SnowsBest sent Adie Robertson to Thredbo for some caviar and champagne. Then this happened.

It’s not every day you get to dine on champagne and caviar within an ‘igloo’ on the snow at the premium ski resort of Thredbo in Australia. The inflatable igloo has been set up on the edge of the Supertrail on Crackenback ridge to showcase the best of GH Mumm champagne on the weekend of the annual Top to Bottom ski race in it’s 25th year.

Welcomed with a glass of the best, I knew that today I was indeed lucky.  Mumm Champagne Ambassador Chris Sheehy demonstrated the art of sabrage and expertly popped the first magnum of the day, slicing the top with a sabre.

Mumm, has been an icon of victory since 1827, with the advent of the house by three German brothers in an industry dominated by the French.

GH Mumm has traditionally known for pushing the limits of performance and achievement, and today combining the skills of Josh Lopez, whose passion for local, seasonal and indigenous ingredients have won him the accolade of Brisbane’s City Chef of the Year, this was an event not to be missed.

Josh credits his early food inspiration to his family and is equally inspired by art, evident in the ‘dego’ menu to follow.

Firstup we were introduced to the delights of a very sexy yasser nude or naked caviar, eaten off the skin between the index finger and thumb. Pasteurised and hard on the outside, pushed deliciously to the palette, it broke and exuded a richness and distinct yolkiness that melted into our tastebuds. Instructed to savour the flavor we were already in love and wondering what might follow such sensory delight.

The degustation continued with a canapé, Rose du caviar noir. Elegantly presented this was almost too beautiful to eat. But we did, devouring the caviar filled rose petals delicately, once again entering that place of sensual awareness and gastronomic pleasure.

Next Truffle d’or. With an incredible aroma this generous dish was replete with porcini, 24ct gold and truffles harvested three days ago, weighing in at an astonishing $1500 per kg.

Both courses were accompanied by a Mumm Cordon Rouge NV, crisp with an energetic finish, we were informed that Mumm is a pinot noir based house.

Glad at this stage for the warmth of our matching jackets and the red Mumm rugs I spied earlier on the chairbacks of the invitingly laid table, I settled in and snuggledup. Flowing on we were treated to Vichyssoise chaude, caviar. A delicate version of this famous soup, enhanced with a potato nest and caviar.

A change of champagne in the form of Blanc de Blancs, a prestige cuvee. Bottled under low pressure, in a skinny necked bottle the champagne benefits from little influence or contact with the cork. With a noticeable softness in the palette and a distinct creaminess, this is a house favourite.

About 30,000 bottles are produced annually and Australia is the lucky recipient of 5,500 of these. The French love and drink their Mumm, about 167 million bottles per annum.

The 3rd Course was served. A deliciously daring mix of squab, foie gras, mung beans, buckwheat and blueberries. Accompanied by a 2006 Millesime. Aged 6 years this is an exclusive grand crut, sharp and fresh with vanilla, caramel, almond and wild honey notes. Only fifty four vintages exist, it’s only bottled every two to three years.

Time here for a mingle in the warmth of the sunshine outside the igloo before the arrival of the 4th course – veau, avocat, oignon, santal, raisin.

Paired with Cuvee R. Lalou ’02, a pinot noir chardonnay interestlngly served a little warmer and in a wine glass. Only bottled in the very, very best years. The Lalou we were drinking was alive with power, strength, crispness, minerality and a complex richness. Historically bottled in 66, 67, 82, 98, 99 and 2002, we were reminded not to age champagne but to drink it (I can do that). However Lalou can age well for decades.

The fifth and final course arrived appropriately accompanied by Rose NV. A little bit fancy, this desert of rose, macadamia, berries and vanilla left the guests around the table gasping with wonderment at such superb culinary artistry.

I was led outside the igloo, and under Chris Sheehy’s instruction, given the opportunity to practice sabrage firsthand. Success, and the bottle neck is now safely ensconced in it’s little red Mumm pouch. ‘It’s lucky’ Chris tells me.

Here’s hoping.


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