Thursday, August 20, 2015


Summer soiree' proves its never too early to start planning an elegant Holiday Champagne Party

by Dwight Casimere

NEW YORK--Fans were the tchotchke of choice on a sweltering summers eve at an elegant private East Village townhouse, filled with an exquisite private modern art collection and showcasing The Art of Celebrating The Holidays with Champagne Taittinger.

The stylish interior of the East 12th Street townhouse of Pamela Bell, founder of Prinkshop and co-founder of Kate Spade. The house is renowned for its original crown moldings and other original appointments and her fabulous modern art collection

The famous Taittinger Bicycle greeted guests at the open house event, featuring four distinct Taittinger Champagnes, Taittinger Brut La Francaise NV ($59.99), Taittinger Prestige Rose' NV ($83.99), Taittinger Comtes De Champagne Blanc De Blancs, 2005 ($169.99) and the piece de resistance, Taittinger Nocturne ($81.99).

Paired with the cuisine of Chef Sarah Simmons of Birds and Bubbles and the elegant interior designs of Sam Masters, the champagnes showed exquisitely. Guest Sommelier, Jerusha Frost, of Chef's Club, wearing a stunning red Holiday gown, was on hand to mingle with guests and personally pour the House's world-renowned Champagnes.  

    Guest Sommelier Jerusha Frost from Chef's Club
    Below: Cuisine of Chef Sarah Simmons of Birds and Bubbles

Sharing the Holiday Season with family and friends is a personal passion of the Taittinger family. Pierre-Emmanuel, Vitalie and Clovis Taittinger, the father, daughter and son team, respectively, look forward to it each year.

While sampling bites of Brussels Crostini with Champagne Vinaigrette, freshly shucked Oysters, and French Macarons and Chocolate Champagne Truffles, among other delicacies, guests were guided through each unique experience of Holiday entertaining; from an elegant Champagne Party, a sit-down Holiday Dinner with Champagne pairings and, the Grand Finale, a Moroccan-inspired New Year's Eve celebration under a Berber Tent.

An aerial view of the Berber Tent for a Moroccan-themed New Year's Eve Celebration

New interpretations of holiday menus and decor concepts are the perfect vehicles to experience the effortless elegance of Champagne Taittinger. The last of the family-owned and operated grand marque Champagne houses in France, Taittinger is the second largest vineyard or domaine owner in the region. This gives them ultimate control of quality from vine to bottle. The Champagnes are Chardonnay dominant, which gives them their elegance, delicacy and finesse. Taittinger is widely distributed around the world in 140 countries. 
Champagne Taittinger  and "The Art of Celebrating the Holidays”  a perfect way to discover unique and whimsical pairings of champagne and holiday favorites 

The Holiday Dinner was re-imagined to feature rich jewel tones instead of the traditional red and green. the four-course meal created by Chef Sarah Simmons of New York's acclaimed Birds and Bubbles restaurant,  provided a modern take on elevated classics, giving traditional favorites a fresh twist. 

For example, Brussels Crostini with Champagne Vinaigrette and Pomegranate, was paired with Taittinger Prestige Rose' NV. The Champagne offset the roasted greens and matched the sweet/ tart, red-fruit flavor of the Pomegranate.  Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blanc 2005, is the bench-mark for all 100% Chardonnay Champagne. Brioche-laden and mineral-driven, it is the perfect accompaniment to fine cuisine, or as a stand-alone aperitif. 

For the New Year's Eve Moroccan Party, it was the perfect partner from the First course of Bitter Greens with Champagne Pickled Walnuts. It carried through the meal to the Moroccan Rubbed Beef Wellington and on to the celebratory Croque en Bouche (translation: "something that crunches in the mouth," the traditional French wedding treat which is a towering cone of choux pastry balls piled high and drizzled with threads of caramel to bind them together. It is often decorated with chocolate, sugared almonds or candied flowers.)

Taittinger Nocturne was appropriately named. It's the perfect 'nightcap' and accompaniment to Champagne Chocolate Truffles, or sugary-sweet French Macarons.

The Champagne Party menu, featuring Shrimp Rillette, with House-made Black Pepper Crackers, NY Cheddar Puff Pastry wrapped Castelvetrano with Smoked Almond and Crispy Potato Latke with House Cured Trout and Horseradish Creme Fraiche and Dill provided the perfect opportunities to play around with each of the four Champagnes.

Chef Sarah Simmons of Birds and Bubbles serves up Crispy Potato Latke with House Cured Trout
Below: Shrimp Rillette with House-Made Black Pepper Crackers(I personally ate a ton of these!)

Taittinger Brut La Francaise NV, for example,  might make a tasty companion with the Potato Latkes and Trout, also (Below)  with the freshly shucked oysters. The creamy richness would offset the briny minerality of the seafood.

Shucking Black Point Oysters by CANESP Global Distribution

There's no end to the flavor combinations and variations that you can create with Champagne Taittinger. Use the menus reflected above as a springboard  to come up with on your own ideas. Pick up a few bottles of Champagne Taittinger and start experimenting on your own and come up with a Holiday menu that will thrill and delight your guests. If nothing else, you'll have a great way to say goodbye to summer and an inspiration to look forward to the Holidays ahead!

To learn more about Champagne Taittinger, visit:

                                              The Champagne Taittinger "Christmas Tree"
 A Moroccan Berber Tent created for New Year's Eve revelers

Keeping cool in the garden with the giant inflated Champagne Taittinger

 The Champagne Taittinger Glass Pyramid poised for action in the Moroccan Garden
Cooling off in the sweltering heat is Nichole Fratangelo of Latina Magazine
 Keeping cool on a sweltering summer's eve at the "Christmas in July" event
                                             Another view of  the famous "Taittinger Tower"
 The elegant East Village townhouse with its fabulous modern art collection and table settings
 Low floral arrangements, individual menus and place cards and individual bottles of Champagne Taittinger add a personalized touch to each table setting

Event planner Arthur Ceria (r)

Samuel Masters, Interior Designer and Event Planner

                                                             Taittinger Nocturne

                           Kte Grehl, looking elegant with fan in hand

Jill Goldsberry, beauty and style blogger takes it all in with Taittinger Prestige Rose'

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