In past years the annual Champagne Academy Scottish dinner has been held at some of Edinburgh’s most exquisite venues like The National Museum of Scotland, Preston Field House, Royal Yacht Britannia and The Balmoral to mention a few.
This year our Scotland Dinner organiser, Craig Bonner, took the Champagne Academy Scottish Dinner back to the Signet Library. The Signet Library is home to one of Edinburgh’s most elegant Afternoon Tea destinations, The Colonnades, and offers superior dining experiences with catering partner Heritage Portfolio who hold a Royal Warrant for catering services to the Royal Family.
Secretary and Scotland Dinner Organiser
'It was a pleasure to be back at the Signet Library for this years dinner, the venue works perfectly for our dinner. The setting, menu design and service was perfect and a huge thank you to Frans Mortengren and the Heritage Portfolio catering team.
Also a huge thank you Elise Mather from Champagne Bollinger, this years Presidential House, and also to Simon Stockton from Champagne Charlies Heidseick and Kevin Mckee of Champagne Taittinger'
After a blind tasting of the 16 Grande Marques in the Lower Library guests were invited to the stunning Upper Library for the ultimate Scottish Dining Experience. The menu was designed to compliment and elevate the champagne using only the best Scottish produce.
2023 Scotland Dinner Menu
Pastis cured Scottish seabream, compressed watermelon, beurre noisette and pumpkin puree, caviar garnish, shaved fennel and rock samphire
Confit Scottish salmon fillet, braised East Linton oxtail, scorched spring onion, red chard with an oxtail jus
Roast Breast of Ayrshire Duck, Tarragon Pomme Anna Potato, Candied Red Cabbage, Kale, Spring onion, jus, orange and citrus peel
Highland Crowdie Cheesecake, Fig Jelly, Candied Walnut, Pear Quince Gel
General Manage of the Signet Library and Champagne Academician 2017
To celebrate the grandeur of champagne, one must pair the correct venue to the elegance of the evening. The pairing between the Champagne Academy Annual Dinner and the Signet Library is similar in perfection to Crowdie paired with Tattinger Nocture Rose. Whilst the Signet Library offers up a delight to the eyes, those within are what enlightens the establishment within. The service at the Signet Library was excellent, elegant and efficient, with not a dry mouth nor an unsatiated appetite in the building.
To bear witness to this made pride the frontrunning emotion. The quality of a theatrical production is determined by the sum of the whole and this evening was truly spectacular. The food was nothing short of delectable, celebrating the alliance between Scotland and France.
The Heritage Portfolio mantra is Open, Honest and Proud. I am honestly beyond proud to have hosted the annual dinner and I would be open to hosting it again.
Champagne Academy Treasurer, 2016 Chairman, 1997 Academician
The Signet Library was a fabulous venue for a CA event. After the spacious tasting room and the blind tasting bags with Tartan bags! The climb up the majestic stairs to dinner, where we were met by a stunning dining room, fantastic atmospheric lighting, wonderful flowers and table settings, everything was in place for a fabulous dinner. All the dishes were superb, but the food and wine match that excelled for me was the alternative take on surf and turf! Pan fried fillet of salmon, crispy skin on a bed of shredded oxtail and oxtail jus, served with the Bollinger PN, a plate of food and glass of wine that will be a memory for years to come!
Well done Craig and your kitchen team!
Presidential House, Bollinger
The Champagne Academy Scotland Dinner was held in the exquisite Signet Library. As Presidential House this year, we welcomed Champagne Bollinger’s Managing Director Charles-Armand de Belenet, who shared his insightful take on the 2023 harvest. This proved to be a challenging year, not for Chardonnay, but rather the botrytis-infused Pinot Noir grape. The yield reached an unprecedented 20,000 kilograms per hectare, far surpassing the commercial norm of 11,400 kilograms. According to Charles-Armand, the 2023 vintage could either soar to the heights of 2002 or mirror the challenges of 2017. However, the Bollinger team are hopeful that their winemaking expertise will prevail, and it will be a successful vintage.
After the challenging task of identifying 16 non-vintage Grandes Marques Champagnes, the evening segued into a delicious four-course dinner. The Bollinger PN TX17 (the third edition in the Bollinger PN range, made from 100% Pinot Noir) was paired with an original confit salmon fillet, braised oxtail, scorched spring onion, nasturtium, and ox tail jus. The reserve wines contribute to the wine’s exceptional aromatic intensity, especially the Pinots Noirs aged in magnums for almost 11 years, bringing further complexity to the blend.
For the main course, we enjoyed a more traditional pairing of Bollinger La Grande Année Rosé 2014 with Roast Breast of Duck, accompanied by Tarragon Pomme Anna Potato, Candied Red Cabbage, Kale, Spring onion, Cherry Jus. The 2014 vintage gave rise to a wine that is precise, refined, and complex in terms of both its minerality and exceptional length.
An evening to remember, thanks to Craig and his team for organising!