Private jet travel to Reims, France, an on-board caviar tasting and a very exclusive champagne lunch at the Dom Pérignon house? Yes, it must have been my lucky day.
It all started at dedicated business aviation airport Farnborough, located near to the city of London, where I arrived at 9am. Soon after, I met the pilot and co-pilot of Cessna Citation XL jet, and by 9.15am me and my companions had boarded and were awaiting take-off.
The inside of the jet was very impressive; comfy seats, plenty of space, and by the time a selection of caviar from Novikov Restaurant had been brought out, I had almost forgotten I was in the air.
I was impressed by the quality of the two caviars I tasted on-board: Novikov Selected Caviar (125g, £400) and Hybrid Caviar (120g, £300). With its minimal salt content, the Selected Caviar had a light, creamy flavor, while the Hybrid Caviar differed with its rich and earthy tones. Both are available exclusively through the Novikov Restaurant.
Following a very smooth landing at Vatry Airport, near Chalons, an hour later, we continued our journey to the Dom Pérignon house, located in Reims, where we were met by Vincent Chaperon, winemaker at Dom Pérignon. Built in 1803, the house is so exclusive that it is invite-only.
In a beautiful dining room, my companions and I sat down to a three-course lunch prepared by two Michelin star chef Pascal Tingaud, Dom Pérignon’s chef de cuisine. Each course was paired a glass of Dom Pérignon champagne, chosen by Chaperon.
To start, we enjoyed Chef Tingaud’s delightful Saint-Jacques cresson et caviar – scallops in a watercress sauce and caviar from South-West France. Paired with a glass of Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1996, the dish perfectly accompanies the fresh and vibrant champagne, which has hints of smokiness.
Next, we tucked into the Michelin star chef’s second course, the delicious Poularde demi-deuil et frites – truffled braised chicken served with chips, paired with Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1990 en magnum. With a deeper flavor, this champagne is my favorite of all.
Our meal finishes with Soufflé fruit de la passion – passion fruit soufflé – enjoyed alongside a glass of Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1976, which works faultlessly when paired with the acidity of the passion fruit.
The day ends with a tour of Dom Perignon’s impressive cellars before our flight to London beckons. I’m hoping I’ll be invited back soon.