French sparklers made ever more effervescent with input from the Beyonce of wine, Jancis Robinson
Are you a sparkling wine slut?
Every Friday night, I have a different sparkling wine. Whether I'm staying home or out and about, I must start my weekend with sparkling wine.
There are very, very few times where I actually repeat the same bottle of bubbly. It's usually a different one, every single time.
While I would love to have champagne every Friday and cases of Billecart Salmon Rose in my cellar (ahem more like closet), it's usually an under $20 affair. (Let's call it VALUE over cheap....)
Naturally, French Cremant wine factors heavily into this discussion, since they are far more affordable than their Champagne counterparts.
The best place I know for purchasing French wine is K&L Wine Merchants in San Francisco. They have a robust website with lots of reviews from major wine sites.
Though I actually don't really care about reviews, very occasionally a Jancis Robinson review will appear, and I ever so slightly raise my left eyebrow.
She's the only female wine reviewer I've ever seen featured on the website, and she's an actual, living person rather than a magazine or entity.
Did you know she is the Beyonce of wine?
I chose these two Cremants to try because she reviewed them both, and I wanted to compare my notes with hers.
Can I taste like Jancis tastes? Can I see what she sees? Can I be more like Jancis in my everyday life?
#1 Allimant Laugner Cremant d'Alsace Rosé
100% Pinot Noir; made in Methode Champenoise; $20
A pretty, pale pink. Lacy, persistent bubbles. Clean, fresh and absolutely packed with ripe summer strawberries. Not remotely complex but there is so much delicious fruit in there that who cares?Jancis Robinson, March 2017
Is that a complement? I can't tell.
It feels like she's saying, "You're not very smart, but you're pretty, so who cares?"
Ouch. I probably wouldn't say that to someone's face. But don't hold back Jancis. You do you.
My assessment? Yes, pretty in pink. Lovely strawberry scent, faint acidity, delicate but quietly assertive. I really had a nice time and enjoyed meeting you.
#2 2018 Antech "Cuvée Eugenie" Brut Crémant de Limoux
70% Chardonnay, 20% Chenin Blanc and 10% Mauzac; made in the Methode Champenoise; $15
Smells like elderflower-scented cream. Pretty and girlish. It makes me think of the lacy clouds of Queen Anne's Lace growing along the roadsides and hedgerows in May. Ripe white peaches. Touch of shortbread bringing subtle autolytic complexity. Soft but well structured. And there are hidden depths to this wine!Jancis Robinson, May 2020
Don't you just love a wine description that includes Queen Anne and hedgerows? Oh Jancis.
In case you didn't know what autolytic means, it refers to the self-digestion or a cell destroying itself through its own enzymes. In wine, it refers to the chemical reaction between wine and the lees when enzymes break down dead yeast cells.
I'm learning something new from Jancis everyday.
Her review goes on to say:
Françoise Antech suggested pairing it with a ceviche prawn, avocado and grapefruit salad, which I was a bit dubious about, thinking that the wine would not hold up to the strong, sweet-citrus acidity of the grapefruit, let alone the lemon juice, tobasco and chives. But the pairing brought out a new dimension in the wine, a depth I hadn't noticed before, and it made the simple salad taste vividly bright. Up there with one of the best food and wine pairings I've had!Jancis Robinson, May 2020
Naturally, I had to try to recreate one of the "best food and wine pairings" Jancis has EVER had.
Was it everything I've ever imagined and more?
At the end of the day, salad is salad, and yes, I'm left wanting for more.
Did all the flavors work together with the wine just like she said it would?
Of coarse. Jancis doesn't disappoint.
And at $15, I can't complain. I've generally always enjoyed Cremants from Limoux, and this one is another reliable stalwart.
Will I see it again on another Friday eve?
Hmm, depends. I'll have to see what else Jancis is up to.
Learn more about the Cremant Sparkling Wine
Check out these posts to read more about Cremant sparkling wines from the French Wineophiles:
Please join us for a holiday twitter chat at 11:00am EST, on Saturday, December 18th. You can find us by using the hashtag #winophiles. Join the conversation and let’s dish about these amazing bubbles.
Check out these wonderful articles by fellow enthusiasts and bloggers:
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!
Crémant du Jura, A Trip to the Mountains by Avvinare