"All Things Bubbly" At Morton's

On the first Thursday of every month, Morton's (Boston Seaport location) offers a tasting series. The tastings are all themed and cost $35 each for drinks, hors d'oeuvres, tax, and tip. When my friends and I saw that the April 7 tasting was Champagne and sparkling wine, we immediately began making plans to check it out.

After a long workday and a less-than-pleasant T ride (involving sitting in the train on the platform at MGH for 20 minutes and then having to evacuate the train and wait for the next one), I finally arrived at South Station where I met up with Bianca, who endured the same annoying T ride, stuck on the train behind mine.

Since it was a nice evening (still light out and somewhat warm... finally!), we strolled down Seaport Boulevard, taking in a little sun on our way. When we arrived at Morton's, we were shown to a back event room, where we found Jen, Meghan, and Daisy already seated at a round, white-tablecloth-covered table. We eagerly joined them and chatted while we awaited the first pouring.

We started with the Roederer Estate Brut (Anderson Valley), which is described as crisp and elegant with complex pear, spice, and hazelnut flavors. This was my favorite of all the bubbly beverages we tried that evening.

Soon after we had taken our first sips, a platter of mini lobster rolls was set before us. The lobster rolls are a new item that will be available on Morton's Bar Bites menu.

The lobster was dressed with a tarragon mayo. Tarragon is not one of my favorite herbs, and I would not think to pair it with lobster, but it was pretty mild and unoffensive. And while I tend to favor hot, buttery lobster rolls and wouldn't want a whole mayo-based one, I found myself liking this mayo-based lobster roll in its diminutive portion.

And then came my favorite appetizer of the evening: mini crab cakes. These crab cakes were made with lump crab meat and were all crab! (I hate when I order crab cakes and have to search for the crab in a cake of bread crumbs and stuffing.) No one told us what the accompanying sauce was, but it seemed to be some sort of Dijon with horseradish (the online menu calls it mustard mayonnaise), and it paired perfectly with the crab cakes.

We then got a pizza topped with dill sour cream, smoked salmon, purple onions, and capers.

We all thought this was an interesting idea and loved the flavors.

Along with the arrival of the pizza came our second pour: Louis Roederer Brut Premier. (Interesting fact: Louis Roederer is best known for Cristal.) The Brut Premier is described as having a fresh, festive finesse. I'm not quite sure what finesse should taste like, but I loved the description. We all seemed a little unsure about this one until Meghan pointed out that it may have just been a bad pairing. As we finished our pizzas and sipped more and more, the flavor got much better.

A waiter brought over two platters of chicken fingers with more of the mustard mayonnaise. While the chicken fingers were moist and tasty, I thought it was a somewhat anticlimactic hors d'oeuvre after lobster rolls and crab cakes.

The next pour was the Roederer Estate Brut Rose, described as full and round with fine persistent bubbles. It was definitely bubbly though I wonder how one measures the persistence of bubbles. Everyone else seemed to really enjoy this one, but it didn't knock the first pour out of the top spot for me.

Another pizza and more crab cakes were brought to our table, and we were all surprised to find that we were too full to make it through this second round of hors d'oeuvres. (We had originally discussed going out to dinner after the tasting because we thought we would only get a few small bites to try, but we definitely had plenty to eat.)

We ended the tasting with the Mumm Napa Cuvee and chocolate-covered strawberries. Strawberries and Champagne is one of those combinations I will always love, and adding in chocolate only makes it better. The Mumm is a late harvest Muscadet combined with Pinot Noir.

This was really a fun way to spend an evening with friends and a great way to celebrate spring. We are all already talking about heading back on May 5 for the Mojitos tasting!

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