Breakfast with Dom Perignon 2002 - Hyatt Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi may not be on the level of associated superlatives as its better-known sister emirate Dubai, but there are enough special elements to warrant a head turn. Hyatt Capital Gate Hotel, housed in the truly iconic building that leans 18 degrees to one side, is one. As I stand in my Executive Suite on the 25th floor, I am ensconced in that feeling of luxe and take in the panoramic view as the sun rises on Abu Dhabi.

The room, with its muted and earthy tones, is in many ways a metaphor for the 5 year old property; while its striking design stands out on the Abu Dhabi skyline, its understated style and elegance sets it apart in a city where outlandish, opulent designs and often over-the-top finishing is more the norm than the exception.

I walk over to the ice bucket with its bottle of bubbly. What creates that feeling of luxury more than a bottle of champagne which itself is an icon – Dom Perignon.  This morning I greet the sunrise with a glass from the vintage year 2002, while the hotel’s Executive sous Chef Michele Muller and her team lay out our breakfast. Huge floor to ceiling windows allow me to take in the expanse of Abu Dhabi. It is quite spectacular.  

Dom Perignon is one of the most alluring and sought after champagnes. It certainly has history behind it, dating back to 1868 when a Benedictine monk, Dom Pierre Perignon, unbeknown to himself, would create a legacy that is even stronger today. What makes it so special? Firstly, it is never produced in years regarded as poor harvest years and secondly; a vintage year is a genuine vintage year, with all grapes from that particular year used.

I sit down, glass in hand, as my daughter has a glass of orange juice and a pancake topped with berry compote.  My eye falls on a plate of Fine de Claire Number 2 oysters, freshly shucked. Oysters for breakfast and with Dom – oh live a little. Why not? The oysters are perfectly shucked, and I forgo the accompanying vinaigrette and opt for a slice of lemon. Soon after, I cast my attention to the bowl of berries – raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries. A sip of the Dom reveals a crispness, leading me to continue this indulgent pairing.  Another sip has me dwelling on the thought that something as functional and basic as breakfast can be elevated to an occasion fit for the gods. Of course, the setting needs to be worthy of the gods, and Hyatt Capital Gate certainly is.

However, I decide to round off my Hyatt Capital Gate suite experience with another glass of Dom Perignon 2002. While I cannot deny the feeling of luxury that warms me as I look out the windows, sipping on this glass of champagne, it is the latter that ultimately is what elevates my thoughts, spirit and general being. Again it is champagne, and in this case the magnificent Dom Perignon 2002 that with its mystical power, passed on through a few hundred years by an unassuming monk is now able to transform a simple morning in Abu Dhabi into something magical.

Champagne just after sunrise? I am sure Dom himself would have approved!

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Brandon Stoltenkamp