Asiatique's Fall Bubbles Brunch showcases the relationship between food and sparkling wine [Food & Dining]


The next wine was the Jean-Louis Blanc de Blancs. As I’ve pointed out before, the American public has a habit of referring to any sparkling wine as “Champagne,” usually falsely. This, however, is the real deal. “Blanc de Blancs” translates to “white of whites,” and is a term used for Champagnes made from Chardonnay grapes.

The mouthfeel of the Jean-Louis was a little more intense than the Prosecco; also a little dryer, although some citrus notes could still be detected. This came paired with a citrus and crawfish salad: small chunks of citrus-and-pepper-marinated crawfish sitting on a bed of greens, garnished by a bean medley and dressed with coconut vinaigrette. The earthy organic taste of the greens calmed some of the intensity of the wine, while the citrus in the crawfish complemented the same in the wine, almost giving it a slightly sweeter quality.

To drink with the main course, we were served the Veuve Du Vernay Brut Rosé, which comes from the Loire region of France. It had a more floral quality, with a hint of muskiness. This was paired with a chorizo-stuffed quail, which sat atop a bed of yellow corn risotto, all of which was garnished with clover greens and an apple cider and caraway reduction. This was a serious dish: a smorgasbord of competing flavors and textures which could easily go wrong in lesser hands. Luckily, the chefs of Asiatique are skilled at their craft, and the resulting effect was beautiful.

Quail has a gamey flavor (think dark meat on poultry) which was almost overpowered by the spiciness of the chorizo – but not quite, as the sweet, creamy risotto calmed the spice and added a soothing texture to the whole thing. All of this was further complemented by the sweet sauce. This whole combination helped the rosé to sparkle, both literally and figuratively. It brought out the floral flavors of the wine, giving it an almost perfume-like quality.