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Friday, February 3, 2017

French Fizz Ed

                                          Fizzy Crémants can be great values 

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced bottle of French sparkling wine you should consider the country’s Crémants.   The word “Crémant” was adopted by regions outside of the Champagne district to distinguish their own fizzy wines after laws were enacted to prohibit other areas from using the word Champagne.  (Crémants, however, are made by the exact same process as a Champagne).  Crémant means “creamy” and refers to the fizzy wine’s texture.  Here are a sampling of some of the best regions for Crémants.  

Crémant d’Alsace

Alsace, which shares its western border with the Champagne region, is the largest producer of Crémant in France.   Crémant d’Alsace is made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (the same grapes used in Champagne), as well as Pinot Blanc and Riesling. 

Crémant de Bourgogne

Burgundy shares its northern border with Champagne.  Made mostly from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, these fizzy wines can be excellent values.  Add a tablespoon of Burgundy’s Crème de Cassis and you have the region’s famous aperitif, a Kir Royale.

Crémant de Loire

Crémant de Loire was the first Crémant appellation to be recognized in France (1975).  Chenin Blanc, the hallmark white grape of the district’s still wines, makes many of the Loire’s best bubbles.  This fizz pairs perfectly with the area’s coveted oysters.

Crémant de Bordeaux

A fizzy wine in Bordeaux?  The sparkler is only a tiny fraction of this region’s production…and it rarely leaves Bordeaux.  The white version is made from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, the rosé from Merlot, Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc, as well as Malbec.

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