Champagne, The French Elegance

MGM Au Beaux Arts
Hong Kong and Macau – join hands to honour Le French GourMay 2017
During the whole month of May this year, more than 220 partners – Michelin-starred chefs, restaurants, as well as wine importers and distributors in Hong Kong and Macau – will join hands to honour Le French GourMay 2017 by dedicated menus to pair with Champagne, wine tastings, promotions and workshops. 
 
Established in 1993, Le French May is one of the largest cultural events in Asia. With more than 150 programmes presented across two months, it has become an iconic part of Hong Kong’s cultural scene that reaches out over one million visitors each year.
 
And an important part of Le French May since 2009 has been Le French GourMay, celebrating and promoting the French food and wine culture in Hong Kong and Macau.
 
Every year in May, Le French GourMay presents a different region (Midi-Pyrénées, Rhone Valley, Provence, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Alsace etc.), introducing and encouraging people to experience the dining culture in French style and letting go through an authentic French gastronomic journey through a network of more than 200 local partners. 
 
At the beginning of this month, Le French GourMay proudly presented the fourth edition of French Traditional Market at Murray House, Stanley Plaza, offering a perfect occasion to find Champagne wines and fresh French produce to cook the best meals.   
 
The market featured a number of selected participating merchants from the festival including: 5s Wines, EaSiness, Enoteca, GDV Fine Wines, Gourmet en Provence, House of Fine Wines, La Boucherie, M&C Asia, Maison Argaud, Mega Will Wine, Monsieur Chatté, Sinovantage and NG wines; presenting visitors with all kinds of French delicacies and wines, such as fresh asparagus, melons, mushrooms, duck confit, goose and chestnut terrine, foie gras, saucissons, raclette cheese, financier cake, fresh French seafood and much more!
 
A host of other amazing Champagne-themed events will continue throughout May in Hong Kong and Macau, so be sure to check out all the details at www.frenchgourmay.com
 
 
>>> Here are some fun facts about “Champagne” from a creative perspective!
 
 
C
Comité Champagne (CIVC)
 
CIVC 成立於 1941 年,旨在組織香檳區的種植者、釀酒師和酒商,促進他們在管理、研究和開發,可持續發展方面團結和良好溝通,及香檳教學。
 
Created in 1941, Comité Champagne unites Champagne growers and houses to manage together the wine region in aspects such as production, sustainable development, legal protection, communication, and of course, Champagne education.
 
 
H
Heritage 
 
世界遺產: 自 17 世紀起保留下來的香檳區山坡、房屋和酒窖及悠久的釀酒傳統在 2015 年被列入聯合國教科文組織世界遺產。香檳區是葡萄酒旅遊的著名地點,葡萄園、酒窖和合作社等每年組織不少葡萄酒之旅和品酒活動,歡迎遊客參觀。
 
The Slopes, Houses and Cellars of Champagne are listed in the UNESCO World Heritage in 2015 for the “outstanding and universal value (OUV)” of this “cultural landscape” dedicated to sparkling wine production from the end of the 17th century onwards.
 
 
A
AOC 
 
原產地監控命名: 香檳受法國及歐盟、乃至全球 120 個國家法律保護,訂明只有在香檳區生產的葡萄酒才可以被稱為「香檳」。早於 1927 年規定產區,並於 1936 年正式使用「香檳」原產地監控命名(AOC)。香檳生產受嚴格規定,規則涵蓋葡萄種植以至葡萄酒的標籤。
 
The Champagne production area was delimited as early as 1927 and decreed an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) in 1936. Champagne production is strictly regulated, from the planting of grapes to wine labelling.
 
 
M
Maturation
 
陳釀: 香檳的陳酒過程漫長而複雜,根據法例,所有無年份新酒(NV)必須於酒窖存放至少 15 個月,陳釀(Vintage)更需時至少 3 年。一般來說,品嚐新酒亦需再等 2-3 年,陳釀則至少 5-10 年!所以一支好的香檳,真是大「氣」晚成!
 
Champagne maturation is long and complex process. Immediately after bottling every ‘cuvée’ must spend at least 15 months in the cellar For vintage Champagne, the minimum is 3 years. 
 
 
P
Pinot Noir 
 
黑皮諾: 香檳區三種葡萄之一,其餘兩種為莫尼耶皮諾(佔總種植量 32%)和霞多麗(30%)。黑皮諾最適宜在清涼的石灰岩地質生長,能令香檳帶紅莓香。莫尼耶皮諾較遲萌芽,適應香檳區較冷的氣候。用它釀製的香檳帶圓潤、豐富的果香。霞多麗則帶清新白花和柑橘香氣,用它製作混合陳酒便最適合不過。
 
One of the grapes for Champagne: Pinot noir performs best in cool limestone terrain and gives the wine berry aromas.  
 
 
A
Aromas 
 
香氣: 香檳酒的香氣隨葡萄的種類和酒齡等因素變化。年輕香檳清脆活潑,帶柑橘類果香、花香及礦物香;成熟香檳香氣較廣,散發果脯、糕點甜味,甚至香料和植物香;古董香檳則華麗豐富,透出濃濃的蜜餞、蜂蜜、烤麵包的香味。
 
Depending on the grape, soil, age, blending, winemaking technique, etc, there exists a wide array of Champagne aromas, from youthful minerality to completeness, from fresh citrus to round buttery notes.
 
 
G
Glass 
 
酒杯: 香檳杯呈鬱金香形,修長的杯身讓豐盈氣泡豐富香檳的味覺層次,較窄的頂部則把香氣留在杯中濃縮,防止流失,令香檳成為真正的多感官享受。
 
Champagne is best enjoyed in a tulip glass - its tall and bulbous shape will allow the bubbles to develop to the full, while a narrow top concentrates the bouquet.
 
 
N
Northeast of France 
 
 
法國東北部: 香檳區位於首都巴黎以東 150 公里,葡萄種植和釀酒區範圍於1927 年受法律訂明及保護。香檳區覆蓋 34 000 公頃,有 319 條村莊。
 
The Champagne production zone (AOC vineyard area) is some 150km to the east of Paris, the zone encompasses about 34,000 hectares, across 319 villages.
 
 
E
 
Effervescence 
 
氣泡: 二次發酵時乳酸釋放出二氧化碳,成為香檳開瓶後迅速上升的氣泡。
 
The bubbles in Champagne wines are the result of the build-up of CO2 inside the bottle, during the secondary fermentation process.
 
 
 
In Macau, gastronomes will be able to find amazing menus at some of the finest French restaurants in town, including Robuchon au Dôme at Grand Lisboa, Aux Beaux Arts at MGM Macau and Mistral at Sofitel at Ponte 16.
 
Chef Joël Robuchon has created an exquisite seven-course menu at Robuchon au Dôme including Impérial caviar and king crab refreshed with crustacean jelly and light cauliflower cream, Pigeon and goose foie gras duo, cooked on stem of Savoy cabbage served with ravioli bouillon, Pink champagne with light strawberry mousse and soursop sorbet. 
 
Le French GourMay specialties are also available At Aux Beaux Arts at MGM Macau, with both a-la-carte and a 3-course set menu as well as the signature Aux Beaux Arts Seafood Selections with two glasses of Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne.  The set menu features Braised beef cheek bourguignon served with root vegetables, baby onions and potato purée, as well as Pan fried trout and langoustine fennel ragout with pink lentil and baby leek, carefully laid on a bed of the creamy champagne reduction.
 
And at Sofitel at Ponte 16, Mistral restaurant takes diners to three culinary regions of France: the romantic Cote d’Azur, the natural South West, and the sumptuous Brittany. In the dinner buffet, guests can enjoy the “Champagne Corner” where selected French bubblies are offered – on an all-you-can-drink basis.  Delicious samples from each region will take the stage consecutively throughout May.