New to The Little Nell’s dinner menu at element 47 is a special treat offered as a digestif. For your final course of the evening, enjoy Essencia dessert wine served by the spoon, and complemented by a canapé from Pastry Chef Curtis Cameron.
The rarest dessert wine in the world, Essencia comes from the Tokaji region of Hungary. Due to high production costs and low production yield, it’s especially scarce and all the more refined.
Created in a similar fashion as the sweet French wine, Sauternes, Essencia is derived from grapes that have been affected by Botrytis Cinerea, also known as noble rot. Through this process and without any pressing, the grapes become partially raisined, resulting in pure juice.
These concentrated and distinctively flavored wines are described as “the nectar of the gods” by Carlton McCoy, Master Sommelier at The Little Nell.
Made in the best vintages, just three times a decade, each winery in Tojaki will make only a couple of barrels each at most.
“Because it’s so rare, we feel it deserves a ceremony,” McCoy explains. This flavorful pairing is presented tableside, over candlelight, with crystal spoons as serving vessels in the tradition of this Hungarian spirit.
At element 47, McCoy, or a member of his sommelier team, will approach the table to offer a 1995 or 2003 vintage – “or both,” he adds. Served alongside the Essencia spoon is an Alba white truffle pana cotta canapé with a black truffle crumble and poached, dried apricot.
This spring, McCoy’s travels encompass a winery tour through Europe, including a visit to Royal Takaji in Hungary whose sweet wines are imported to element 47 by Wilson Daniels.