Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Wine blogging Wednesdays-Champagne

I chose Nicolas Feuillatte, which in hindsight I would choose something else. It wasn't unpleasant, in fact it was enjoyable, but it just didn't seem special in any way. It had a lime and green apple flavor component. After I purchased the bottle at Whole Foods-I know it's not cool to buy wine at a grocery store, but Whole Foods is a bit different, and I do like the wine department manager-I read more about Nicolas Feuillatte. It is the Number 2 selling Champagne in France and It is the Number 6 selling Champagne in the world. It is produced in Chouilly, a tiny village close to Epernay in the Champagne region. It cost $28 dollars and was certainly worth the cost, but just wasn't that special-it reminded me alot of the California sparkling wines produced by French houses such as Domaine Chandon-there just seems to be a lack of depth to the experience and I think some Spanish Cavas are just as interesting for the same amount of money. Mike Parker awarded it 92 points-go figure.

I wish I would have purchased a bottle of Veuve Cliquot, which I do like alot, but I thought it
was just too well known to blog about. I do have a Veuve Cliquot story. On the last evening on a trip to New Orleans I was without a reservation for dinner. How had I neglected this? I really wanted to eat at Bayonna in the French Quarter, owned by chef Susan Spicer. I called and pleaded my case, they were totally booked, but if I didn't mind waiting they would seat me if they had a no show reservation or squeeze me in at the end of service. A friend and I spent a pleasant hour in their courtyard garden with a bottle of Veuve Cliquot. Bayonna is housed in a cottage that is typical of the French Quarter. They are set very close to the street with the front windows completely shuttered, and unless you get to peek into the back you would never guess at the splendor of their courtyards and gardens.

They eventually found a table for us and we entered the dining room. It was basically one large room which was divided by two huge floral displays. I ordered a blood sausage with caramelized apples, sweet breads with lemon and capers, and a grilled duck breast. We just kept drinking Veuve Cliqout throughout the evening. Chef Spicer's dishes have a pronounced French influence, and it was an elegant and memorable dinner.

Sadly Bayonna isn't reopened after Hurricane Katrina. Last I read they were still restoring equipment which had water damage eventhough the French Quarter was spared the worst of the damage. I hope they do get it reopened, because it was such a beautiful dining experience.


Sam said...

Hi Mickey

thanks for taking part in this edotion of wine blogging wednesday. I hang out with a few french people and I have seen them buy this champagne from time to time.

Recently I had a party for a big birthday with a 0 on the end. Everyone who came brought a bottle of Veuve with them, it seemed. There was a sea of yellow-labelled bottles in my kitchen and I mistakenly thought I would have plenty left over at the end. Of course not - every bottle was emptied.

It's sad to read Bayona never reopened.

I am trying to get the round up finished before the end of the weekend.


Spill The Beans said...

I would recommend that next time you try the Rose, and not the Brut. The Brut is indeed good, with a strong component of green apple, but the Rose is far better.

Clara the Cragb said...

Bayona reopened in Nov of 2005.