I remember the first time I had Krug. It was a few years ago, it was a magnum from the mid 80’s and I was blown away by the richness, the intricacies,the balance of the champagne. Ever since then, I’ve had a weak spot for Krug although it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people find it too rich, too big, too substantial. While it is a substantial champagne, it’s because it’s a champagne that needs food, more so than many others.
Angela Hartnett has partnered up with Krug and created a menu to complement their complex champagnes at her restaurant, Murano by Angela Hartnett in Mayfair.
Krug Grand Cuvee was served as an aperitif – savoury and very mineral in character, you could taste the older vintages that were used in the blend. The Grand Cuvee is a very generous champagne, blended from a variety of vintages and has a very umami-ish character, perfect with parmesan cheese crisps and the brightest,meatiest green olives I’ve had in a long time. Arrancini with a truffle cream was another of the nibbles and if my tastebuds could, they’d probably have cried tears of joy – just thinking about them is making me salivate…
We had a scallop and bream ceviche with vegetable tempura next with the Grande Cuvee. The flavours of the champagne integrated so well with an orange slice tempura – citrus city but really tasty. And the sweetness of the scallops was overcome by the Grande Cuvee. Good match.
The 2000 Krug is a different creature altogether, much more linear and aromatic. Served with a ravioli of king prawn with a shellfish vinaigrette and fennel puree, the 2000 was fresh and had a delicate note to it, the sweetness of the prawns serve to highlight the fruit in the wine.
Taking a further step back in time, the 1998 Krug is full of spices, mushrooms and the autumnal smells of the forest. I really enjoyed this wine and with the roasted English rose veal, orange chicory and spiced bread, was an equally good partner, a slight bitterness and definite mineral/iodine notes showing themselves.
For the last two courses, Parmiggiano Reggiano served simply in chunks on a plate and dessert were both paired with the Krug Grande Cuvee again. This is a champagne for either. Again the umami flavours coming out with the cheese and with the dessert, ginger pain perdu with Early Grey jelly and ginger ice cream, there were notes of figs and nuts and on the palate, ripe orange flavours were apparent, it reminded me of Christmas pudding.
After lunch Angela came for a quick chat, it’s always nice to hear what the chef has to say about her cooking. She likes the idea of pairing Krug with her cooking but feels that “people should not be dictated to, if they like it, they like it” but if they don’t, well, there are other pairings.
This menu will be available at both the Chef’s Table at Murano and in the main dining room. The Chef’s Table seats 12. The menu including the Krug matches is £250 per person. The menu we had was quite autumnal but Angela says that she will be changing the menu seasonally.
Oliver Krug from the House is going to be in town and will be hosting a dinner with this same tasting menu on November 28th. Murano is offering a special deal for the evening at £175 per person, the big difference being Oliver will be there to talk diners through the wines throughout the meal. For more information, contact Murano.