Enjoying a flute of champagne is a wonderful experience. And, it’s my conviction that it should not be reserved for just special occasions, though it can kick any party up a notch. This particular one by Nicolas Feuillatte was poured at the party to celebrate the completion of the doctoral studies and subsequent graduation of a friend of mine.
Luckily, at a recent dinner party at Bret’s Table the last bottle from my friend’s collection was presented for our apéritif to kick off the evening. To add to the beauty on the tongue, we poured it to make Kir Royales.
Historically, The Kir originated in Burgundy, France in the 1940s, and is named after Félix Kir, the Mayor of Dijon from 1945 to 1968. According to the folks from that region, Mayor Kir was to entertain dignitaries from other regions of France and wanted to promote the local products near Dijon.
The story goes that his wife actually came up with the idea of mixing the local peasant and very acidic white wine, Aligote with the local black currant liqueur Crème de Cassis, thus making it a sweeter and more appealing cocktail. The drink caught on in popularity across France with the bourgeoisie adding champagne to make it a “Royale”. At our party we added a splash of our house made berry apéritif and watched the bubbles dance upwards as the champagne comingled with the berry liqueur.
Don’t get me wrong this champagne is delightful enjoyed on its own. The colour is golden with an abundance of elegant bubbles and floral fruit aromas. Before we added our own liqueur, there was the predominance of pear, apple, almonds and hazelnuts. On the palate it is fresh at the beginning, smooth, pleasant and balanced to the finish.
The day prior to our party, I happened to find a cylinder of olive sablé dough in the freezer. It’s one of my versions of a Pillsbury® slice and bake sugar cookie and what we enjoyed with our Kir Royale. I’ll share the recipe with you next week.
Photographs by Lou Miranda