26 December 2010

Family Christmas Lunch: Dom Pérignon vs Henkell Trocken (25 Dec 2010)

Eating, drinking and left overs

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas Day with their familes, friends and loved ones. May the festive season be filled with peace, love and safe journeys for all.

This year I had the chance to try Dom Pérignon Vintage 2002 (RRP $299, $195.99 on special at Kemeny's) for the first time which my brother received as a Christmas gift. We conducted our own blind taste test amongst the family against one of my favourite affordable sparklings Henkell Trocken (RRP $18.99). Surprisingly we unanimously picked Henkell Trocken as our preferred drink and even though there was some notable difference in the taste I actually couldn't pick which one was the French champagne — even after my experience at the Annual Champagne Tasting. Henkell ended up being a bit sweeter on the palate for me and its fine bubbles floated slightly slower to the surface. The Dom Pérignon was a bit more effervescent on the palate and had a more taste of the land if that's an acceptable description. I enjoyed both but with the huge price difference I'll probably stick to the Henkell for now. I'd love to do a taste test amongst friends like Channel 9 did with Champagne Jayne to see who can pick a French champagne and if they like it better than Australian sparklings.

The Wallis Lake Sydney Rock Oysters ($14.99/dozen) from Nicholas Seafood were a great start. I usually get the larger pacific oysters, particularly Coffin Bay, but was pretty happy with these ones which were noticeably sweeter in taste although smaller. My dad purchased King tiger prawns ($22/kg) and Alaskan King Crab ($35/kg) from Coles which were actually pretty good in quality which I was surprised to discover and much cheaper than Sydney Fish Markets — he's always been a great bargain hunter. He also prepared and cooked his famous Crumbed prawn cutlets which I always look forward to as a special treat along with his homemade BBQ honey chicken wings and BBQ pork ribs. A leg of ham goes along way, many days at least, which went well with my mum's homemade potato salad — I'll have to remember including some chopped gherkins next time like Madam Char Char.

For dessert my brother attempted making the Molten Chocolate Pudding from the Bill Granger Every Day recipe book (p. 212). It tasted great but next time we'll have to watch the timing so it remains gooey on the inside. I finally reheated the Christmas Pudding made at La Brasserie Christmas Pies and Puddings Class which still tasted very nice and its been a family tradition to have Pavlova with fresh fruit and whipped cream at any special occasion. All these sweet delights were washed down with a yummy sweet dessert wine of Brokenwood Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2008. As always there's an abundance of left overs which inevitably becomes a late Christmas dinner snack and Boxing Day lunch so nothing is gone to waste.

Other Family Christmas lunches:

Dom Pérignon 2002 vs Henkell Trocken

A symbol of fine champagne and premium pricing

Henkell Trocken (left), Dom Pérignon 2002 (right) — appearance very similar

Wallis Lake Sydney Rock Oysters ($14.99/dozen) from Nicholas Seafood, Sydney Fish Markets

King tiger prawns ($22/kg Coles)

Alaskan King Crab ($35/kg Coles)

Crumbed prawn cutlets

BBQ honey chicken wings

BBQ pork ribs

Ham on the bone ($9.50 kg Coles)

Salad of broccoli, green beans, beans and peas with toasted almond and shaved parmesan

Mum's homemade potato salad with bacon and parsley

Mixed salad

My brother making Bill Granger's Molten Chocolate Pudding for the first time

Molten Chocolate Pudding cooked and cooling

Molten Chocolate Pudding with ice cream, fruit and shaved chocolate

Christmas Pudding made at La Brasserie Christmas Pies and Puddings Class

Selection of fruit

Pavlova with fresh fruit and whipped cream

Brokenwood Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2008

Enjoying my Christmas pudding with a glass of dessert wine


Laura said...

oysters, prawns, um, you copy cat.

loved the fruit salad, i haven't had any, unless you count the fruit in christmas cake.

restaurant music services said...

The recipe images are fabulous. Thanks for sharing.

Agnes said...

Merry Xmas! Funny, I think I prefer cheaper bubbly too - unless someone else is paying. ;) Must be my uneducated palate!

Simon Leong said...

hi laura, i'm older so you're the copy cat hehe ;-) you can definitely count the fruit in the christmas cake!

hi restaurant music services, no worries!

hi agnes, uneducated palate most definitely it seems :-)

susan said...

all that food looks delicious! I love a good seafood feast. We had beautiful oysters on Christmas day, but I had a bit of a bug so didn't feel like eating them at all :(

Simon Leong said...

hi susan, that's such a shame you had a bug on xmas day but hopefully you'll make up for lost time and good eating now :-)

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