Champagne & Fine Food: Rosé Paradox Park Hotel Vitznau

Champagne & Fine Food: Rosé Paradox Park Hotel Vitznau 

Views from Vitznau over Vierwaldssttätter

Photo © NewInZurich

Last week Moët Hennessey launched their special “Rose Paradox” menu with a special champagne tasting and food pairing press dinner at the 5 star luxury Park Hotel Vitznau on the Vierwaldssttättersee only about an hour’s drive from Zurich. It featured Dom Perignon Rosé Champagne Vintage 2003 and a special menu that had been created by a team of 9 international chefs to complement this beautiful and very complex champagne.

Park Hotel Vitznau Switzerland

Photo © NewInZurich

The idea began last year when Dom Pérignon selected some of the brightest international talents in the culinary world to work with them to create this “Rosé Paradox” menu.

The Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2003 is a very unique champagne and was described by the company as being the result of ‘‘a year of superlatives: one like no other, defined by extremes’’ one in which there was extreme frost yet also extreme heat. Dom Perignon vintage rosés are very special champagnes and although the first Dom Pérignon champagne was created in 1921 it wasn’t until 1959 that they made their first Rosé.

Dom Perignon Rose Vintage 2003

Photo © Moët Hennessy

The chosen chefs were Nenad Mlinarevic from the Park Hotel Vitznau in Switzerland, Oliver Lange from Magazine in London, David Deshaies and Karim Lakhani from the United States, Renal Epié from the UAE, Ricard Camarena from Spain, Ricardo Muñoz Zurita from Mexico, Laurent André from France and Matteo Baronetto from Italy.

Dom Perignon Champagne tasting Rose Paradoxe

Photo © NewInZurich

The journey to create the menu is detailed in the video at the end of this article showing how the chefs were taken to France to see the birthplace of Dom Pérignon champagne in Hautvillers in France and how they met with Richard Geoffroy, Dom Pérignon’s Chef de Cave as he guided them through the ancient cellars of Dom Pérignon and explained the history and background to this iconic brand. It follows them on their journey to buy fresh produce at Rungis Market then back to the kitchens as they worked on their creative menus.

Chef Nenad Mlinarevic Park Hotel Vitznau

Photo © Moët Hennessy

For the evening at the Focus Restaurant at the Park Hotel Vitznau, the resident chef, the brilliant 2 Michellin starred Nenad Mlinarevic, was cooking not only the dish that he himself had created for the Rosé Paradox challenge, but also the dishes of four of the other chefs too.

Nenad and his team

Nenad and his team in the kitchen – photo © NewInZurich

The evening began with an introduction to the art of champagne making and the history behind the Dom Perignon brand in the apt setting of the dark cellars of the Park Hotel Viznau surrounded by hundreds of bottles of wines of all kinds.

Nicola Pasquero, Senior Barand Manager Moët Hennessy

Nicola Pasquero, Senior Barand Manager Moët Hennessy Photo © NewInZurich

Dom Perignon is steeped in tradition and we were talked through the long process of creating the champagne by Nicola Pasquero of Moët Chandon. Nicola explained that Dom Perignon only produce “vintage” champagne and that a “blanc” typically takes six to seven year to create and a “rosé” an astonishing 8 – 9 years. Nicola then led us through the serious business of tasting the Dom Perignon 2003 vintage champagne (blanc), the 2004 vintage (blanc) and of course the 2003 vintage rosé for which the special “rosé paradox” menu had been created.

Rose Paradoxe champagne tasting

 Photo © Moët Hennessy

After the champagne tasting we were taken to the Focus Restaurant of the hotel, where we were presented with the first of the courses which Nenad had cooked. It was a delicate but beautifully flavoured fish dish – hamichi sashimi ceviche style with rhubarb and scallop crisp – small in portion but packed with delicate flavours with great textures. This dish was the creation of chef Oliver “Ollysan” Lange of the Magazine restaurant in the UK.

Dom Perignon Rose Paradox Menu

Photo © Moët Hennessy

Next we were served “Crispy Pea Vichyssoise” the creation of chef Karim Lakhani of the Palace Hotel in the USA which was followed by the salmon, rabbit and “hazelnut” butter salad by the chef Matteo Baronetto of the “Del Cambio” in Italy. Both were flavoursome and complemented the champagne well.

Then came Nenad’s own dish with deep rich flavours of roasted brioche, pigeon breast and rhubarb.  The pigeon was tender and full on flavour with tangy notes from the rhubarb – and again a great complement to the champagne.

Rose Paradox menu by Nenad

 Photo © Moët Hennessy

We finished with the “red fruits beets’ for dessert which was both beautiful, light and palate cleansing.  So we had the perfect partner for all 5 dishes – so many different flavours and so much creativity. With each course Nenad’s Chef Sommelière and restaurant manager at the Focus, Amanada Bulgin, who comes from the UK, was on hand to explain the dishes as they arrived at table and answer any questions.

Dom Perignon stated that the resultant Rosé Paradox menu represents “creativity in its purest form, ignited by Dom Pérignon’s power of creation and ability to inspire. It harmoniously brings together favours, colours and sensations that are at once luminous and dark, ripe, rich and airy, mineral and sensual, ample and precise, inviting and mysterious”. Who could disagree?

This is the video  of the chefs involved in the Rose Paradox Combustion event as they began their journey in France:



The Park Hotel Vitznau is extremely beautiful and luxurious with an idyllic setting overlooking the Vierwaldssttätter lake. It’s easily accessible from Zurich and this year won the Gault & Millau award for being “best hotel of 2014” in Switzerland. For more information on Hotel Vitznau please see here and for more information on Dom Perignon Rosé Vintage 2003 please see here.

Park Hotel Vitznau & Vierwaldsstättersee

Views over the Vierwaldssttättersee © NewInZurich

You may wish to see another article with photos of Park Hotel Vitznau here.


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