La Fête Du Champagne Festival Uncorks Magic at First Houston Edition
HOUSTON HAS HOSTED numerous wine festivals but surprisingly, not any Champagne events. Until now: Mark your calendars for the upcoming La Fête du Champagne! And we don’t mean just any bubbles — we’re talking the crème de la crème nectar from the Champagne region of France.
The world-renowned, weekend-long festival is gracing Houston Nov. 3-4 for the first time. Co-founded by Champagne expert and author Peter Liem and sommelier Daniel Johnnes, and produced by Pressoir, the organization behind French wine festivals across the country, La Fête du Champagne showcases the region’s top producers and wines.
Liem, Johnnes and the Pressoir team have personally invited seven of Champagne’s finest producers, who will present their brands over the course of the La Fête weekend. Wine lovers – from serious collectors to curious novices – can indulge their passion for France’s iconic sparkling wine at a series of dinners and tastings that unite renowned winemakers with celebrated chefs and restaurants. Participating winemakers include Billecart-Salmon, Delamotte, Larmandier-Bernier, Laurent-Perrier, Leclerc-Briant, Pierre Paillard, and Salon.
La Fête du Champagne will kick off with a special lunch featuring Champagne Pierre Paillard on Friday, Nov. 3, at Navy Blue(12pm, $425). Quentin Paillard, who co-manages the family estate in Bouzy with his brother Antoine, will present six wines that showcase their terroir. He will also introduce his and Antoine’s newest project – an exploration of terroirs in the Montagne de Reims outside of Bouzy, starting with newly released 2018 vintage wines from Verzenay and Ludes. Wines will be paired with chef Aaron Bludorn’s modern American seafood-driven cuisine.
Rather hold out for dinner? The Champagne Salon & Champagne Delamotte dinner Nov. 3 will be a doozy. Held at the legendary Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Downtown, the luxe multi-course dinner (6:30pm, $950) will highlight Le Mesnil Chardonnay. Additionally, Salon and Delamotte export director, Cristian Rimoldi, will present a lineup of wines from the two houses, including two coveted vintages of Salon.
For something a bit lighter, the La Fête Tasting, on Saturday, Nov. 4, will feature wines from each participating producer, accompanied by a selection of small yet elevated bites — oyster bar, short ribs — from chef Aaron Bludorn at his eponymous restaurant in Montrose (noon-2pm, $165). Discover the magic of the terroir of Champagne, from the Côte des Blancs, through the Vallée de la Marne, to the Montagne de Reims with wines from seven of Champagne’s top producers.
For the culmination of La Fête du Champagne 2023, the Gala Dinner Nov. 4 (Bludorn Restaurant, 6:30pm, $775) celebrates the region like no other. Chefs Aaron Bludorn, Chase Voelz and their team will create a luxurious, Champagne-friendly, multi-course menu. In addition to enjoying the special bottles provided by all attending producers, guests are invited to bring bottles of Champagne from their own cellars to share throughout the room. It should be a blast!
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