Champagne and Caviar for the Holidays
posted on December 22nd, 2015 by Rich Ferranda
While the image of caviar and champagne conjures visions of black ties, white linens, and the finest crystal, it needn’t be so. Admittedly, it is a bit decadent, and luxurious, but not necessarily price prohibitive. Caviar, whether it be the highly prized Golden Osetra, or the California White Sturgeon “Royal Reserve”, is something that everybody should incorporate in at least one culinary experience. Yes it is salty as it is fish roe that is salted for preservation, but it is widely touted as a healthy indulgence that does more than just your taste-buds good. It is packed with Vitamins A, B6 and B12, E as well as Iron, Magnesium, Selenium, and a few other essentials. So good for you that it is often incorporated in skin treatments at many of the finest spas. I’m not sure I would rather wear it than eat it, but there is science that promotes a myriad of benefits.
Back to basics – Caviar, when fresh and high quality, is a wonderful compliment to a variety of dishes such as eggs, potato, seafood, and of course, Champagne. As an ingredient, it is very versatile and can handily elevate an ordinary dish to gourmet, and can just as effectively enhance a complex dish making it extraordinary. The sky is the limit when it comes to its uses.
When paired with a delicious bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine, it is a match made in heaven. There are parameters here however, not just any bubbly will work. Depending on the source of the roe, it requires a dry bubbly to stand up to its rich, buttery, salty character. The driest specimens are the most ideal. As you savor the fresh brine and creamy texture of a small taste of Caviar, roll it over the tongue to break the small pearls, and then take a sip of your chosen bubbly. The flavors burst like Independence Day Fireworks, but in a delectable satiating way. While some are put off by the premise, many minds are changed for good when the right match is made.
There is no perfect cookie cutter match, as Caviar comes from different fish and regions, but the safest bet is to go as dry as possible on the bubbly. Brut or Ultra Brut (Brut Nature) with the lowest dosage of sugar makes the most suitable companion; generally speaking, Blanc de Blanc works quite well. Ones to avoid, strictly for purposes of this situation, would be Prosecco due to its delicate and off-dry nature as well as Extra Dry and Sec designations. So grab a bottle of bubbly and unleash a festival of flavor.
Billecart Salmon Brut Reserve
Laurent Perrier Vintage Brut 2004
Joseph Perrier Brut Cuvee Royale
Mercat Cava Brut Nature
The caviars offered at Bristol Farms are all domestic and sustainable. We recommend you start with the Royal Reserve Caviar. This caviar from the California White Sturgeon offers buttery flavors and a firm egg that will pop in your mouth. Enjoy this delicacy on authentic French blini’s with crème fraîche, chopped boiled eggs, finely diced onions, and of course don’t forget the bubbly! Please speak to one of our Food Specialists on your next visit to Bristol Farms and experience the world of caviar.