WE DRINK CHAMPAGNE as an aperitif. We raise flutes of Champagne to toast people, memories and victories. And yet, when our meal begins, we usually put the Champagne flute aside and reach for a glass of still wine. But have you ever considered sharing the bubbly ones with food? If not, there are pleasant surprises ahead. Champagne, with its effervescence, its acidity and its clarity, often highlights food flavors we might otherwise miss.
Take Ruinart Blanc de Blancs nonvintage, for example. A fresh, supple sparkler, it is a graceful wine. Made totally of Chardonnay, it has a fine, persistent mousse, some spice and goes well with such dishes as fried chicken and other lightly fried foods and with seafood, especially oysters. Think of it, too, with pasta in clam sauce.
The grapes from Clos du Mesnil, a 2.5-acre Chardonnay vineyard, produce Krug’s lovely Champagne, named after the vineyard. Its 2004 version, an elegant, vibrant sparkler, offers whiffs of brioche and baked apple as well as delicate scents of almonds, lemon and grapefruit. Pair it with shellfish, flounder and light meats.
The year 2008 proved a particularly fine vintage in Champagne, and Veuve Clicquot’s La Grande Dame Rosé 2008 provides an excellent example of the year. Consisting of 92 percent Pinot Noir, which offers power and structure, it boasts a pink color flecked with golden highlights. This majestic wine presents a satiny body and hints of ripe pear. It matches especially well with such dishes as ham and blanquette de veau.
A truly exceptional vintage in Champagne was the year 2002, and Dom Pérignon 2002 provides a stunning example of the year. It opens slowly and then bursts into a glorious combination of light smokiness, a tender sensation of fruit peel, a hint of nuttiness and a bit of vanilla. Its richness pairs beautifully with smoked salmon, lobster and risotto in a mushroom sauce.
Champagne also often offers a perfect match to many Thai, Chinese and Japanese dishes. For perhaps the most glorious and luxurious combination of all, consider Champagne and fresh caviar. It does not get more satisfying than that.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
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I recently dined at Irwin’s in Philadelphia. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Bok Building, a former school turned collective of small businesses, non-profits, artist workshops, a bar and restaurant. I previously visited Bok for the bar and yoga classes, and I was excited to experience the restaurant.
The Global Business Travel Association, the world’s largest business travel and meetings trade organization, recently released a statement from GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang regarding the Biden administration’s recent announcement that the U.S. travel ban will be relaxed in November for vaccinated travelers from 26 Schengen countries, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
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Anchorage-based Northern Pacific Airways agreed to purchase its first six aircraft — Boeing 757s — this week. This transaction meets part of its initial fleet requirements, and the first aircraft from this purchase will be delivered immediately. Northern Pacific Airways plans to offer service between U.S. points and Asia, via Anchorage, Alaska.
The Rittenhouse has long stood out as one of Philadelphia’s finest hotels, centrally located in one of the city’s poshest neighborhoods. Needless to say, I knew I was in for an afternoon of luxurious pampering when I hopped in my car and headed down I-95 from my suburban home to the heart of the City of Brotherly Love. As I drove through the seemingly endless roadwork on the highway, I realized just how long it had been since I’d driven this once-familiar route into the city as a result of the pandemic. Of course I was eager for the relaxation and bliss that was in my future, but it was also a welcome feeling to head back into Philadelphia for a moment of normalcy.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Nice, France, with us.