Champagne, a glass for each course

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Champagne, a glass for each course

There are two very annoying things you can say to the champenois in France. First, call champagne "sparkling wine." Second, tell them that you'd like to have a champagne cocktail.

You can do both, right here in Seoul, when the winemaker for Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, one of the oldest champagne houses in Reims, France, visits on Monday to share his champagne expertise. Jerome Corbon will hold a champagne tasting, matching his wares with a four-course meal at the Grand Inter-Continental hotel.

Champagne makers, like Mr. Corbon, take great pride in creating the world's finest sparkling wine -- though never to be referred to as such, and never ever mixed with juices or liqueurs.

Champagne is made from one or a mixture of three grapes, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, and can vary in color from light yellow to golden to slightly green to pink. Its taste can range from dry to crisp and light to sweet. Its bouquet can be floral, fruity, nutty or vegetal.

In collaboration with the Inter-Continental's sous chef James Viney, Mr. Corbon will match Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, La Grande Dame 1995 and Vintage Reserve 1995 with a special meal at the Inter-Continental's Vinotheque.

Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label will precede the meal as a cocktail. La Grande Dame 1995 will be served with a light appetizer of smoked salmon with caviar cream, crisp garlic dill bread and allium relish. The more mature Vintage Reserve 1995 will be matched with herb-flavored goat cheese and feuillantine pastry and a mixed cress salad with hazelnut vinaigrette. It will also accompany pan-roasted veal medallions with shellfish in tarragon butter and a leek-and-endive gratin. A crisp nougatine with fresh berries and caramelized pecans and vanilla sauce will complete the meal.

The "Champagne and Dine" dinner takes place at 7 p.m. Monday at the Vinotheque in the Grand Inter-Continental hotel in Samseong-dong. The four-course dinner with champagne costs 150,000 won ($125) including tax and service charge. Advance reservations are required. For more information, call (02) 559-7614.

by Inēs Cho

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