Crémant and Food Pairing
30th July 2019
Sparkling wines from France which are made outside of the Champagne designated regions are commonly known as Crémant of which there are several appellations made of local grape varieties from each area giving each a unique taste identity.
What is Crémant?
Made in the same way as Champagne with the same degree of passion and expertise put in to each bottle and with usually a much more economical price point, Crémant is a great alternative fizz to discover from France. There are a total of eight appellations in France where Crémant is produced that are:
- Crémant d’Alsace
- Crémant de Bordeaux
- Crémant de Bourgogne
- Crémant de Die
- Crémant du Jura
- Crémant de Limoux
- Crémant de Loire
- Crémant de Savoie
What grapes are used in making Crémant?
The wide varieties of grapes that can be used to make Crémant and from very different regions holding unique terroirs and weather conditions means that we can look forward to each appellation offering different flavour characteristics. The same variety of grape in one part of the country can be very different when grown and made into wine somewhere else and this is the beauty of Crémant.
Same of the grape varieties that are used in making Crémant include:
- Pinot Noir
- Pinot Blanc
- Pinot Gris
- Chenin Blanc
- Cabernet Franc
- Cabernet Sauvignon
With the many different flavours from Crémant sparkling wines means that we can look to pair them with a wide variety of foods from fish, meats, spicy food and those which are greasy along with sweeter dessert dishes.
We were invited along to taste through one of London’s biggest Crémant wine menus at the Champagne Route Bar in Wapping who have over 20 labels along with a wide selection of other traditional sparkling wines with a passionate focus too on grower Champagne.
I asked the owner, Paul, why he has the passion for Crémant: “It (Crémant) is one of the most undervalued and underrated traditional method sparkling wines in my opinion. With the different appellation throughout France, you can experience many different flavours which makes this wine perfect for food pairing. We now currently stock some twenty five or more cuvées and plan to add more.
Many people come to us in order to taste through our range and experience the different flavours each appellation and grape varieties from region to region has to offer.”
Of the wines we tasted and the foods we paired with during my visit, I wanted to share one of the lighter pairings:
Crémant Roland van Heck Chardonnay (Bourgogne) paired with Thai Noodle Chicken Salad:
Tasting notes for the Crémant Roland van Heck Chardonnay: “Touch of cream, green fruits, floral on the nose. Dry taste of soft citrus, chalk, pink grapefruit with a good fine flavoured length.”
Paired with Thai Noodle Chicken Salad: “Light yellow fruits and a soft citrus flavour that cleanses the palate when combined. Overall the savoury flavours remain those cleansed of any fatty characters and gives delicate spicy Thai flavours in the background and length. Refreshing combination.“
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.