Sparkle-up Your Comfort Food with Crémant d’Alsace #Winophiles

Crémant wines are made all over France. Find Crémant d’Alsace in the upper right corner of the map. Map courtesy of winefolly.com

French Winophiles Explore Crémant All Over France
Just in time for holiday celebrations, our French Winophiles are exploring Champagne’s more affordable cousin: Crémant! Scroll down further in the post for a list of links to fellow Winophile posts highlighting Crémant from all over our favorite country. You may find a perfect sparkling wine for your holiday table!

What is Crémant?
Crémant is a traditional method sparkling wine made in a variety of French wine regions outside the Champagne region. While the method is the same as that used in Champagne, the grapes used will be typical of the region the Crémant comes from. Crémant is clearly based on Champagne as a model of excellence, with many vineyard and winery specifications identical to those used in Champagne. It’s easier to point out the differences rather than list the similarities!

Grapes for Crémant d’Alsace are often grown on the flat lower elevations of vineyards

Crémant d’Alsace
Crémant d’Alsace is made of the typical grapes of Alsace: Pinot Blanc (most common), Auxerrois (close relative of Pinot Blanc), Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. In the vineyard, irrigation is prohibited, maximum yield is limited to 80 hl/ha, manual harvest of whole clusters is required. All these requirements are the same as those used in Champagne. In the winery, second fermentation is required to be performed in the bottle as in Champagne. Key differences are that only 9 months is required for the wine to rest on its lees compared to 12 months for Champagne. Also, reserve wines are not typically used in Alsace, quite different from typical Champagne techniques. The vast majority of Crémant d’Alsace wines are “Brut” with 8-10 g/l dosage.

The gentle release of bubbles

Gustave Lorentz
Maison Lorentz was founded way back in 1836. Their history includes the time when Alsace changed hands and was annexed into the German empire. Phylloxera and two world wars are also encompassed in the family’s history. Today, they farm 32 ha of their own vineyards and purchase grapes from growers in their home area of Bergheim. The region of Alsace is one of the sustainability leaders in France, all Gustave Lorentz owned vineyards have been certified organic since 2012.

Disclosure: The wine for this post was provided as a sample. No other compensation was involved, all opinions are mine.

Gustave Lorentz Crémant d’Alsace Rosé Brut

Gustave Lorentz Crèmant d’Alsace Rosé Brut AOC NV ($30 SRP, available here) 12.5% abv
Crémant d’Alsace rosé is only made from Pinot Noir grapes, with skin contact typically limited to 12-24 hours. This wine is aged for two years on it’s lees prior to disgorgement; much longer than the 9 month minimum. This additional time adds considerable complexity to the wine.
Eye: Medium orange color with very fine mousse
Nose: Medium intensity aromas of peach blossom, tart red cherries, lemons, lemon rind, green apple, bread dough
Mouth: Off-dry, medium plus acid, medium body, medium alcohol, medium intensity flavors, medium plus finish. Flavors follow the aromas with addition of a touch of bitter cherry in the flavors.
Observations: Typical for Brut, the wine is just barely off-dry which seems just right to balance the crisp acidity and lively carbonation. Refreshing!

Winophiles Crémant Discoveries
Take a look below at all the discoveries from my fellow Winophiles writers regarding Crémant for your holiday table. We’d love to have you participate in our chat on Twitter on Saturday Dec. 18 from 10-11am CST. Just look for us at #winophiles!

A Delightful Duo of Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
Aperitif with Flair – Crémant de Bourgogne and Amuse-Bouche by Grape Experiences
Champagne Sabering Louis Boillot Cremant de Bourgogne by David Glancy Master Sommelier and French Wine Scholar from San Francisco Wine School
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
Tasting Cremants with Janice Robinson by Wineivore and
Crémant du Jura, A Trip to the Mountains by Avvinare

Sparkling wine on a winter weeknight? Why not!

Butternut Squash Soup with Crémant d’Alsace Rosé
We enjoyed our Crémant d’Alsace with a simple weeknight dinner of butternut squash soup served with a grilled sausage on the side. The soup came from the NY Times Cooking section as Coconut Butternut Squash Soup. While it takes a bit of time, it’s mostly waiting for the squash to roast, so you can attend to other activities while dinner takes shape. I particularly like the sautéed red onion and kale which are much more than just a garnish as they add lots of body and texture to the dish. The Crémant d’Alsace was a very nice pairing with lively acidity and carbonation to cleanse the palate between bites. The Brut level of just barely sweet was nice with the sweet nature of the butternut squash.

Resources for Crémant


Comments
4 Responses to “Sparkle-up Your Comfort Food with Crémant d’Alsace #Winophiles”
  1. Over the years I’ve noticed that I tend to prefer Champagne with a higher % of Pinot Noir. I’m even a fan of a good Blanc de Noir Champagne when I can find them. So you know I love Cremant d’Alsace Rose since they’re 100% PN. I think I’ve had the Lorentz before (but I’m not sure…guess I’ll just have to buy a bottle to be sure;-)!

Trackbacks
Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Sparkle-up Your Comfort Food with Crémant d’Alsace by Food Wine Click! […]

  2. […] Sparkle-up Your Comfort Food with Crémant d’Alsace by Food Wine Click! […]



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: