Sourcing new champagne is the name of my game. After a sip, I’ve pretty much made up my mind. So, what was it about this one-month-old newbie to the NYC market, Nominé-Renard NV ($44), that got me smiling?
It’s a classic brut that is very blanc de blancs in style.
This is a house in the Côte des Blancs that prides itself on its Chardonnay. And while this particular non-vintage only has 40% Chard (the rest equally divided between Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier), it’s very blanc de blancs in style. When I asked Simon Nomé why, he said, “The plots of Chardonnay selected for our brut essentially come from the area of Sezanne (“Côteaux du Sezannais”) and Villevenard. They are aromatic when young, and added to that, our vin de réserve used for the blend also shows a high proportion of Chardonnay.”
While it is elegant, it has the backbone to pair with spices.
I tried it with Vietnamese cuisine at Bêp and was surprised when it disproved my assumption that champagne always pairs well with fried foods. A sweet and sour sauce didn’t work at all, either, killing the finesse and nuance of the champagne. The wine worked much better with the refreshing and light summer rolls. However, the best pairing was with a lemongrass chicken banh mi. The lemongrass was not spicy per se but filled with spices, and the dialogue between this feathery light, lemony NV and the lemongrass was lively and organic, without compromising either element.