The Lowdown on Caviar

Learn the basics of major caviar styles and the wines they pair best with.

To celebrate National Caviar Day on July 18—yes, you read that holiday right—we’re offering the 411 on the five types of this luxurious (yet affordable) roe, plus a full range of pairing partners hand-picked by our editors. Because, let’s face it: Sometimes we all want to feel a little like royalty.

Ossetra with Champagne

Ossetra has light to dark brown color, with golden highlights. It’s fresh and fruity, with a juicy grain and a distinctive nutty flavor, which makes it a great match for Champagne’s green apple and yeasty notes.

Louis Roederer 2008 Vintage Brut ; $88, 95 points.
A deliciously ripe wine, full of fruit as well as a great mineral texture. It completely expresses the exceptional 2008 with all its structure. Still young, it’s all fruit and freshness that promise serious bottle aging. Drink this complex, serious wine from 2017. —Roger Voss

Drappier 2008 Millésime Exception Brut ; $55, 93 points.
This is moving stylishly towards maturity, which is allowing the tangy orange and crisp apple flavors to develop toast and almond flavors and to deepen in richness. It’s ripe, hinting at yellow fruits and still able to age, at least until 2020. —Roger Voss

Gremillet 2009 Millésimé Brut ; $55, 89 points.
Ripe and still young, this crisp, mineral-textured wine is packed with citrus flavors that bring out acidity and a bright, fresh character. It needs time to fully integrate the dosage and the wine and bring out the full potential, so wait until 2017. —Roger Voss

Sevruga with Viura

The small beads of Sevruga are light to dark grey, with flavors of roasted cashews and bitter citrus rinds. We picked Viura from Rioja because its bright citrus notes complements the salty nature of Sevruga.

CVNE 2014 Monopole Viura; $15, 87 points.
Aromas of chewing gum dust, lime and wet stones are simple and clean. This Viura is equally light and citrusy on the palate, with moderately briny flavors of lime and white grapefruit. A mild palate doesn’t bring anything new to the game. —Michael Schachner

Bodegas Muriel 2014 Vendimia Seleccionada Blanco ; $12, 86 points.
Lemon, lime, sulfur and matchstick aromas are solid. This Viura has a standard, fresh, zesty mouthfeel and common flavors of white grapefruit and lime. A minerally, citric finish is crisp and appropriate. —Michael Schachner

Viña Eguía 2014 Blanco; $14, 84 points.
Aromas of white flowers and mild tropical fruits turn more gritty with time. In the mouth, this Viura is dilute but not empty. Flavors of Bartlett pear, lime and nectarine finish tangy and lean. —Michael Schachner

Siberian Caviar with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

Farm-raised Siberian Caviar has small and firm, grey to golden brown grains and intense salinity that’s tempered by a nutty, grassy character. It’s a great match for Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand because the herbal and lemon flavors of the wine intensify the taste of the caviar.

Dog Point 2014 Sauvignon Blanc (Malborough); $22, 92 points.
Everything you’d ever want in a Sauvignon Blanc is here—and then some. Grassy, herbal, citrusy aromas set the pace, joined by some slightly feral, wooly pungency that adds even greater complexity. On the palate, it’s plump and mouthwatering without being excessively tart, and lingers gloriously on the finish. —Joe Czerwinski

Saint Clair 2014 Pioneer Block 20 Dillons Point Cash Block Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough); $28, 91 points.
The Dillons Point subregion of Marlborough often produces particularly pungent examples of Sauvignon Blanc, but this wine doesn’t quite hew to that mold. The herbal notes are prominent but well mannered, backed by plenty of mild citrus—think white grapefruit—and melon. Ample weight, a silky texture and a lengthy finish complete the package. —Joe Czerwinski

Kim Crawford 2014 Small Parcels Spitfire Sauvignon Blanc (Malborough); $26, 90 points.
Grassy, herbal notes accent grapefruit and lime aromas, while riper hints of stone fruit sneak in on the palate, adding roundness and weight. Dusty, slightly chalky nuances on the finish give the impression of dry minerality. —Joe Czerwinski

North Atlantic Salmon roe with Chenin Blanc

Favored by many because of its affordability, large orange-colored eggs, zesty pop and delightful mouthfeel, North Atlantic Salmon Roe pairs perfectly with zesty fruit-forward Chenin Blanc. The bold citrus flavors of the wine intensify the salinity and freshness of the roe.

Paumanok 2014 Chenin Blanc (North Fork of Long Island); $28, 91 points.
Zesty acidity and an enticing slick of honeycomb lend varietal character to this lavishly floral, peachy white. So spry and revitalizing, with a salty tang of minerality, it’s surprisingly still the only Chenin Blanc grown in New York. —Anna Lee Iijima

Château Moncontour 2014 Sec (Vouvray); $17, 88 points.
This is a ripe, full-bodied wine with already rounded texture and fresh pear flavors. It is perfumed, richly textured, the acidity a balanced part of the fruitiness of the wine. It needs to age, so drink from 2017. —Roger Voss

Beluga with Chablis

While not readily available in the U.S.,you may encounter Beluga while traveling. Look for large silver-grey to black eggs, with a delicate salty, yet nutty flavor and a soft texture. It pairs perfectly with the crisp minerality and clean fruit flavors of Chablis.

Pascal Bouchard 2013 Montmains Premier Cru; $34, 91 points.
Totally fresh, this is crisp and packed with citrus. A complex, tight texture brings out nervy acidity, a strongly mineral character and a firm structure. Age this youthful wine and drink from 2018. —Roger Voss

Jean-Marc Brocard 2013 Les Vieilles Vignes de Sainte Clair; $NA, 89 points.
There’s a good touch of vanilla as well as ripe fruits in this wine. It is rounded, soft and fresh, hinting at a richer side with melon and apricot flavors. It’s young, drinkable now, but better from 2016. —Roger Voss

Domaine de Biéville 2013 Chablis; $20, 87 points.
Bright and light, this offers yellow fruits that are cut with citrus to give a clean character as well as richness. Drink now for its crisp aftertaste and warm texture. —Roger Voss

Published on July 17, 2015
Topics: Food Trend, Pairings, Seafood
About the Author
Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen
Entertaining and Lifestyle Editors

Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen are Wine Enthusiast's Entertaining and Lifestyle Editors. DeSimone tastes wine from Israel and the Mediterranean Basin, while Jenssen tastes wine from Eastern Europe, including the former the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. Both co-authored Wines of California, Wines of the Southern Hemisphere, and The Fire Island Cookbook. Wine educators and presenters, both gentlemen serve as frequent guests on national and local television. Email: mikeandjeff@wineenthusiast.net




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