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Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE -

Egg is not an in­gre­di­ent I would think to pair with cham­pagne. But then, what do I know, I have never drunk a $399 bot­tle of Krug Grande Cu­vee be­fore.

In truth, I still have not drunk an en­tire bot­tle of this liq­uid gold; I had to share it with my two col­leagues for an after-work ‘‘Thank Krug It’s 5 o’clock’’ ex­pe­ri­ence.

For a fleet­ing 60 min­utes I dined like I was one of the elite and wealthy, en­joy­ing a lake view from Queen­stown’s Eichardt’s restau­rant and bar. The bar is part of a pri­vate ho­tel re­de­vel­op­ment that will boast the most ex­pen­sive pent­house in New Zealand when it opens next month. The $10,000-a-night-pent­house comes with a pri­vate chef and but­ler.

My fantasy of be­ing rich and fa­mous con­tin­ued when the suave-look­ing waiter, serv­ing a plat­ter of ex­quis­ite food pair­ings to ac­com­pany the wine, re­vealed him­self as the pent­house’s but­ler.

If my mouth was not sali­vat­ing over the spread be­fore me, I would have quizzed him for longer about what be­ing a but­ler would in­volve.

Head concierge Kieran Gar­diner di­rected our at­ten­tion to the dishes de­signed by ex­ec­u­tive chef Will Ea­gles­field as part of a ‘‘sin­gle in­gre­di­ent pro­gramme’’, run­ning through­out Novem­ber and De­cem­ber whereby they let one in­gre­di­ent shine to com­ple­ment the cham­pagne. The con­cept is de­signed to ‘‘re­de­fine ca­sual after-work drinks’’, and give peo­ple the op­por­tu­nity to en­joy a flute of Krug Grande Cu­vee along with ex­cit­ing food pair­ings.

Gar­diner says this year, Krug have chose the ‘‘hum­ble, sim­ple, ver­sa­tile’’ egg - sourced from Roxburgh, in Cen­tral Otago.

‘‘It’s a bold choice for cham­pagne but that is what they wanted to go with. Some­thing that is su­per sin­gu­lar and cre­ate dishes based around that.’’

Ea­gles­field has de­signed three en­tre´e dishes for tast­ing, in­clud­ing a long scotch egg served along­side Havoc pork and sage sausage and sour­dough bread­crumbs; brioche toast topped with egg salad that was pep­pered with saf­fron for rich­ness and High Coun­try sal­mon roe; and a white­bait frit­ter on a prawn cracker. ($40).

These morsels were ex­quis­ite, but there was no deny­ing the star of the ta­ble was the Krug. An added fea­ture, each bot­tle has a unique iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber which you can look up on the Krug web­site to find out in­ter­est­ing de­tails about the very bot­tle you are drink­ing. I dis­cov­ered my bot­tle had spent over eight years age­ing in the Krug cel­lars and re­ceived its cork in win­ter 2014/2015. This bot­tle was a blend of 183 wines from 12 dif­fer­ent years, the old­est from 1990 and the youngest from 2007. Fas­ci­nat­ing!

What was just as fas­ci­nat­ing - if not more - came from the but­ler.

‘‘In the Krug fam­ily, when a child is born, they give it a sip of cham­pagne be­fore it tastes the mother’s milk. It is a tra­di­tion in the fam­ily.’’ What: Thank Krug It’s 5 o’clock Where: Eichardt’s

When: From 5pm, Fri­days through­out Novem­ber and De­cem­ber

Cost: Flute of Krug $49, bot­tle $399; $40 tast­ing menu

Se­nior brand man­ager Ali Camp­bell says tra­di­tion­ally Krug is only avail­able to pur­chase by the bot­tle, and hav­ing Krug avail­able by the flute is a ‘‘once-a-year op­por­tu­nity’’, and a great way to cel­e­brate in style.

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