A Champagne Meal at Savoy

by Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng
April 30, 2008

70 Prince St
@ Crosby St
New York, NY 10012

What happens when a sparkling winemaker and I get together? Well, recently, Rollin Soles of Argyle Winery was visiting from Oregon, and we had the most memorable four-hour champagne lunch at Savoy. I’m happy to report that Rollin and I, together with his lovely wife, Corby, tried our first bottle of José Dhondt ($78) that day. This blanc de blancs from the Grand Cru village of Oger impressed us both. Minerally and fresh as spring, it was the perfect meal opener. Rollin was ready to take home a case. Next, we opted for the 1999 Chartogne-Taillet from Merfy (You’ve got to love the names of villages in Champagne!) ($100). This Pinot-and-Chard blend from the Coteaux de Vesle (outside the main top Champagne regions) didn’t quite live up to the standard set by our first wine. In comparison, it was rather flat in personality and structure. But my plate of handmade garganelli with house-smoked ham, English peas, dried chilli and Parmesan ($14) more than made up for the minor wine disappointment. This dish has been a constant craving since I first tasted it a month ago. And what’s more, our finale of a half bottle of 1994 Château d’Yquem ($125) certainly uplifted the leisurely, lazy lunch that would otherwise have been clouded by the torrential rain outside. Inside the magically cozy upstairs dining room at Savoy, life was beyond sunny.

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