The Rockpool Files

Why Champagne and caviar are an iconic epicurean couple


The pairing of Champagne and caviar has stood the test of time because it is one of the greatest examples of how two things that sit on the opposite ends of a spectrum can find perfect balance.  If you look at it like a pendulum, it doesn’t get much more unctuous and salty than oily caviar.  At the other end, Champagne is one of the most acidic and refreshing beverages one could find.  It’s the breadth or the distance the pendulum swings between each of these items that makes the balance they find so attractive.  The way they interact is so special, that one may never experience any type of palate fatigue from enjoying both.

On a more technical side, the vineyards of Champagne were a marine seabed until the waters receded 70 million years ago.  Today, the pure, active limestone (high enough levels of calcium carbonate to react when an acid is introduced) soils of Champagne are home to sea urchin and star fish fossils, and a part of the larger Kimmeridgian Massif that extends from the White Cliffs of Dover, to Chablis and to Sancerre.  It is this calcareous soil layered throughout the Paris Basin that provides the foundation for creating wines whose ability to pair with salty foods is inimitable throughout the world of wine.  The mousse, or bubble of champagne, helps to mitigate the electric levels of acid in the wines.  The combination of acidity, bubbles, crisp orchard fruit flavours and the chalky texture creates a wine deft at washing away the most decedent foods.

Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne will host a Champagne and caviar masterclass on Saturday, 20 October. We will be serving the following caviar:

  • Black Pearl Siberian
  • Tsar Nicoulai White Sturgeon Caviar
  • Russian Oscietra
  • Ars Italica Oscietra

All of these caviars are from various species of Sturgeons.  The Black Pearl Siberian is from the Siberian Sturgeon fish, from the Goslawice Farm in Poland. The farm was established in the 1960s, and is the largest Sturgeon, Catfish and Carp farm in Europe. Caviar from the Siberian Sturgeon is one of their most recent endeavours, taking advantage of the very mature stock that they have. They will soon start to offer Russian Sturgeon (Oscietra) caviar.

Tsar Nicoulai is produced from American White Sturgeons farmed in Northern California.  The property has been sustainably farming Sturgeon since 1984, is carbon-neutral, and grows all of its own feed.

The Ars Italia Farm is in northern Lombardy, fed by lake Maggiore in the Ticino national park on the Swiss border. They have been producing Malassol (lowest amount of salt used when curing) Oscietra Caviar for 25 years.

We will be serving five wines at our masterclass:

  • Rockpool’s Whitlands Cuvee made in partnership with Chandon Yarra from the 2013 vintage
  • R de Ruinart Blanc de Blancs
  • Moët & Chandon Grand Reserve Rose 2009
  • Veuve Cliquot Extra Brut Extra Old
  • Dom Perignon 2009

Join us for to enjoy our carefully curated pairings of these epicurean icons.
More details:
Words: Rockpool Dining Group Beverage Director Premium Restaurants, Victoria, Jonathan Ross MS.