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Caviar Dreams

Charles Gardet Blanc de Blanc Brut NV and caviar make a classic pairing. Yet avoid the lesser varieties sold in jars, such as lumpfish roe, as they may overpower the flavors of Champagne. The three varieties of sturgeon roe—beluga, osteria and sevruga—are deserving of Champagne. Yet they are also more expensive.

Around the turn of the 20th Century, over fishing, dams, hydroelectric plants, and industrial pollution led to many sturgeon species becoming in danger of extinction. But during recent decades caviar production grew further east of the Caspian to the Amur River and to sturgeon farms in the United States.

The farmed sturgeon are divine. Serve caviar with spoons made of horn, wood, gold, mother of pearl or plastic because metal adversely affects caviar's taste. Also avoid common garnishes, such as red onion, which clash with Champagne.

Pair with Charles Gardet Blanc de Blanc NV. The acidity of the Champagne offsets the oiliness of the caviar, making it love at first bite. The wine also pairs well with oysters, crustaceans, and delicate white fish. The Charles Gardet Signature Cuvee 1997 is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and matches well with a variety of foods found on the buffet table and entrée courses. Serve the Charles Gardet Saignee Rosé 2002 with beef tenderloin, or save it for a deep, rich chocolate groom's cake. And save a couple of bottles of the rosé—one for your honeymoon and one for your first anniversary.


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