Champagne AR Lenoble Jordan Cuvée and Potato Gratin


I need absolutely no excuse to enjoy a glass of Champagne. Like almost every other wine lover I know, I closely associate Champagne with celebrations. In fact, the last time I enjoyed a bottle of Champagne was on our wedding anniversary in August. But, I also love Champagne with a meal. And Champagne can make the occasion just as easily as it can celebrate one. Did I mention it’s #ChampagneDay?

Champagne is as easy to pair with a meal as Chablis, white Burgundy or a crisp rosé. My preference in Champagne tends toward Brut, Extra Brut and Brut Nature because I prefer little to no perceivable sweetness. It is the lively acidity, along with flavor and texture that draws me to Champagne.

My inclination when thinking of a meal to pair with Champagne is to go fancy, to match the elegance of the bubbles but, honestly, the food can be humble just as easily and make a delicious pairing. And for a weeknight meal, simple is a requirement. Besides, there is something satisfying about elevating a simple and delicious meal by pairing it with a very special wine.

Champagne AR Lenoble Jordan Cuvée

For our #ChampagneDay celebration we chose a Champagne that represents a partnership between two families, one in France the other in Healdsburg, California. AR Lenoble is a fourth-generation, family-owned Champagne house in Damery, not far from Epernay. The Malassagne family owns about 45 acres of vineyards across several Champagne appellations.

Winemaker Antoine Malassagne uses only the first press juice in the production of AR Lenoble Champagne and chooses to age the wine in bottle for 36 months rather than 15 months, which is the minimum required by French wine law. Wines rest, in the bottle, an additional 3 months after disgorgement before release.

Jordan Vineyard & Winery in Healdsburg was established by Tom and Sally Jordan in 1972. The food and wine of France were the inspiration for not only the winery chateau they built in Sonoma’s Alexander valley, but for the Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay they produce. And food is an integral part of the wine experience at Jordan.

The Jordan’s son, John, is now at the helm of Jordan Winery and winemaker Rob Davis, who just celebrated his 41st harvest at Jordan, has remained with the winery from its first vintage.

Every tasting experience at Jordan begins with a glass of sparkling wine, to be specific Champagne AR Lenoble Jordan Cuvée. It is your first hint of the hospitality to follow. We first tasted the Jordan Cuvée at a Jordan-hosted event. It was love at first sip for me.

Champagne AR Lenoble Jordan CuveeChampagne AR Lenoble Jordan Cuvéemedium yellow in the glass with generous, fine and persistent bubbles. Pinpoint bubbles are mouth filling. Crisp pear and toasty aromas are followed by bright, citrusy flavors, toasty notes and hints of crushed rock and cedar. The finish is clean and long lasting. 12.5% abv. $49. Purchased at the winery.

 Bacon, Mushroom & Potato Gratin

Our meal for #ChampagneDay pairs a simple Potato Gratin and a green salad with Champagne AR Lenoble Jordan Cuvée. The recipe I used is one I modified from The Flexitarian food blog. It could just as easily serve as a side dish as main dish and the recipe begs to be modified. Choose the cheese you prefer, add bacon, prosciutto or pancetta. Or not. I used the same amount of mushrooms as called for in the recipe, but fewer potatoes. I also added bacon.

AR Lenoble Champagne dinner

Bacon, Mushroom & Potato Gratin

  • 3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced. Wrap in a dish towel to remove excess moisture.
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 2 slices of bacon, finely diced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3/4 cup half & half
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 5 oz Gruyère, grated
  • salt & pepper, nutmeg to taste
  • olive oil as needed to sauté and oil the baking dish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Add half & half, milk, garlic and rosemary sprig to a small sauce pan. Add a grating of nutmeg (to taste) and heat over medium-low heat just to the boiling point. Set aside to steep. Pour through a mesh colander to remove rosemary and garlic.
  3. Sauté bacon on medium heat until just crisp. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Add chopped shallots and sauté until translucent. Add chopped mushrooms and wine, sautéing until mushrooms are tender. Add bacon and stir to mix.
  5. Oil baking dish with olive oil.
  6. Pour enough of the steeped milk mixture as needed to moisten the bottom of the baking dish. Fill dish with one layer of potatoes, overlapping the slices. Use 1/2 of the potatoes.
  7. Add the bacon and mushroom mixture.
  8. Pour enough of the steeped milk mixture to nearly cover the potatoes. Add pepper to taste.
  9. Spread 1/2 of the grated cheese.
  10. Layer the remaining sliced potatoes.
  11. Pour enough of the steeped milk mixture to nearly cover the potatoes. Add pepper to taste.
  12. Top with the remaining cheese.
  13. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender.

Note: you can adjust how moist the gratin is by varying the amount of steeped milk you add when layering the ingredients. I didn’t add any salt because of the saltiness of the bacon and cheese.

The pairing was delicious. The gratin was warming, rich and filling. The Champagne AR Lenoble Jordan Cuvée cut through the richness of the gratin so well, keeping the meal from tasting too heavy. The salad, dressed only with a drizzle of walnut oil, salt and pepper added lightness as well.

Happy #ChampagneDay to you!

Cheers!

2 Comments

  1. Michelle Williams

    I love this Champagne!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*