A Perfect Pairing

As Frank Sinatra crooned, “Love and marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage. This I tell ya, brother, you can’t have one without the other…”

When it comes to sparkling wine and caviar, indeed, it’s possible to have one without the other. But given the option, why would anyone want to choose?

From the moment visitors drive through the front gates at the tree-lined entrance, it’s clear that The Sonoma House at Patz & Hall offers a unique tasting experience. The scenic winery in a former residence with lovely grounds feels like it’s off the beaten path, yet it’s only three miles from Sonoma Plaza. Relax while taking in a panorama of vineyards, with a backdrop of the Mayacamas Mountains for good measure.

Guests are drawn to another great view laid out on the table where sparkling wine plus caviar dreams become reality. Patz & Hall’s own in-house Chef Travis Westrope said, “Sparkling wine and caviar pair together exceptionally well. Sparkling wine’s crisp, clean effervescence counteracts and balances the salty, briny savoriness of caviar. And sparkling wines possess nutty or citrusy characteristics that complement the caviar.” Try the caviar on its own, or dress it up with the traditional accoutrements: blinis, potato chips, sour cream, chives, and a spritz of fresh lemon. Sip a flight of three sparkling wines, each “gracefully crafted.” Bubbles are presented as a sparkling Blanc de Blanc, a sparkling Rosé, and a sparkling Brut. Like Patz & Hall wines, these California versions of champagne are crafted from carefully selected quality grapes grown on small, single estates by long-time vineyard partners.

Co-founder and head winemaker James Hall said, “I love to drink sparkling wine! I had always wanted to make sparkling wine that I could proudly serve to Champagne experts. To learn, I talked to producers, read books, traveled to Champagne. Just as important are our great vineyard sources. They are all low-yielding, very cool-climate sites that grow exceptional still wines, so no surprise they make wonderful sparkling wines, too. The long 48 months of tirage aging adds more yeast aromas and flavors, creamier mouthfeel, finer, softer bubbles, and a more elegant and precise finish. This extra time on tirage is quite rare in domestic sparkling, typically aged 18 to 24 months. Since I started making sparkling wine in 2012, I’ve released just three wines. Our current 2015 release is terrific, but the best is yet to come!”

Patz & Hall’s signature Sparkling & Caviar Experience ($110 per person, preferred pricing for wine club members) is available to reserve on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Story By: Laurie Jo Miller Farr // Photos By: Bob McClenahan