This month - the last month of 2021 - the French Winophiles are getting into the holiday spirit with bubbles, specifically, Crémant wines. Susannah of Avvinare leading the discussion. And if you are reading this early enough, feel free to join in on our Twitter chat Saturday, December 18th at 8am Pacific time. Follow the hashtag #Winophiles and be sure to add that to anything you tweet so we can see it. Here's what the French Winophiles are sharing about Crémant...
- A Delightful Duo of Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
- An Aperitif with Flair - Crémant de Bourgogne and Amuse-Bouche by Grape Experiences
- Champagne Sabering Louis Boillot Cremant de Bourgogneby David Glancy Master Sommelier and French Wine Scholar from San Francisco Wine School
- Crémant du Jura: A Trip to the Mountains by Avvinare
- French Crémant with Tasty Nibbles by Always Ravenous
- High-Low Pairing: Domaine Allimant-Laugner Crémant d'Alsace Rosé + Takeout Chinese by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- On the Road with Cremant d'Alsace by Somm's Table
- Slow Cooker Shrimp Boil paired with a Cremant Cocktail for a fun Holiday Celebration by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Sparkle-up Your Comfort Food with Crémant d'Alsace by Food Wine Click!
- Sparkling Wine Secrets: Celebrate the Season with Biodynamic Bubbles from Bourgogne and Alsace with Festive Finger Foods by Wine Predator...Gwendolyn Alley
- Tasting Cremants with Janice Robinson by Wineivore
In the Glass
Crémants are sparkling wines made using the same method used for Champagne where the second fermentation takes place in the bottle, but are made outside of the Champagne region. Grape varieties vary, depending on area.
For this event, I poured the Domaine Allimant-Laugner Crémant d'Alsace Rosé. Crémant d'Alsace is an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) for sparkling wines from the Alsace wine region of France.
Back in July, I participated in a digitasting, sampled several Alsatian wines, and met with winemakers from the area over Zoom. While I definitely am afflicted with Zoom fatigue, after almost two years of this pandemic, I was grateful for the opportunity to chat with them. You can read that post: A Wine Fair Reimagined + Braised Rabbit with Alsatian Dumplings.
But let's get back to the Crémant d'Alsace which is usually comprised of a blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Auxerrois, and Chardonnay. Crémant d'Alsace Rosé, such as this bottle, is made from Pinot Noir grapes. Domaine Allimant-Laugner has been producing Alsatian wines for eleven generations from their estate which is located in Orschwiller, near the Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg.
This Crémant - a single varietal, 100% Pinot Noir - was macerated directly on the press to achieve its color. Then it was aged in wood for between 12 and 18 months before being disgorged. The wine poured a pretty, pale salmon with delicate, persistent bubbles. On the nose, there was a grassiness and yeastiness that was mirrored on the tongue. But lots of red fruit on the forefront with a dry, lasting finish.
On the Plate
While most sparkling wines from France lean towards the special occasion pricetag (looking at you, Champagne!), this sat right around the $20 mark for its suggested retail price. So, it's not ridiculous, but it might still be towards the higher end of an everyday wine.
Given the $20 price tag, I don't really remember why I called this a high-low pairing exactly. That would usually be something I would say about a $40+ bottle with pizza or burgers. But I'm running with it.
I ordered a takeout Chinese dinner from one of our favorite spots. With the wine, we ate mushu chicken, pot stickers, Mandarin chicken wings, steamed rice, and barbeque pork chow mein.
Do you ever do high-low pairings? I especially love this idea during the busy holiday season: easy eats with a beautiful pour. What's your favorite combination?
Well, that's a wrap for the Crémant #Winophiles event. We'll be back in January with articles about Provence wines. Stay tuned.