Cayuga Caviar

Wine tasting sure works up an appetite. In the Finger Lakes wine region one place to replenish your energy and and grab a great meal is Knapp Winery & Vineyard Restaurant. The restaurant is located on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail and adjoins their tasting room.



Executive Chef John McNabb strives to create a menu using locally grown ingredients. By sourcing from local farms John is able to capture the flavors of the Finger Lakes.


Cayuga Caviar is a sweet and spicy marinated vegetable, bean and corn relish dip. It’s served with house made corn tortilla chips. I just couldn’t get enough of this. The ingredients were so fresh. It was the perfect balance of sweet and savory. I mentioned I’d be happy to eat this every day to which John replied that was a staff member who did that.


So what wine did I enjoy with my Cayuga Caviar? I selected a Knapp Brut Sparkling Wine. The combination was outstanding.


The Knapp Brut sparkling contains 90% Cayuga white grapes and 10 % Chardonnay. Cayuga white is a cross between the hybrids Schuyler and Serval Blanc. It grows particularly well in the Finger Lakes region. The sparkling wine was made via tank method. Aromas of green apple, citrus, and white peach dominated the nose. The Knapp Brut Sparkling was crisp, dry, and very refreshing. The retail price was $14.

John provided me with recipe for the Cayuga Caviar so I could make it at home. The recipe is as follows:

Cayuga Caviar
2 cups Shoepeg corn
1.5 cups black eyed peas
1.5 cups black beans
1 cup onion (diced)
½ cup celery (diced)
¼ cup roasted red peppers (pulverized)
½ cup Jalapenos (chopped)
4 cups Apple Cider vinegar
2 cups olive oil
2 cups sugar
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
Simmer the last five ingredients. Cool and pour over the caviar. Stir well.

Stop in at Knapp Winery & Vineyard Restaurant on your visit to the Finger Lakes. If you can’t make it to the restaurant then make a bowl of Cayuga Caviar, pop open a bottle of Knapp Sparkling Brut and savor the flavor of the region.

Lisa Stephenson

Certified Specialist of Wine. WSET Diploma student. Slave to the Grape. Traveling the world and tasting fine wines in pursuit of my wine passion.

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