I’m not really sure how the denizens of Champagne would feel about their beloved beverage being served with grilled cheese sandwiches and soup, but it worked for me.
First off, let me say that this was a FREE SAMPLEprovided to me by the courteous folks at Palm Bay Imports. Second, it was a 375ml sample. Third, it was really freakin’ good. Fourth, this pairing was better than you are admitting to your self as you read this.
While I was peripherally familiar with the Gosset brand, I have no recollection of ever having sampled their wines before this one. I had little expectation, which is always a good thing when tasting wine. No preconceived notions provide for a better state of mind.
According to the information I found on the web, Gosset is the oldest house in Champagne. They were founded in 1584 by Pierre Gosset. Production consisted of still wines using Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, 2 of the 3 major grapes used in modern Champagne production. As others did, the shift to sparkling wine was made in the 18th century. A few of the signatures of the house are the avoidance of malolactic fermentation, along with hand riddling and disgorgement of the prestige cuvées and large-format bottlings.
The wine is really quite good, falling into the rich and creamy style of Champagne. I am actually quite surprised to find out they avoid malolactic fermentation, as the wine doesn’t display the razor sharp edge of lactic acid I’d have expected. See, tasting without any pre-conceived notions is a good thing. Of course, the sample could have been of a more advanced age as well, explaining much of the toastiness this wine exhibits. Overall, the toasty nature is the dominant flavor, with some nice honey misted pears thrown into the mix as well. A definite BUY and an excellent value in real Champagne, based on the low $30′s price points I found in searching online.
As for the pairing I mentioned at the outset, it worked really well. The toastiness in the wine and bread went well together, along with the creamy texture of the melted cheese and the soft mouth feel of the wine. Not something most folks would try, but one worth considering and a definite way to “dress up” something as simple (yet comforting) as grilled cheese with soup.
Until next time…live well, love much and drink great wine.