne and crystal at each flip

Tips For Pairing Tea, Wine And Food
It could seem formidable to pair wine and tea collectively, however as I discussed they’ve a lot in frequent that it is smart. Just as any meals and tea pairing, wine and tea work similarly- you possibly can pair related flavors, contrasting flavors to make a extra complicated tasting expertise, or work with sure notes in every, to see what will get enhanced. Rely closely in your sense of scent because the aromatics are simply as necessary because the flavors.

A tip about glassware- for champagne, we have been informed that flutes aren’t actually an ideal selection to make use of. They are slim and do not enable the wine to breathe. Using bigger wine glasses will actually allow you to expertise the aroma. I additionally adored how the tea appeared within the Baccarat crystal. Heavier glassware works actually properly for tea, and in fact thickly minimize crystal is a pleasant contact, though most of us do not precisely have it mendacity round. Any thick glassware will do, and you need to use extra delicate wine glasses for decrease temperature teas.

I’m so grateful for such an informative, decadent night. Thank you to Baccarat (particularly Gabrielle) for this superb occasion!

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