Caviar and Champagne have long been considered a luxurious and classic pairing of gourmet lover and wine connoisseur.
The delectable salty taste of caviar is beautifully complemented by fine dry Champagne which brings out a perfect balance and satisfies even the most discerning palate. In this article, we are happy to share with you the quintessence of each component and the art of caviar and Champagne pairing.
Caviar – the delicacy of fine cuisine:
Gourmet lovers can find caviar in most fine dining restaurants in the world. So what is caviar and why is it so fancy?
Caviar is roes or eggs from the sturgeon fish. This fish is quite unique due to its varietal original ancestral traits and it can grow extremely large and have a very long life-span.
The female fish only produce eggs every 25 years, therefore the eggs are rare and highly sought after when they can be harvested. That’s why they are valuable and considered one of the most luxurious ingredients in the gourmet world.
The sturgeon fish is native to Black and Caspian Seas between Europe and Asia, but due to overfishing, caviar is now produced around the world. Some of the common varieties you can find are: beluga, osetra, sevruga, kaluga, starlet in which the beluga and osetra are most-prized thanks to theirs rareness, freshness, nutty and briny flavor.
How to serve caviar:
Caviar connoisseurs tend to enjoy caviar alone, right off a spoon to savor its purest taste. In some fine dining restaurants, caviar can also be served as aperitif with unsalted crackers, blini or toasted bread with a bit of crème-fraiche, or served cold on ice.
In order to fully savor the flavor and texture, caviar should not be chewed, instead, leave them on the tongue and spread around the mouth. One important notice is that caviar should only be served on a ceramic / glass or pearl spoon. Metallic spoon should be avoided as they can tint the natural flavor of caviar.
The quintessence of Caviar and Champagne pairing:
Caviar and Champagne makes a perfect match to all gourmet lovers and wine connoisseurs. They are in the same league in terms of luxury and high-class association.
If roe is only considered caviar when it comes from sturgeon fish species, bubbly wine can only be considered Champagne when it’s made from grapes harvested from vineyards in the Champagne region of France. Speaking of the flavor complement of this “couple”, the light and zesty taste and aromas of Champagne creates a beautiful contrast with the salty, smooth flavors of the caviar.
Premium Champagnes are known to be very fresh and complex at the same time with hints of orange or lemon peel, almond, brioche, and some fruity notes. These wines are not overpowerful and allow you to savor the natural taste of caviar in between sips. Furthermore, Champagne also has a cleansing effect, the flavor of these sparkling wines do not linger for long and their definitive sparkle has a distinctive effect on the tongue when washing down the taste of the caviar, making every sip like a brand new adventure.
Creamy followed by crispness, salt followed by sweet butter followed by fruit. This miracle complement between one another brings out an exciting back-and-forth dynamic between bursts of caviar and the refreshing, cleansing sensation of lightly fizzy champagne. And that’s what we call the quintessence of caviar and champagne pairing.
Recommended Champagne Pairing:
As mentioned above, there are several kinds of caviar ranging from highly-prized beluga, osetra to powerful sevruga or good value kaluga. Each of them has their own “soulmate” champagne that is suitable for different palates and budgets. Remember not to choose Champagne or sparkling wines that have too much lingering sugar or fruit, you may miss out on some of the nuances of the caviar and overload the senses.
If you get a chance to taste the highly acclaimed Beluga caviar, it makes sense to splurge on a premium Champagne like a bottle of Rare Champagne Brut Millésime. A top-tier Osetra or Kaluga caviar can go well with a bottle of Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve or Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve.
If you are on a budget and want to take things down a notch, just opt for some sparkling wine like caviar or prosecco.