Perfect Partners: Champagne and Macarons!

The king of macarons, Adriano Zumbohas teamed up with Piper-Heidesick to help you celebrate Valentine's Day! 

Adriano's challenge was to come up with a unique recipe to complement  Rosé champagne and create the perfect partnership. Here we chat to champagne expert Ned Goodwin to find out more. 

What are the best champagne pairings? 

The Zumbo macaron and PH Sauvage Rosé is a magical synergy! We discovered this while tasting Sauvage over numerous brainstorming sessions. This indicated abundant aromas of red berry fruits and citrus, even a tropical tang, to this structured  and dry Champagne. Subsequently, Adriano cleverly deduced that cherry purée, passionfruit purée and magically, a secret yet quintessentially Australian ingredient to enhance the savoury yeastiness of Champagne, were suitable ingredients.

When the French ask me (a Master of Wine who has spent the last 12 years in Asia) about natural food synergies with this Champagne, I often reply 'anything that hangs on a hook in Chinatown, or sophisticated BBQ. Given the audacious percentage of red wine that is blended into Piper-Heidsieck Sauvage Rosé (30% Pinot Noir), the wine parries with richer dishes. Pork belly, BBQ steaky fish and red berry fruits are all wonderful marriages!

Why did you choose to partner with Adriano Zumbo for V-Day? How was the cooking experience when developing the bespoke macaron recipe?

Piper-Heidsieck prides itself on being able to create special ‘Piper Moments’, and this partnership does just that. There continues to be a demand for unique food items to pair with drinks and Zumbo has developed something that complements the full-bodied flavour of Piper-Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage well. Zumbo embodies a highly sophisticated irreverence, which, to me, is the best aspect of the Australian food and wine scene, as well as creativity at large in Australia. Similarly, Sauvage is a delicious, sophisticated and yet, incredibly fun Champagne.

Zumbo also gave a fun-loving bent to the experience, suggesting that drinking wine with good food must be enjoyable first and foremost, rather than an analytical experience. This said, fundamentals such as avoiding excessive sweetness in the macaron, with the dry mineral energy of the Piper-Heidsieck Sauvage, were well respected. This has resulted in a fruity yet savoury experience on the plate and in the glass.

How do you enjoy Piper-Heidseick Rose?

To reiterate what I have touched on above, I love the acid freshness and zesty chalky minerality  of Piper-Heidsieck Sauvage Rosé with fatty meats or thick fish steaks, especially with a good char. The berry fruitiness sluices through marinades and berry/quince/rhubarb chutneys for example, as well as other traditional western accompaniment to game, and parries well with high quality grilled chicken-again with a char-such as Japanese yakitori. Sauvage is for both the romantic and adventurous in us all!

How would you recommend for couples to enjoy Piper this V-Day?

•    With the macaron of course! 

•    The delicious bite-sized treats have been specially made to ‘inspire romance’ when perfectly partnered with a glass of Piper-Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage – so its a perfect gift for Valentine's Day.

•    My advice is to head to Vintage Cellars between 13th-14th February for the free gift with purchase 

Tips for men to cook for their women? 

When making the macaron, Zumbo taught me that inspiration drives creativity and flare. Seek inspiration in your ladies, for they have plenty to offer. After all, we wouldn't be much without them! This being said, I believe-as does Zumbo-that inspiration must be sought from experience, humility and respect. The art of the macaron and the rich traditions of Piper-Heidsieck as among the oldest of all Champagne houses and indeed, the tipple of both Marie-Antoinette and more recently, the iconic Marilyn Momroe who drank it each morning, are all founded on these qualities. The hard yards are worth the beauty that follows! Don't think that inspiration simply falls into your must be cultivated and cherished.

The Piper-Heidsieck macarons are exclusive to Vintage Cellars stores and only available as a gift with purchase with the Rosé on 13th and 14th February 2014. 

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