Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Cachet d'Or - Gold Seal

Domaine J Lassalle Brut Réserve, France, served with mushroom-stuffed gruyere gougeres

2006 photography picture of review of domaine j lasalle cachet dor champagne brut reserve france and gruyere choux puffs stuffed with creamed mushrooms

Hello my lovely jubbley bubblies. Welcome to the 25th edition of wonderful Wine Blogging Wednesday, a regular online wine appreciation event started over two years ago by Lenn of the Lenndevours. This month I asked people to review Champagne. I went out on a limb by insisting on the real mccoy, the stuff that comes from the official Champagne region of France. I also suggested perhaps finding a smaller producer or trying some food pairing to those who might be inclined.

2006 photography picture of review of domaine j lasalle cachet dor champagne brut reserve france and gruyere choux puffs stuffed with creamed mushrooms

Looking for a wine that will run a few laps around Veuve Clicquot Brut??


I would most often buy my champagne from K & L Wines in San Francisco. They specialise in champagne from small producers and have a great selection at around the $30 mark. But last Saturday, Fatemeh had kindly promised to treat me to a glass of champagne at The Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants after a stroll around the farmers market. It so happened that we bumped into Catherine and Brett too, so the four of us shared a bottle of the Domaine J Lassalle Cachet D'or Brut Réserve together whilst we small-talked about food, blogging and other things.

2006 photography picture of review of domaine j lasalle cachet dor champagne brut reserve france and gruyere choux puffs stuffed with creamed mushrooms
We all particularly liked this golden champagne with its hundreds of very small bubbles rising in gently flowing swathes, it's rich flavour, its slight whiff of cellar, its hint of sherry, its substance on the tongue, its depth and its complexity. It's a non-vintage small-production wine with a distinct level of maturity and great value for just $33 a bottle.

2006 photography picture of review of domaine j lasalle cachet dor champagne brut reserve france and gruyere choux puffs stuffed with creamed mushrooms

Notes from Peter Granoff: "This small family Champagne house is named for the late Jules Lassalle, and today is run by his widow and daughter. Their production is a mere 6,000 cases annually - as much wine as some of the better known Champagne brands will bottle in one day. Domaine Lassalle's methodology is traditional, draws solely on Premier and Grand Cru vineyards, and the resulting wines are truly delicious. The Cachet d'Or Cuvée is a blend of Chardonnay (25%), Pinot Meunier (60%), and Pinot Noir (15%). As Champagnes go, it is quite rich and flavourful."


2006 photography picture of review of domaine j lasalle cachet dor champagne brut reserve france and gruyere choux puffs stuffed with creamed mushrooms

Although I drink sparkling wines often, even when I am out for dinner, when I was thinking about specifically pairing food with champagne the stereotype of blinis with smoked salmon and caviar immediately sprung to mind. Andrew from Spittoon in the UK kindly helped me consider some more interesting options by posting a Guide to Matching Champagne & Food. I double checked a few other resources and the same foods were being suggested over and over again, especially for a Brut champagne: gruyere cheese and mushrooms. This was the perfect excuse to make gougeres and stuff them with one of my favourite vegetables. I used a recipe left by Brett over a year ago in the comments section of one of my posts about cheese puffs. It worked a treat. For the mushrooms I simply diced them small and cooked them in butter until tender, adding a little cream, salt and pepper at the end. I stuffed the puffs with the mushrooms after they had finished cooking. Gougeres are best served fresh. They can be eaten hot, straight from the oven but I think they match the champagne better once they have cooled down to room temperature. Don't bake too far in advance, though, they are certainly much better for not having been out of the oven for too long.

Ummmmmmm, champagne and gougeres. Genius! How long until my next excuse to celebrate something?



PS Thanks to all the the other entries I have started to see appear all over blogdom. I can't wait to read them all, and will publish a round up of everyone's entries in the next few days.

PPS Fred told me that "Cachet D'or" which as I understand him means 'gold seal' is an old fashioned, now unused chi-chi, snobby French term to describe things as very fine. I am a little perplexed as to why this wine even has the name "Cachet d'or" since it wasn't written on the label, just in the description from the wine merchants.



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Cachet d'Or - Gold Seal

11 Comments:

  • At 13/9/06 09:56, Blogger wheresmymind said…

    I am such a wine mook...one day I'll have to take a class. Until then, I'll rely on my wife who does know wine...either that or drink my fruity cocktails instead ;)

     
  • At 13/9/06 10:59, Blogger Amy Sherman said…

    I would guess the "gold seal" is a description of the label design which distinguishes it from other bottles they also produce?

     
  • At 13/9/06 15:58, Blogger Andrew said…

    Its TODAY!!? Oh shite, I was planning for next week.

    Met Jeanne for a meal last night in London but she wouldnt let me order a glass of champagne (and two straws!) for WBW... plan b...

     
  • At 13/9/06 18:43, Blogger sfmike said…

    I don't even particularly like champagne or gruyere cheese but this entry made me want to wallow in both.

     
  • At 13/9/06 22:03, Anonymous kudzu said…

    Oh, yumyumyum. I am so eager to get back to real food after the time preceding and the current purgatory of moving households.....I almost always order sparkling wine for my intro to a restaurant dinner and love it with almost every food. Thanks for the clue to a good bottle; must have been perfect with the dusky mushrooms.

     
  • At 13/9/06 23:23, Blogger neil said…

    I have never made gougeres, now you have given me the perfect excuse - as if I needed one. Any reason to drink more champagne!

     
  • At 13/9/06 23:33, Blogger Alice Q said…

    Your gougere look great! I made my first attempt this past weekend, and I think mine were too salty too (I read about your first ones). I used chives and cheddar, but I think I'll try the gruyere next time.

     
  • At 14/9/06 04:58, Blogger jenjen said…

    this is looking oh so very posh, its very appropriate for your blog.

    I am really interested in tasting those gougeres. Well done Sam.

     
  • At 14/9/06 07:15, Blogger Julie said…

    Sam,
    I really enjoyed this post! I LOVE champagne/sparklers as well, and will take any opportunity to celebrate. I couldn't get my act together for WBW though. We have a fabulous wine store nearby, but they don't stock much genuine champagne. It is not so easy to find a great deal of reasonably priced interesting choices around here. The bottle you got sounds wonderful and the price is magnifique! I adore your gougeres as well. They are being added to must cook list, and I am going to make an effort to locate more interesting bubblies here in Florida! Cheers!

     
  • At 14/9/06 10:34, Blogger girlgastronome said…

    Yum! My three favorite food groups: champagne, cheese and mushrooms! I do love the pairing of the mushroom/gruyere gougeres but tend to take the 'everything goes with champagne' approach. My favorite bubbly house is Alfred Gratien...especially the rose.

     
  • At 6/11/06 00:12, Blogger Sam said…

    wmm - you don't have to know it - you just have to drink it!

    amy - i think you are right

    andrew - is jeanne some kind of killjoy or what????

    sfmike - c'mon now - i know you'd prefer to bathing in beer!

    kudzu - having moved is a perfect excuse for bubbles. In fact, i think waking up in the morning is probably enough excuse for me.

    neil - chop, chop then! you never regret making a batch of gougere!

    alice - i look forward to hearing about it in person next week.

    jenjen - you are right - i think this post sums me up!

    julie - i am sorry florida stockists don't sound so champagne friendly - i hope you manage to find somewhere local to service your champagne needs!

    girlgastronome - ok - thanks for the rec - I am going to have to try and search that one out!

     

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