Cheshire Life and Alderley Edge Hotel Champagne Oscars 2013
PUBLISHED: 00:00 21 January 2014 | UPDATED: 15:39 26 April 2016
Moet & Chandon was the toast of the evening at the 14th Cheshire Life and Alderley Edge Hotel Champagne Oscars dinner
When stars of the silver screen gather in Hollywood for the annual handing out of coveted Oscars at the Academy Awards ceremony, they will be quaffing Moet & Chandon, the event’s official champagne. Meanwhile, here in Cheshire, Moet & Chandon has been awarded an Oscar of its own after being named the 14th recipient of the esteemed silver and gilt trophy at one of the most glittering dates in the county’s social character.
‘This is far more glamorous than what goes on in the United States,’ remarked Tom McAllister, Moet’s brand ambassador, as he was presented with 2013’s Alderley Edge Hotel-Cheshire Life Champagne Oscar by hotel general manager Ahmet Kurcer and the magazine’s editor, Louise Allen-Taylor.
The Grande Marque, founded in 1743 by Claude Moet, was the unanimous choice of the judging panel, led by Mr Kurcer and comprising Mrs Allen-Taylor, award-winning independent wine merchant Ruth Yates, entrepreneur Max Essayan, businessman Charles Ledigo, wine expert David Garlick, Dr Brendan Smith, Dr Jo Emery and Ray King, Cheshire Life’s food and wine writer. Champagnes most enjoyed by hotel guests during the last 12 months contend for the trophy, hand-crafted by Warris & Company of Sheffield, silversmiths entrusted to care for the FA Cup, though no previous winner is considered again for five years.
Moet & Chandon boasts one of the most illustrious histories of all the great houses, largely due to the enterprise of the founder’s grandson, Jean-Rémy Moet, who expanded the business by buying the vineyards of the Abbey of Hautvillers where Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon perfected double-fermentation for making champagne. He also built up a loyal international following, contriving to sell his wine not only to Napoleon, but also to his nemesis, the Duke of Wellington and Bonaparte’s sworn enemy, Tsar Alexander I of Russia.
The presentation of the Oscar was followed by an outstanding five-course gala dinner in the hotel’s Laurent Perrier Suite, created by the three AA Rosette Alderley Restaurant’s award-winning head chef Chris Holland and his accomplished brigade. Guests, who had been greeted on arrival in the suite’s chic dedicated cocktail bar with canapés and Moet & Chandon’s flagship NV Brut Imperial en magnum, enjoyed three more of Moet’s champagne styles expertly matched with the dinner’s cavalcade of courses, demonstrating the versatility of the ‘King of Wines’.
Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage 2004 made an admirable pairing with maple roasted quail served with marinated chicken liver, apricot and Muscat purée and pain d’epice, while Grand Vintage 2004, poured from magnum, was superb with wild seabass, sublimely fresh hand-dived scallop tartare, charred leek gel and shellfish emulsion.
To accompany Chef Holland’s inspired main course, Cheshire lamb ‘three ways’ - roasted loin, braised neck and subtly spiced kofta - served with roasted baby red and yellow beetroot, glazed carrot and basil, we drank Terrazas Malbec Selection 2010, a smooth red from Argentina’s high altitude Mendoza region, offering lovely concentrated cherry and mulberry fruit.
The cheese course featured wonderfully creamy English brie, served ‘Waldorf Style’ with walnuts and celery. Then it was back to the evening’s fourth champagne style with dessert. The pairing comprised Moet & Chandon’s Grand Vintage Rosé 2004, offering elegant strawberry and raspberry notes with a touch of spice, with custard cream with apple textures and pie crumble - a stunning collation of hot and cold taste sensations from a kitchen at the very top of its game.
So hooray for Hollywood and cheers to Alderley Edge...