Spirit Of HArmony
There were quite a few reasons why a degustation dinner held by Maison Dom Pérignon in mid-May was so hotly anticipated. For starters, there were the newest additions to the Maison’s remarkable selection of the best vintages made to perfection: the Vintage 2008 and the Rosé Vintage 2006, both of which were to be unveiled that evening. Then there was the official announcement that Chef Darren Chin had been appointed as the Ambassador of Dom Pérignon in Malaysia – a decision that came as no surprise to anyone who’d tasted his faultless culinary creations.
“This is a great way to showcase what we’ve achieved so far. To be a Malaysian chef and to be associated with Dom Pérignon – and to collaborate with the Maison – is an honour," Chin said at the beginning of the meal. As a reminder of the rich, honeycomb-sweet notes of Dom Pérignon’s Vintage 2009 (the Vintage 2008’s predecessor), he served starters of gently aged strip-jack mackerel with Kaviari Transmontanus sturgeon caviar, and Alaskan king crab with white asparagus.
Once the Vintage 2008 had been uncorked, its shy yet sprightly profile – hints of crushed mint, white flowers, and a lingering woodiness – played well with DC’s signature Spring seafood medley, uncovering the sweetness of the Hokkaido scallops and pearl barley risotto. The vivacious Rosé Vintage 2006, carrying enticing flavours of dark spices, cocoa, and roasted fig, arrived shortly after alongside a rack of South Australian lamb grilled over Binchotan coal, with diced beet and apple to bolster the champagne’s subtler characteristics.
As the dinner conversation lingered over whether the Vintage 2008 would prove to be a sought-after investment champagne – a prospect that many felt was a strong possibility – it was time to savour that rare treasure, Hennessy Paradis Imperial. Mirroring the cognac’s viscous, opulent delights, Chin drizzled a double chocolate chart and Sicilian pistachio ice cream with AOP extra-virgin olive oil from Liguria. “This is liquid gold – mesmerising, impressive, and potent," he smiled as he gave topped everyone up with a little extra olive oil – although he may well have been referring to the evening’s libations, too.