A dash of Seduction…

C’est l’amour vrai!

Australia’s Brand Ambassador for Piper-Heidsieck Samuel Le Douarin (28) shares his love of Champagne & Oysters


Samuel pictured above (centre)

Q: How did you become involved with Piper-Heidsieck?

A: I was introduced to the wine world in my early 20’s, thanks to the owner of a wine shop from my hometown in France. From there, I decided to immerse myself in it and began studying at a business school in Burgundy. My studies encouraged me to travel around the world – the UK, New Zealand, Spain, Canada, USA – to explore the wine industry from top to bottom and meet incredibly passionate people. Recently graduated, I’m now Piper-Heidsieck brand ambassador for Australia. It’s very exciting to represent the most awarded house of the century in a country that has a great love for Champagne!

Q: What is your relationship with wine and Champagne in particular?

A: I’m passionate about wine because it’s such a comprehensive drink with its many exciting aspects: stories, landscapes, gastronomy… Also, wine is incredibly diverse and made all around the world, shared between family and friends at different occasions! As for Champagne, it has always been the favoured wine in my family whether we open it for celebrating a specific event, or sharing a great moment all together. 


Q: What is so special about Oysters?

A: I’m from a region of France called Brittany (“Bretagne” in French) that is surrounded by the sea with the English Channel in the north and the Atlantic Ocean in the south. Naturally I have always enjoyed eating fresh seafood from our shores, oysters in particular! I love how oysters can take you on a journey: the layers of flavours and textures, but also the possibility of greater culinary experiences through various recipes and pairings, no matter if it’s simple or complex – it’s very exciting!

Q: Why do you think Oysters and Champagne make a great pairing?

A: I believe it’s partly because they share many common features… Firstly, there are different varieties of oysters just like you’d find three grape varieties used in Champagne. Then, just as we have chalk terroirs originating from ancient seas that provide specific flavours to Champagne – oysters taste differently according to the waters where they come from, there is even a classification of “crus” in France you can compare this to. Also, growing oysters requires time and a savoir-faire (ed. expertise) like we do with Champagne. Finally, I would say that the most important is that oysters and Champagne are better when shared!

Join Samuel at our exclusive Champagne & Oyster Masterclass, Tuesday 22nd August at 6.15pm
>>BUY TICKETS HERE<<

An Oyster Education

The World is our Oyster

Every day The Morrison shucks hundreds of oysters, from farm to table these ‘lil pearlers are the oceans gift and for avid seafood lovers there is nothing better than slurping back a fresh oyster and its liquor… With Australia’s oyster farmers producing some of the best in the world (the Tathra region in NSW winning awards year on year), it’s our duty to celebrate and educate our guests on the mysteries of the mollusc.

To start, in Australia we grown three kinds of oysters: Sydney Rock, Pacific and Angasi (the flat native). The first two will be familiar to most oyster enthusiasts, served in restaurants and markets across the country. Grown in plastic trays or baskets in oyster leases in pristine Aussie waters, typically for 2-4 years before being harvested for eating.


SYDNEY ROCK OYSTER: Although branded as “Sydney Rock” these oysters are not confined to Sydney, growing inter-tidally along NSW and lower QLD coast line, in bays, estuaries and lakes. With rich mineral flavours often with vegetal creamy notes. What is amazing about these oysters is the habitat they grow in, the plant vegetation heavily influencing the algae the oysters feed on, giving those layers of flavours and complexities that are completely unique to Australia flora and terrior.


PACIFIC OYSTER: Not originally native to Australia, Pacific oysters are grown at sub-tidally where they roll in the motion of the ocean, creating the characteristic deep round shell. The flesh is a steely grey or white, tasting classically fresh, salty and meaty. Pacific oysters grow much faster than rock oysters and we’re now seeing a trend in pacific oysters that have been grown in a Sydney rock environment, the point of difference being those flavours from the fresh water nutrients, as opposed to have that full oceanic flavour profile.


ANGASI OYSTER: The big daddy of oysters, sometimes called a “flat” or “native” oyster was one of the first known seafood farmed in Australia. Full flavoured and textured, the Angasi is rich with mineral flavours, the meat generally flatter due the shape of its shell. It’s difficult to find in stores, being fragile and slow growing.


HOW TO PREPARE OYSTERS: For those oyster fanatics wanting to prepare their own at home, rock and pacific oysters can be purchased from your local fish market or direct from some farmers. Unopened rock oysters can keep for 2-3 weeks at 14-18ºC. Pacific Oysters are best kept in the coolest part of the fridge at around 5-8ºC, in the crisper. Depending on the environment you’re serving them in, oysters are best served at ambient temperature, on rock salt as opposed to prolonged on ice. However you can put them under ice for 20 minutes which makes them easier to shuck and takes the edge off top the notes of oyster.

Quite simply, hold with ear facing out, positioned safely in tea towel, insert knife at 15 degrees, wiggle the blade into the hinge until the lid pops open, then slide knife to 2 o’clock position and twist. Cut the muscle from the lid and the shell and serve with fresh lemon and a simple mignonette!


Sean’s Mignonette:
1/2 ecshallot finely chopped
100ml quality red wine vinegar (we use Forvm Cabarent Sauvignon)

HAPPY SHUCKING FOLKS!

 

A smoky note…

Talisker: Made by the Sea

Some things go together… like whisky and oysters.

Much like the oyster farmers of Australia, proudly growing their native Sydney Rock and Angasi oysters – producing whisky is second nature to the Scots, considered the largest industry of food & beverage in the UK. Scotland has 5 disctinct whisky regions, Highland, Speyside, Lowland, Islay, and Campbelltown, which all have unique characteristics and flavours that differentiate them.

With so many of these distilleries founded in the 18th and 19th centuries, in remote coastal regions of Scotland – the relationship between scotch and sea comes naturally. The romantic and nostalgic view that coastal and maritime whiskies adopting their characteristics from sitting in casks during the maturation period, absorbing the sea air for years on end. Some say it’s the environment the grain is grown, or the natural maritime of peat from regions such as Islay.

Whatever the reason, it should come as no surprise that we’ve selected Talisker 10 as our whisky of choice during our month-long celebration of oysters. The distillery was founded in 1830 by Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill on the Isle of Skye, the largest and northernmost of the major islands in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Skye is known for a few things: whisky, agriculture and fishing.

Talisker is considered a premium whisky, winning international awards in 2007 and 2015. It is James Bonds’ preferred scotch and the favourite whisky of writers Robert Louis Stevenson and HV Morton; Stevenson referencing it as the king ‘o whiskies in literature.

Scotch, single grain or blend? Smoky, spiced pepper? Learn the lingo at an exclusive tasting masterclass hosted by Talisker brand ambassador Simon McGoram – Tuesday 8th August, 6:15pm | $49 pp

Ticket price includes a welcome Penicillin cocktail, 3 expressions of Talisker and a half dozen fresh oysters.

>>BUY TICKETS HERE<<