Champagne may be the reference for all that sparkles, but for most of us, budgets have their limits even when there are great buys availableçiào. By now, you all know the festive fizz from Italy (prosecco) and Spain (cava) that offer great value for money. But how many of you know about crémant – the “other” French bubbly?
Crémant is dry sparkling wine made outside of the Champagne region but vinified in the same method (méthode traditionelle). Terroir and grapes vary widely but strict rules are imposed to ensure premium quality, making these wines some of the finest bubbles around – and usually for a fraction of the cost of high quality champagne.
That is all well and good, but I have to say that my favourite thing about crémant is the absolute guilt-free pleasure in popping that cork. You know what I’m talking about. Champagne – even when purchased on the cheap – is still something that you open for a ‘special’ occasion. And what a shame (crime almost!) to open it and not finish the bottle! But there’s none of that with crémant. If I only have just one glass, no big deal! I just re-cork to have the next day or to use in cooking later in the week.
My time in France has taught me one thing for sure – wine is not a luxury, it’s a necessity no matter what your budget. And sometimes that means you just need a little sparkle.