How to Pair Champagne & Caviar: Champagne Mumm Brunch

It could well have been dubbed as the luxury brunch in an igloo.

Champagne Mumm BrunchG.H. Mumm

Set at high-altitude on the mountain during the Thredbo Top2Bottom weekend, the decadent Champagne and Caviar brunch was hosted by Citi Chef of the Year Josue Lopez and Mumm champagne ambassador Chris Sheehy.

Champagne Mumm BrunchBrunch dans un igloo

Under blue skies in this winter wonderland, the interior of the igloo was resplendent in the red and white house colours of G.H. Mumm.

Five inventive courses and a delightful canapé took inspiration from elements that define Champagne Mumm: victory, excellence and tradition.

Champagne Mumm BrunchCordon Rouge

Mumm Cordon Rouge was served on arrival and topped up to accompany the canape and first course. With its longer aging and notes of nuts, toast, vanilla and dried apricots, this is an elegant champagne that is light on the palate that delivers a long finish.

Champagne Mumm Brunch Yasa Royal Caviar

From the desert outside of Abu Dhabi to the snow fields of Thredbo, a nude tasting of Yasa Caviar was underway. The caviar is placed at the base of the thumb and forefinger until it reaches body temperature. The caviar pearls are then taken in the mouth and held on the tongue for a few seconds then pushed to the roof of the mouth to pop and release their flavour. Caviar is a symbol of luxury which matches so well with champagne and the nuttiness of the Yasa Caviar is matched with the nuttiness in the Cordon Rouge champagne.

Champagne Mumm BrunchChef Josue Lopez

Recently named Citi Chef of the Year, Josue Lopez of the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) Restaurant, took media and VIP guests on the journey of his inspiration for his food and champagne pairings. Lopez, who has experience at world renowned Noma restaurant in Copenhagan, has seen GOMA Restaurant achieve a second coveted hat.

Champagne Mumm BrunchCanapé Rose du Caviar Noir

The Canapé Rose du Caviar Noir/Black Caviar Rose drew inspiration from the ethos of victory of the House of Mumm and its association with prestige events as Formula 1 and the Melbourne Cup. Delicately served on a rose petal with layers of yoghurt and brioche crumble, it’s creamy, salty and textural while drawing on the Pinot Noir component of the Cordon Rouge champagne.

Champagne Mumm BrunchTruffe d’or

Truffe d’or/ The golden truffle paired with with Champagne Mumm Cordon Rouge was a textural feast. Fresh truffle velouté rolled in 24 carat, shaved truffle and truffle mousse made up this representation of victory.

Champagne Mumm BrunchVichyssoise Chaude, Caviar

Vichyssoise Chaude, Caviar/Warm Potato and Leek Soup, Caviar continued the theme and elevated the humble soup into a luxurious dish with a leek filament in the shape of the Mumm Cordon Rouge sash and the Yasa Caviar for flavour.

The Vichyssoise was paired with Mumm Blanc de Blancs, a rare prestige cuvée which is only available in five markets in the world. Originally made 132 years ago by the winemaker for his own enjoyment, the bottle has a different shape with a smaller neck and has been bottled under a lower pressure to deliver a softer and elegant feel on the palate.

Champagne Mumm Brunch
Pigeon, Foie, Myrtilles, Cereales

Pigeon, Foie, Myrtilles, Cereales/Squab, Foie Gras, Blueberry, Grains celebrated the theme of excellence and were paired with Champagne Mumm 2006 Millésime, which was declared a good year by chef de cave, Didier Mariotti.

The sous-vide breast and confit leg were gamey and tender while the chestnut puree and chestnut chips worked in harmony. The buckwheat mung beans and blueberries provided contrast in texture and flavour.

Champagne Mumm Brunch
Mumm Champagne Ambassador Chris Sheehy

The 2006 Millésime is produced only in exceptional years and is aged almost twice as long as Cordon Rouge. There is greater complexity with flavours of wild honey, almonds, apricots and dried fruits in evidence. The blend of two-thirds Pinot Noir and one-third Chardonnay delivered an extra richness that married well with meats and poultry.

Champagne Mumm Brunch
Sandalwood Burning

For the next course , sandalwood aromas filled the igloo before the next dish was presented.

Champagne Mumm BrunchVeau, Avocat, Santal, Raisin

The Veau, Avocat, Santal, Raisin /Veal, Avocado, Sandalwood Nut, Grape continued with the textural journey, and linked to components of the champagne such as the nut and grape.

Champagne Mumm BrunchCuvée R. Lalou 2002

The dish was paired with Cuvée R. Lalou 2002, a cuvee that pays tribute to René Lalou who for over 50 years from 1920 has enhanced the reputation of the house. Chef de cave, Didier Mariotto used six of the designated twelve parcels of land to create a champagne that deliver aromas of fresh fruit, vanilla and honey in a balanced, elegant and long finished champagne.

Champagne Mumm Brunch
Rose, Macadamia, Baie, Vanille

Dessert as a perfect pairing of Champagne Mumm Rosé NV and Rose, Macadamia, Baie, Vanille/Rosé, Macadamia, Berries, Vanilla with meringues, berry powder, shaved macadamia and rose water custard.

How to Pair Champagne with Caviar

At the conclusion of the brunch, we spoke with Chris Sheehy and Josue Lopez about pairing Champagne Mumm with Yasa Caviar and the ethos behind the menu.

Champagne Mumm Brunch

Here are their top tips for pairing champagne with caviar:

  • When pairing caviar and champagne, a broader range of flavour are sought and the process starts by tasting the caviar first then matching it with champagne.
  • Pairing can be complementary or opposite, in this case complementary flavours were the focus.
  • Consideration for dosage is not a conscious effort but the champagne needs to be a Brut or Extra Brut to pair with the nuttiness, salinity and creaminess of Yasa Caviar.
  • The optimum temperature for chilling champagne is at 8C for Cuvée Lalou and served in a larger glass, Mumm NV at 10C, Mumm Rosé at 8C, Mumm Blanc de Blancs between 8-10C and Mumm Vintage at 13C.
  • The best way to enjoy caviar is either on a blini or a nude tasting. It’s similar to enjoying cheese at room temperature. Caviar can be elitist so a nude tasting makes it more approachable and keeps it simple.
  • And finally, to truly appreciate the pairing, you have to immerse yourself in the brand and its ethos of victory, excellence and tradition.

Gourmantic travelled to Thredbo as guests of champagne GH Mumm.

Photography © by Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved. Contact us if you wish to purchase any photographs.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.