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December 27, 2017

Tasting Notes: Innovative Pairings with Spirits

By Olivia Cuccaro

This story originally appeared in the November/December 2017 issue of Elite Traveler.

Forget red or white. When it comes to drinks with dinner, we’re making the case for innovative pairings featuring spirits. And with Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse on board, you can be confident that it is a trend worth trying. Teaming up with Grey Goose cellar master François Thibault, Ducasse is pioneering vodka gastronomique, a new interpretation of the spirit dedicated to the culinary experience. Have dinner at lauded Le Meurice Alain Ducasse in Paris and sip vodka cocktails paired with signature dishes. “Grey Goose interpreted by Ducasse is a gastronomic vodka to be enjoyed from dinner to the rest of the night,” Ducasse tells us. “The three different levels of toasted French wheat combined together result in a rich and complex roasted aroma that lends itself well to food pairings.”

Even tequila is making the bold journey from the bar to the dining table. in collaboration with the French crystal brand, Patrón released the stunning Lalique Serie 2, the perfect complement to butter-poached lobster tacos. The richness of the lobster balances this expression’s dry fruit notes, while the fresh crunch of the garnish gives a brightness that pairs with the tequila’s medium oak. For dessert, why not sip a neat bourbon-aged Clase Azul Reposado, which brings out the flavor in a caramel-filled milk chocolate truffle for an indulgent twist.

Not just for toasting, champagne is ideal to serve alongside your meal rather than simply introducing it. Dry champagne pairs best with savory dishes, and should be served in a traditional wine glass at 50 degrees for the fullest expression. Explore the possibilities in the height of decadence at an Ultimate Champagne Dinner hosted by Moët Hennessy, where a champagne expert will guide you through five courses accompanied by various vintages. Taste scallops with Dom Pérignon P2 Vintage 1998, root vegetable risotto with Krug Grand Cuvée 163rd edition, pan-roasted mallard duck with Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2008 and end your feast with roasted apple profiterole with Veuve Clicquot Demi-sec.

Patrón en Lalique Serie 2, $7,500, Ultimate Champagne Dinner price based on champagne selection. Contact

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