The widow Mathilde-Emilie Perrier first launched Ultra Brut in 1889, the same year that the Eiffel Tower was completed. For nearly a century Laurent-Perrier was renowned for its ‘Grand Vin Sans Sucre’ or unsweetened wine; champagne in its purest, most natural form. Then in 1981, Bernard de Nonancourt reintroduced Ultra Brut in 1981 made with a subtle blend of only the most mature, least acidic grapes that are ideal for producing such a dry champagne.
A favorite among connoisseurs, Ultra Brut has a higher percentage of chardonnay (55%) which provides a lightness that pairs nicely with seafood. I enjoy a glass on it’s own and notice intense clean aromas of light citrus combined with the aroma of honeysuckle and a pure, fresh, and delicate crisp taste.
For this piece I chose to pair it with pan-seared scallops and a champagne-tangerine reduction. The tart acidity of the tangerine glaze compliments the natural sweetness of the seared scallops, and the combination is balanced nicely by the dry, crisp minerality of the Ultra Brut.
Pan-seared scallops with Champagne-tangerine reduction
4 large scallops
1/2 cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice (I hand juiced 6 tangerines)
1/3 cup Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut Champagne
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and cracked pepper
Fresh edible flowers (can be found in the produce section by the packaged herbs)
Preheat a small skillet on low and add the freshly squeezed tangerine juice. You will need to lightly simmer the tangerine juice til it reduces by 1/3. Once reduced, add champagne and repeat. Test the reduction by coating the back of a spoon, when a swipe of your finger leaves a line and stays that way then your reduction is finished.
Preheat another skillet on medium and add olive oil and butter to the pan. Gently but thoroughly pat the scallops dry or they will not brown. Salt both sides of the scallops, then gently sear for 3 minutes on each side.
Arrange two scallops per plate and drizzle with the tangerine reduction over the scallops, garnish with edible flowers and serve immediately with a glass of Ultra Brut Champagne.