How About Some French Fizz this Holiday Season?

Bubbles are perfect any day or any time of year; however, there is something about the holiday season that demands them. Sparkling wine is a perfect aperitif to get the party started, a great accompaniment to most any cuisine, and a refreshing way to end an evening. Furthermore, December is International Champagne month.

The French #Winophiles are jumping on the holiday bubbles band wagon, but in a slightly different way. Last December our group honored the beloved Champagne; this year we are breaking the rules and pausing to recognize French sparkling wines that are NOT Champagne. Don’t worry, we all still love Champagne, we are just extended that love to some additional French bubbles.

I am taking advantage of our French Fizz exploration to share a Crémant D’Alsace. First a little background, Crémant is the French term used to describe French sparkling wine produced in the Methode Champenoise outside of Champagne. While most Champagne’s are crafted of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, Crémant D’Alsace is crafted of Pinot Blanc, while still allowing for grapes such as Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Auxerrois to be included. Alsace takes their Crémant very seriously. In March each year, any parcels of vines intended on being used for Crémant must be declared; therefore, no Crémant is produced by “accident.” Furthermore, the grapes must be hand harvested, transported in boxes back to the winery where they are whole bunch pressed. Crémant D’ Alscace offers exceptional quality French sparkling wine at an incredibly affordable price.

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NV Lucien Albrecht Cremant D’ Alsace Brut ($18): 50% Pinot Blanc, 25% Pinot Gris, 25% Riesling; soft gold with delicate, yet persistent perlage; bright notes of orchard and stone fruits, fresh sliced melon, were met with soft floral notes and toast; palate offered a touch of off-dry sweetness on the finish balanced with medium+ acidity; crisp wine with persistent bubbles; a perfect wine for weeknight bubbles!

Since we enjoyed this wine on a cold weeknight I wanted to make a simple meal that was light and delicious. In warm weather I enjoy cooking salmon on the grill, when it is in the 30’s I prefer the warmth of my kitchen with this go to recipe of Garlic Butter Salmon in Foil. It literally takes about 5 minutes for prep and cooks in under 20 mins so it is perfect for a weeknight. I paired it with whole wheat orzo pasta tossed with pesto and sautéed carrots, zucchini, and onion. It was a fast dinner prep but a delicious and relaxing meal, add the bubbles and it was spectacular!

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More about Lucien Albrecht from Pasternak Wine Imports web site:

Lucien Albrecht is one of the most distinguished and long standing brands in Alsace. Regarded as a pioneer of viticulture, beginning in 1425 when Romanus Albrecht started the winery. Albrecht’s goal is to always “respect the grapes” and to respect nature. Albrecht believes Alsace is truly one of the most versatile and exciting white wine producing regions in the world and looks to share their unique terroir thru their outstanding wines. In the early 70’s, Lucien Albrecht, was one of the three founding fathers of the regulated Crémant d’Alsace. In 2004, Lucien Albrecht Crémants made history. At the 14° Concours National des Crémants de France (Crémant Wine Challenge), they stole the show, winning an unprecedented Four Gold Medals.

More French Fizz from my fellow #Winophiles:

Gwendolyn of Wine Predator: French Fizz #Winophiles: In the Pink with Fresh Seafood Crepes, Bisque

Martin of Enofylz Wine Blog: Patrick Bottex “La Cueille” Bugey Cerdon Rosé #Winophiles

LM from binNotes: Celebrating Grower Champagne

Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Crisps, Caviar, and Crémant de Limoux

Jeff from FoodWineClick!: Master the Saber with French Fizz

Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm: Creme Brulee paired with some French Fizz

Jill from L’occasion: Fascinating: Crémant d’Alsace

What is your favorite non-Champagne French sparkling wine? Favorite food pairing?

My Song Selection: A little French holiday season fun. Sing along….

Join us this morning at 10CST to discuss non-Champagne French sparkling wine. Happy Holidays! Cheers!

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