In the past 24 hours since I posted yesterday’s opener, I’ve had a multitude of wine shop owners and drinkers get in touch by email, twitter, all that stuff, saying how much they love Crémant, and how annoying they find it that no-one in the UK buys the bloody thing. Well to a point I guess that’s cos most people don’t know what it is. Which is fair enough.
Put simply, Crémant is a sparkling wine from France.
What is it not? It’s not Champagne!
Ok, so those two things are your take-homes from this entire post. Remember them.
Crémant is set across 7 different ACs (remember Appelation Controlee) in France. The most famous being Crémant d’Alsace (Alsace), Crémant de Bourgogne (Burgundy), and Crémant de Loire.
They’re made in the traditional method, the same as with champagne and cava. The grapes get turned into a still wine with low alcohol. They then get put into bottles to ferment more, trapping the carbon dioxide from the fermentation in the bottle. They’re then left to sit in the bottle for 9 months, where the yeast breaks down and gives it a bready, biscuit smell (you know how bread smells of bread? And bread is full of broken down yeast?). Then they’re filtered in the bottle and released.
Back in the day these wines used to be bottled under slightly lower pressure, so a bit less fizz and a bit more creamy texture. Hence the name Crémant. These days however it’s made much more in the (fizziness) style of more famous sparkling wines from round the world.
If you’re out there looking to buy a sparkling wine, and you’ve got a choice between a base case Champagne at £20-£25 or a good quality Crémant at £10-£15, you’d have to be a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic to go for the first option.
I really hope you get stuck into this this week and work that out for yourselves!
Other posts in NWTW Week 12: