Champagne and caviar are a match made in heaven - not because they are both expensive luxuries, but because they genuinely complement each other. There is something more than intoxicating about the taste of those fresh beads of the caviar combined with the fine bubbles of the world’s great Champagnes. These two delicacies have long been considered the perfect match.
When enjoying caviar and champagne, only the driest and crispest champagne should be chosen - it should be brut or extra-sec. Whatever you drink with caviar should have the effect of cleansing or refreshing the palate. The most frequently ordered champagne to pair with a serving of caviar is Dom Perignon. Tattinger is another popular choice, as well as vintage Krug. Obviously, personal preference as well as the bulge in your wallet will dictate the choice you make.
Types of Caviar
There is something more than intoxicating about the taste of those fresh beads of the caviar combined with the fine bubbles of the world’s great Champagnes.
Caviar comes in 4 qualities: fresh, salted, pressed and pasteurized. Below we list some of the popular caviars you should look out for:-
Beluga is the most popular of caviars. Harvested from the Beluga Sturgeon, which is the largest of the sturgeon breeds and found mainly in the Caspian Sea, this caviar takes at least 20 years to mature which makes it very rare to find. Beluga is usually served by itself or on a piece of toast.
Loved by Russian Czars back in the day, this is also known as the “Imperial Caviar” and is found in the almost extinct Sterlet sturgeon. Sterlet caviar has smaller eggs and is usually served on top on toast or with a dollop of crème fraiche.
Considered the most flavourful of all caviars, Osserta appeals to the elite as no two batches are alike. Known for its smooth nutty taste, Osserta can be served by itself or on pieces of toast. Sterlet, Osserta and Beluga caviars should not served with a metal spoon, as this will transfer a metallic taste to these delicacies.
This caviar comes from the smallest sturgeon with fine-grained grey-black eggs. It is also the least expensive and easily available. With a crunchy texture and salty flavor, sevruga is best served with food.
Where to get good quality caviar locally:
Directly from Di Botha at Black Book Caviar, Tel 021 794 1052 or 083 300 4242, email email@example.com
Restaurants: Balducci’s, Tel 021 421 6002/3; Belthazar, Tel 021 421 3753
Directly from La Marina wholesalers, Tel 011 997 0500
Restaurants: The Saxon Hotel, Tel 011 292 6000 ; The Butcher Shop and Grill, Tel 011 784 8676