Jason Guerra, Moët Hennessy Brand Ambassador, Heather Queen, Wine Concierge and Master Chef Adrien Nieto
You may know Moët Hennessy for its well known, iconic spirts brands: Hennessy Cognac; Belvedere Vodka; 10 Cane Rum; Grand Marnier; Glenmorangie, and Ardbeg single malt Scotch whiskies. Or perhaps for its champagne portfolio with stalwarts like Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Krug, Veuve Clicquot and Ruinart. But did you know it also has a fine wine division featuring legendary wineries with some of the most diverse terroir around the globe?
I was a guest recently at a Moët Hennessy Legends dinner, which featured Master Chef Adrien Nieto, Heather Queen, a well -known local wine concierge at Queen of Grapes (and the woman who got all my Eurocaves organized), and Jason Guerra, the US Brand Ambassador of the company.
The focus on wineries began back in 1955 when Robert-Jean De Vogüe, who was president, decided the company needed to shift its focus from only champagne and look for sparkling wines that could help meet the growing demand that the Champagne region couldn’t satisfy. This expanded to still wines and the portfolio was launched in 2003 as Estates & Wines and also includes other wines like Château d’Yquem.
There are wine dinners and there are heavy hitter legendary wine dinners. This experience definitely rated in that upper echelon category. The pairings were perfect, and the wines were stunning, showcasing the diversity of the different regions around the world.
We met at Roots and Water Wine Room (disclosure, I’m a member) where we were treated to a glass of 2008 Dom Perignon with an Amuse Bouche of Butter Toasted Brioche, Chicken Pate, Winter Citrus Honey Apple Relish, Herbs and Strawberry Pineapple Dust.
That was followed by the 2015 Cloudy Bay Te Koko with Tropical Fruits, Fresh Catch Crudo, Unit and Roe served with Salt and Vinegar Chips.
The next course which really got me excited because I finally had the opportunity to try the 2015 Ao Yun, the much discussed Chinese wine produced in the foothills of the Himalayas. And whoa, that was my wine of the night. Served with Pepper Ginger, Pork Belly, Crab, Wild Fried Rice and a 63.5 Degree Egg, it was one of those perfect food and wine moments.
We moved to the 2016 Newton Puzzle, which has always been an iconic California brand and is consistently good. This was served with a Duck Confit Hash, Roasted Carrots, Potatoes and a Beet and Hibiscus Emulsion.
Our next pairing was the 2011 Bodega Numanthia served with Lamb, Spinach Swiss Chard and a Chickpea and Chorizo Stew. This is one of my favorite Spanish wines and the pairing worked perfectly.
The finale was the Hennessy Paradis, a rare cognac named after the special section in the Hennessy aging cellars where the finest, rarest, and oldest eaux-de-vie are carefully guarded. This was served with a Vanilla Orange Panna Cotta, Cinnamon Roasted Grapes and Chocolate Pepper Crumble.
Jason talked to us about the diversity of the wineries, the people and communities that they support and the commitment to environmental sustainability and protecting the land.
The experience of trying these amazing wines served with the perfect food was one I won’t forget. And you must keep in mind Roots and Water Wine Room does not have an industrial kitchen so Adrien and his staff worked wonders. And, I’m excited to see what happens next in the Moët Hennessy wine portfolio.