The Banquet of Nature

Travel back to the “Belle Époque”!

Wine and French gastronomy go hand in hand, but when a Champagne Maison decides to partner with a three-star chef for a special dinner, magic happens. This immersive experience is still open for a week, so hurry! It is a unique moment. We got to enjoy the soirée as if we were in the 1910s, listening to the sweet sound of the sparkling bubbles.

By Valentin Cotton
The Banquet of Nature: an immersive experience with Maison Belle-Époque and Perrier-Jouët’s universe.

Épernay, Chardonnay, Belle Époque: Perrier-Jouët

The Maison Perrier-Jouët was founded in 1811 by a couple of botanists. From the start, the floral theme has been part of the Maison’s essence, and this is illustrated by its renowned grape variety: the Chardonnay. Those are the basics of Perrier-Jouët style. 
However, you are missing an essential piece of information: the Perrier family is fond of art, specially the Art Nouveau movement. Because of their passion, the Maison approached Emile Gallé. The artist, who was also an enthusiastic botanist, developed a friendship with Perrier and would often visit the family in Épernay. He was the one who drew the famous anemones arabesque that decorated the bottles of the cuvee Belle Époque, which became a part of its visual identity and reputation.
From then, a century later, the atmosphere has always been the same inside this house nicknamed “Belle Époque”, on the 11 avenue de Champagne, in Épernay. There, you will find furniture decorated by Emile Gallé, sculptures by Rodin, leather panels inside the tasting room, and a beautiful garden. A bubble…

The Banquet of Nature, a sensory experience

La Banquet de la Nature par Perrier-Jouët
The Banquet of Nature: beauty is also in the plate – ©Perrier-Jouët.

One could think that this meal and wine pairing dinner is a classic thing. And they would be right. But it’s not only that. As we said, this is also a sensory experience; every dish and every wine provides its own universe and will immerse you in a tasting adventure. How does the winery do that? You will be given three stones and a pipette, with the pipette you will soak the stones with blue flower, jasmine or violet water. You will see how the limestone soak the water and brings a different texture to the champagne, which makes the smell stand out. I promise you, when you taste your champagne again, you will discover a whole new sensation.

La Banquet de la Nature par Perrier-Jouët
A few drops are enough to feel the different aromatic smells on the limestone –  ©Perrier-Jouët.

You will discover a ballet of plates, in perfect orchestration, on point and with precise savours. You will be falling in love with the cream of Osciètre caviar, endive, radicchio, salpicon, and the Blanquette de Veau with white truffle from Alba. 

La Banquet de la Nature par Perrier-Jouët
A magnificent decor and beautiful products, like this truffle from Alba that enhances the Blanquette – ©Perrier-Jouët.

Four chapters with four different cuvees form the menu: 
Every chapter comes with a sensorial activity, and I don’t want to kill the suspense by revealing everything… but what I can say is that you will touch flowers and even taste petals. It might be confusing at first but it’s also a very formative and curious experience!

Le Banquet de la Nature de Perrier-Jouët
Fun experience: peeling petals, tasting them and pairing them with wine – ©Perrier-Jouët.

An incredible change of scenery 

This dinner is more than an experience; it’s a change of scenery. Take the train in Paris; get off in Épernay. In just one hour and a half, you will trade the metro’s craziness for this region’s tranquillity. Walk the precious avenue de Champagne until you get to the Maison Belle-Époque and push the doors. It will be like traveling back in time. You will be given a glass of champagne and you will be able to choose in which glass you want to drink from… they are all old relics from the 1900s, 1910s.

After strolling through the corridors hearing the sounds of the parquet, you will be invited to sit at the table, where the flowers are omnipresent, the tableware is vintage, and every detail has been taken care of. As the sun goes down, you will find yourself among Emile Gallé, Joseph Perrier, and you will travel through the decades, hooked on the bubbles, touching the effervescence of time. Champagne can also be magic. 



Valentin Cotton’s Instagram profile account: @winepoetry_

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