Back in 2019, at a grand ceremony in Paris, France truly worthy of the momentousness of the occasion, Martell – the world’s oldest Cognac house – unveiled one of its most exceptional creations to date, the Martell Chanteloup XXO.
The unique cognac is a remarkable blend of 450 eaux-de-vie taken from the four most prestigious terroirs in France’s famous Cognac region. And the ‘XXO’, which stands for Extra Extra Old, is testament to its rich heritage, created, as it was, with the artisanal savoir-faire that comes from 300 years of prolific experience and nine generations of cellar masters.
And with so much heritage behind its formulation, suppose it’s only natural that anything connected with the Chanteloup XXO name now pretty much requires a fair bit of special celebration, too!
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That’s why on November 18, when Martell Malaysia introduced an unconventional virtual dining experience to its special guests, it was only natural that its extraordinary cognac incorporating all four of the most prestigious crus – Borderies, Grand Champagne, Petite Champagne and Fins Bois – should take centre stage!
That’s right! The first virtual Martell Chanteloup XXO Dinner brought these lucky guests on a Martell curated journey with a difference, as everyone enjoyed the magical journey of flavours from the comforts of their own homes, in view of the on-going, pandemic-driven circumstances that we’ve all had to adjust to on a daily basis.
“One of the things many of us have come to realise under the pandemic is how much we have taken time at home for granted. But now, we appreciate being able to enjoy many luxuries at home, and that is something we wanted to bring to life with the Martell home dinners. We want to bring the best and most unorthodox way of enjoying Martell right from the comfort of your home,” commented Benny Tsang, Managing Director of Pernod Ricard Malaysia.
Thus, the Martell Chanteloup XXO Virtual Dinner experience kicked off with guests receiving their dinner sets consisting of a Martell tasting kit, a snifter glass and tableware, all of which were packaged in a Martell box and delivered by a special “visitor” – a four-engine drone!
With the possibility of drone deliveries becoming a norm in the near future here in Malaysia, suppose Martell took it upon themselves to give guests a taste of the future by deploying drones to deliver the Martell Chanteloup XXO Dinner sets over the weekend leading up to the dinner – a first in Malaysia!
And what a dinner it was too! From tantalising starters to outstanding mains combining such delightfully intoxicating ingredients like toddy and sake granita, Chef Aiden Low’s dishes, of modern French cuisine temple Akâr Dining, struck just the right balance between ‘challenging’ and ‘comforting’!
His Angus Tenderloin Beef Tartare with a wonderful Martell emulsion was localised with a side of ulam (herbs) and of course, some sambal! The texture and mouthfeel of this dish is beyond buttery and the delicate flavour of the beef exquisite, with plenty of savoury and spicy notes, courtesy of the Martell and the sambal!
Meanwhile, the Gindara with big head prawn and Sauce Matelote infused with Martell was supremely fresh and rich in flavour yet firm to the bite. It was also succulent and moist with an amazing velvety texture, while the sweetness of the Martell-infused sauce just lingered on delightfully throughout.
Rounding things off rather nicely that evening was the Chocolate Soil made of chocolate fondant (cake), Martell caramel, pistachio sponge and lots of extra chocolate! Chocolate ‘soil’ just means chocolate crumble, but this nickname comes from its use as the ‘ground’ for many desserts. But here, it’s a brilliant base to the Martell caramel as everyone knows that cognac and chocolate are just a match made in heaven, yes?
Guests were also treated to a tasting of the Martell range led by Martell Brand Ambassador, Jean-Baptiste Gourvil featuring the Martell Chanteloup XXO, Martell XO, Martell Cordon Bleu and Martell VSOP.
Later, guests were also invited to participate in an interactive session during which they had to guess the flavours of the Martell Cordon Bleu. The night concluded with a lucky draw, with two winners leaving with a Martell Miniature Trio set and the Grand Prize winner getting a bottle of Martell Caractère, one of the only few available in Malaysia, along with a Martell Miniature Trio set!
Certainly, from the unexpected delivery method to a unique menu infused with the exquisite flavours of Martell, this unique dining experience served as a testament to the audacity of the brand. But perhaps more than anything else, it also shows that even in the most difficult of situations, humanity will still find inventive ways to celebrate the fine things in life to the fullest of its ability!
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