The perfect pairing: will Luvienz caviar blended champagne be the next big thing?
Find out why Luvienz Caviar Edition is the most intriguing new beverage to hit our palettes this year
Champagne and caviar have always gone hand in hand, but Luvienz's intriguing decision to blend this perfect pairing has created a beverage that is distinctive in taste and colour. Leevy Pennaneach, chairman and co-founder of Luvienz, told Tempus that while the idea may seem “crazy” to some, the aim is to create something that’s more a product, but a gastronomic adventure in itself.
“We are not selling champagne and we are not selling caviar, we are selling a new tasting experience. Forget everything you think you know about the ingredients and just try to taste something else," he said. In a league of their own, it would be unfair to compare Luvienz to anything else. It simply needs to be sampled – ideally blind – to be understood.
To craft this unique product, artisans combine Bulgarian Ossetra caviar with pure Blanc de Blancs champagne from the Grands Crus vineyards in Côte des Blancs, which has a limited production of 65,000 bottles every year. An intricate three-step process of extraction, blending and infusing is required to make the finished product.
“We create Luvienz with several steps,” Pennaneach explained. “The first is caviar extraction, a method which we have a patent on. It entails several steps of rendering and processing at different temperatures. We start with 40-50g of caviar and create the extract. We then blend it with the champagne and add pressure. Then there is a step of infusing them.” >>
The whole process takes a long of time – the extraction alone takes five working days. In the end, each bottle contains 5% caviar extract, although Luvienz also produces a 9% version for clients who prefer a more intense flavour. The resulting beverage is black in colour, but don’t be fooled by appearances, the flavour is far from expected.
While you cannot taste the caviar per se, the subtle nutty undertones of the Ossetra caviar compliments the fresh and supple fruitiness of the Blanc de Blancs champagne, resulting in a deliciously smooth flavour.
Every bottle of Luvienz champagne is beautifully presented in specially-designed collector’s bottles. From the ‘L’ logo on the cork and the solid gold muselet, to the luxurious tin overcap, which features a sturgeon embossed on a cabochon gem, every tiny detail has been thought out. e bottle itself is made from black glass etched with a stylish bubble design and a 24-carat gold leaf ‘Luvienz’ inscription. Additional inscriptions can be added as per the client’s request.
Bottles are then presented in leather jackets or wooden boxes that’ve been hand-crafted from wood from the south of France. Luvienz also crafts beautiful chests, retailing at €25,000 (£22,800). Pennaneach added: “Each chest contains nine bottles and is limited production. We put the name of the customer on the plate and production number. Once finished, they can refill it or transform it. We are currently working on an idea to combine Luvienz with cigars, or perhaps caviar, within drawers in the chest.”
While some may consider Luvienz a novelty, it’s certainly something that needs to be sampled at least once. It’s also allegedly good for your health – many Russians consider caviar an elixir of youth. So, to use Pennaneach’s own words, “why not?”