Champagne and caviar. It’s a pairing as romantic as Romeo and Juliet, as classic as spaghetti with meatballs, and as passionate as chocolates and roses.
But rules are meant to be broken.
So what wine goes best with caviar? As palates have become even more sophisticated over the ages, new wine pairings for caviar have evolved. The dainty fish eggs are increasingly a canvas for elevated flavors, especially Tsar Nicoulai Caviar’s gourmet infused roes—whitefish with beet and saffron, ginger, truffles or wasabi. Since roe are uncured eggs, they’re delicately briny but not at all salty, and deliver a thrilling new flavor sensation when kissed with other natural ingredients. Some caviars and roes soar when savored with unexpected sips like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Try these four modern wine pairings with gourmet infused roe and see if your taste buds don’t agree. Surprise your sweetheart with a caviar and wine tasting at home. It’s the ultimate way to start a romantic Valentine’s Day or birthday dinner.
Glittering like tiny ruby red jewels, this fine-grained roe offers subtle notes of earthy root vegetable and floral herb. It’s an excellent partner to the elegant dried cranberry, black tea and leather nuances of a mature, yet elegant Cabernet Sauvignon with bottle age, such as Jordan’s 2005 or 2009 vintage, or a fine Bordeaux. Sometimes Chef Todd Knoll uses the beet-saffron caviar in his soba noodles recipe for an extra hint of earthiness.
Crafted with fresh Hawaiian ginger, this piquant, golden-orange, slightly spicy roe sparkles on the tongue. The whisper of tingling heat contrasts beautifully with the creamy notes of a round, Burgundy-style Chardonnay, such as Jordan’s 2014 or 2013 vintage. (It’s important to choose a Chardonnay that does not have pronounced toasted oak and buttery flavors.) The crispness in a non-vintage brut Champagne also makes for a beautiful pairing. Garnish slightly sweeter dishes with this roe for a delicious contrast of flavors.
The deep, golden brown tones come from a touch of natural vegetable juice, complementing the lush taste and aroma of Italian white truffle. The roe embraces the rich mouthfeel of a young Cabernet Sauvignon, made in the balanced style with smooth tannins, higher acidity and lower alcohol. The 2012 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon has a subtle forest note interwoven with bold black cherry and blackberry flavors, which highlights the earthiness in the truffle. Old World-style vintages from California producers or reds from classic Bordeaux houses also complement white truffle’s alluring muskiness.
There’s a bit of fire to this sumptuous, green roe, infused with fresh wasabi. Its pungent, zesty bite is gentled by the creamy fizz of a low-dosage brut Champagne with some extended aging, such as the Jordan Cuvée by Champagne AR Lenoble. The pairing makes the Champagne even more brilliant as the heat plays against its dryness and acidity.
These culinary luxuries require only a simple backdrop of classic buckwheat blinis (try Chef Knoll’s recipe) with chives, crème fraîche, chopped red onion and other traditional caviar service accoutrements. Tsar Nicoulai infused roes and American caviars are available at gourmet specialty shops and on its website.
Jordan Estate Rewards members can also indulge in a new private Champagne & Caviar Tasting when visiting Jordan Winery in Healdsburg.
Winery Jordan 1474 Alexander Valley Road • Healdsburg, CA 95448-9003
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