Well, in a word, fantastic! Maybe I just got very lucky with the three different wines that I had, but if it was purely down to luck then I’ll hop off and get my lottery tickets for the week before it runs out.
I started on the Friday night with the De Canceny Crémant de Loire from Spirited Wines. Think it was roughly £12.50, so going back to the that comparison with the entry level Champagne, you’re looking at half the price. For me, coming from up North of England, that’s box number one ticked!
(I do get why Champagne is more expensive. A lot of the traditions in terms of the methods used are expensive and time consuming. The minimum time a wine has to be aged is 3 years (Crémant I think is only 9 months), so that’s a lot of time you have to wait to get your money back on the production and storage costs. But at least twice the price?)
So I had the omelette with a side salad and chunky bread with it. Before the food the taste was very subtle. I guess you don’t really drink a Crémant expecting it to blow your mind with complexity of flavour. Well, put it this way, if you do then you’re going to be parting with a lot of cash to get the best. Fair play if that’s just how you roll! Faint green apple smells with hints of biscuit from the broken down yeast, I can’t say complex, but very refreshing. The high acidity that you hope for was there in spades.
With the food it was great. The richness of the egg, butter, smoked salmon, and goat’s cheese was perfectly paired with a wine that allowed those food flavours to be up front and untarnished. The massive bonus here was that somehow it managed to promote all the tastes in the food for a few seconds, then just as quickly act as a palate cleanser. You eat, you drink, you enjoy both, and then you’re ready for Round 2! I was a big fan of this wine.
So then came Sunday, the day of the failed croquetas. In truth, I read the recipe incorrectly, and realised way too late that you needed to set the mixture overnight before coated them and frying them off. Not the first bugger up, not the last. A quick trip to the local supermarket for some breaded haddock, some quickly whisked up olive tapenade and mustard mayonnaise, and we were ready for the final two.
Both from Majestic Wine (Morrison’s in Camden has an increasingly poor selection of the wines Morrison’s Cellar has to offer). I started with the Langlois Crémant de Loire, a staff suggestion after I’d said I was going for the Bouvet Saumur. They were £12 and £10 respectively, so again, not bad at all price wise.
Probably just easy to say first up that the breaded fish went great with both. So that’s out the way. Now I can just talk about the differences between these two wines. The Langlois was a touch fruitier, but had a very pronounced steeliness about it, really quite metallic. It was also a bit fuller in the mouth than the Bouvet. The Bouvet is everything you want from this kind of wine, and at £9 it’s a bargain! It’s light, very crisp, and it has a biscuity, verging on almost brioche, smell to it. Very different wines, but the crispness to the finish of the Bouvet makes it the winner on points for me.
I love bubbles and I’ve loved this week. I’m giving Crémant my highest score so far of 2014, an 8/10.
I’m really hoping that those of you who got involved will keep Crémant on the radar for the future. It’s over to Ant for next week, looking forward to it already.
Other Blog Posts This Week: