Premium caviar is one of the most decadent and luxurious foods. But when it's not consumed correctly, you won't get to experience the full flavor profile of this unique delicacy. One of the most important elements of serving caviar is pairing it with the right drink. For many, the beverage of choice is wine, which fortunately works very well with caviar's flavor profile-as long as you choose the right bottle, that is. This guide will walk you through the wine selection process to ensure that every bite and every sip is enjoyed to the fullest.
General Wine Pairing Rules
Before getting in specific wine varietals and types of caviar, it helps to look at the broader view first. When deciding which wine to choose, keep these basic rules in mind:
- White wine - Yes: A chilled white wine is one of the most popular pairings for caviar. Overall, lean toward dry white wines rather than those with fruity notes.
- Champagne - Yes: Sparkling wines like champagne are also a great caviar pairing. As with white wine, a drier sparkling wine (ideally one that is brut or extra brut) is best. In addition to champagne, options like Spanish Cava and Italian Prosecco can also work here as long as they are on the dry side.
- Dessert wine - Maybe: If you are having a type of caviar that is a bit more on the salty and boldly flavored side, a fortified wine like sherry can provide a nice balance. Some of the subtly sweet dessert wines, such as Moscato, can also work in these scenarios. Keep in mind that these types of wines are generally not recommended for premium caviar, which has the most delicate and refined flavors.
- Red wine - No: Stay away from reds when enjoying caviar. The high tannins result in bolder flavors which can easily overpower the delicateness of the caviar and limit the extent to which you can enjoy it fully. If you still want a hint of that red wine flavor, a bubbly rose can function as a middle ground that still allows you to experience the full caviar flavor profile.
Specific Pairings for Premium Caviar
When you're having some of the finest caviar in the world, you want to make sure your wine choice is spot on. Consider these recommendations based on certain types of caviar to help plan an especially exciting meal:
- Champagne and Osetra caviar: The nutty richness of Osetra caviar pairs perfectly with a dry sparkling wine. Look for a champagne that is crisp, fresh and slightly acidic to balance out the flavors in this caviar.
- Chablis with Beluga caviar: The most sought-after caviar in the world deserves the perfect pairing, which is where Chablis comes into the picture. Beluga caviar has a bit more of a buttery and creamy flavor, which is complemented by a clean, crisp Chablis. Look for one with citrus notes and noticeable minerality.
Pick out the perfect bottle of wine to complement your caviar using this guide. Don't forget to chill it thoroughly before serving.