Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but there’s nothing like Champagne and caviar to seduce the senses.
The perfect pairing: authentic French Champagne with some of the world’s best caviar.
It’s no shock to my friends that the pop of a Champagne cork is one of my favorite sounds in the world. The sense of expectation and celebration it evokes is like nothing else. My eyes sparkle in anticipation of the clink of glasses, the sensation on the tongue, the seductive flavor. Champagne can transform the simplest of moments into magic. How can you not smile under the enchanting influence of those joyful bubbles?
I have a pretty sweet gig, but I was recently introduced to a woman who was born into bubbles, and I must confess I felt a tinge of job envy.
Vitalie Taittinger is the Artistic Director and Global Ambassador for Champagne Taittinger, the iconic French Champagne house. Champagne Taittinger is one of the last remaining major marque Champagne houses, both owned and managed by the family named on the label. This woman is Champagne royalty.
The week we met, Vitalie opened the red carpet at the Screen Actors Guild Awards with a Champagne Taittinger toast, made an appearance at a lavish Champagne reception at Heritage Fine Wines in Beverly Hills, and welcomed a small group of journalists, myself included, to a Taittinger Champagne and Calvisius Caviar tasting seminar.
Vitalie was a delightful host and instructor, as she and her counterparts guided us through an extraordinary tasting flight, from the classic Brut La Française paired with distinctive full-bodied white sturgeon caviar to the esteemed Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blanc paired with a more buttery, medium pearl.
The Taittinger Champagnes are Chardonnay-dominant, which gives them their signature elegance, delicacy and finesse. Calvisius is both farmer and producer of “malossol” quality caviar, a Russian word that means “low salt.” The combination of mineral flavor and citrus fruit in the magnificently delicate Champagne Taittinger is a perfect pairing for the silkiness and complexity of the exquisite Calvisius fresh caviar eggs.
Everyone’s palate is unique, so for me, the outstanding pairing of the day was the Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosé 2006 with ARS Italica Calvisius Oscietra Royal. Produced from 100 percent Grand Crus grapes, the Rosé seduced me with its extraordinarily delicate bubbles and complex nose—wild strawberries, Morello cherries and black currants, with hints of fresh almonds and licorice. The roe had a velvety, firm texture and rich, creamy notes of pear, butter and hazelnut with a refreshing, slightly fruity finish. At a splurge-worthy $139.99 for 28 grams, it tasted like pure indulgence.
Caviar of this quality doesn’t require the accompaniment of onion, egg, lemon, crème fraiche or dry vodka, which are often served to cover the excessive salinity of other caviar brands that can contain up to 25 percent salt content. And now that Calvisius has spoiled me with the primo pearls, I need to find a better-paying job to fund my new caviar habit.
If Champagne Taittinger is looking to expand the family biz, I’d like to be adopted.
Copyright © Michelle Gigon/2017 Singular Communications, LLC.
Michelle Gigon is the Food, Wine & Spirits Editor for Singular magazine. On her list of favorite things are (A) discovering memorable epicurean experiences and (B) telling people about them. A former brand agent at CAA, Michelle is also a freelance creative director on lifestyle marketing initiatives for luxury automotive, hotel and fashion brands.