A Special Brunch for all the Mothers: Biodynamic Champagne Roederer “Collection 243” with Quiche + Salad

Champagne Roederer

Grape growers generally don’t just wake up one morning and go from farming conventionally using synthetic pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides, basically killing the soil (and in Champagne making the water some of the most polluted on Earth) and everything except the vines to farming sustainably by going organic, biodynamic and/or regenerative and renewing the ecosystem.  Vines that have been farmed with fertilizer and other synthetics basically have been on drugs, often for their entire lives, which means the vines need to be weaned off the drugs, and the soil needs to be repaired. It’s a process, and along the way, farmers– who often at heart are really scientists with farmers who are winemakers more like mad-scientists– conduct experiments to understand how the vines are responding, and how the wines are tasting along the way, as done by Tablas Creek and as reported here about Robert Hall also in Paso Robles.

At Champagne Roederer, “since 2000, the house has been conducting trials with organic and biodynamic viticulture. Today all the vineyards are farmed according to organic principles, with 50% of them certified organic and 50% of the them farmed biodynamically.  The remainder of the vineyards will complete their organic certification over the next two years. This makes Roederer the largest farmers of organics and biodynamics in the Champagne region.”  

As Roederer’s Cristal may not be in your Mother’s Day budget, consider Louis Roederer’s Collection 243,  a multi-vintage champagne  from the legendary wine brand, for a special bottle of sparkling wine that’s better for all the mothers on Earth. While 59% comes from the 2018 vintage, it is a non-vintage cuvée made in the signature house style through blending, vinification, and plot selection.


Champagne Roederer with Quiche Florentine and Spinach Strawberry Salad

NV Louis Roederer “243rd” Champagne

ABV: 12.5%
SRP: $65
Grapes: Biodynamic 42% Chardonnay 40% Pinot noir 18% Meunier

In mid-August  of 2018, just before the harvest began in Champagne, I happened to be visiting Caroline Henry, author of Terroir Champagne which focuses on biodynamic and organic wines made in the Methode Champenoise in Champagne. It was our final week of a four week trip to Europe with my fourteen year old son, And it was hot. 

In fact that whole summer was hot, with record setting heat, drought, and sun in Champagne, and serious fires were burning in Spain, Portugal, and other places in Europe. Even along the coast of Wales where we backpacked for a week was warm and dry.

Roederer describes the 2018 vintage as “warm, continental and truly unique vintage. The Pinot noirs displayed a luxurious texture whilst the Chardonnays were dense and saline where harvested at perfect ripeness and the Meuniers were intensely fruity.” Harvests in Champagne officially began a few days after we left, and ended on 8 September– again, very early, and a very intense harvest.

The 42% Chardonnay 40% Pinot noir and 18% Meunier come from 1/3 “La Rivière” vineyards, 1/3 “La Montagne” vineyards, 1/3 “La Côte” vineyards with the grapes grown on Louis Roederer’s own estates supplemented by selected plots from the “Heart of the Terroir” grown by others. 

If you regular drink Champagne and are familiar with the process by which it’s made, you know that The Maillard Reaction, named for French scientist Louis Camille Maillard, refers to chemical reactions that gives food that caramelized flavor when it is browned or seared. In Champagne, amino acids produced by yeasts react and bring about our experience on the palate of toast and caramel. Karen MacNeil explains it more here. 

Another key characteristic about Champagne is that it often blends reserve wines from previous vintages as well as typically adding dosage. For Roederer, a ‘Réserve Perpétuelle’ was created in 2012. These combinations provide the wines with the particular character of that “house” of Champagne but can also reflect the vintage.

This year’s Roederer release includes 31% from their “perpetual research” using wine from 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017 plus 10% of reserve wines aged in oak from 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017  meaning that the 2018 is 59% with 26% undergoing malolactic fermentation and a dosage of  8 grams per liter. Check out the tech sheet for more details 

Appearance:  Pale yellow, pale golden yellow, plentiful bubbles, very active in the glass, 

Aroma: Apple, brioche, roasted apple, apple danish, subtle baking spices,

Palate: Tart green apple, clean minerals, limestone, chalk, mouthwatering finish, very bright acidity, the wine makes your palate pop, 

Pairing: Perfect with the strawberry goat cheese salad. Fantastic with our quiche loves the spinach and chard, Fantastic brunch menu, and absolutely perfect with the wine, the herbs and the rich buttery crust nicely compliment the wine, the quiche has that edamami feel and the wine completely enhances it. While the quiche complements the salad contrasts, sweet strawberry, bitter spinach, the green spinach really brings out the minerality in the Champagne. I’m not a fan of onions, (not allergic but they disrupt my digestion and with my tasting). Too often they overwhelm the delicate complexity of the custardy quiche, so I love that this recipe doesn’t use onions or shallots, just garlic sautéed with the spinach-chard. 

Champagne Roederer with Quiche Fontel Florentine and Spinach Strawberry Salad

Spinach-Chard Oyster Mushroom Quiche with Hibiscus-Bergamot Fontal and Strawberry Salad



  • 1 pie crust (we like the one from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh chard
  • several handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced
  • 2 ounces oyster mushrooms 
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 6 large eggs
  • cup heavy cream
  • 3-4 ounces fontal hibiscus-bergamot (or other seasoning)  
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350˚ F.
  • Par-bake crust for 10 minutes using pie weights or large beans.
  • Wash and trim spinach and chard. For chard, remove the stems and slice extra small. 
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil, add washed and trimmed chard. When it begins to wilt, add and saute oyster mushrooms, then add spinach.
  • Add sliced garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until fragrant with completely wilted chard and spinach.  
  • Transfer spinach mixture to par-baked pie crust.
  • Cover vegetables with thin slices of fontina cheese.
  • Whisk together thoroughly eggs, cream, and a pinch of salt and pepper if desired.
  • Pour egg mixture over filling and distribute evenly.
  • Bake the quiche at 350˚F for 30 minutes until browned and the center of the quiche is set.
  • Let quiche cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving with a side salad.

Simple Strawberry Spinach Side Salad for Six

  • most of 1 bag fresh spinach (remaining from quiche)
  • 6 ounces sliced strawberries 
  • 4 ounces chèvre in small nobs
  • combine then drizzle agrodulce vinegar and olive oil, toss
  • optional: walnuts (freshly toasted)

Looking for more Earth friendly ideas for wine and food pairings for Mothers and others? We’ve featured them throughout the month of April — but as we practice #EarthDayEveryDay, you’ll find lots of great content. If you’re not in the mood for quiche and Champagne, how about these other ideas from April:

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