Cremant is a French sparkling wine that can not be called Champagne. Why? Let's delve at PumpjackPiddlewick

Enjoyed a bubbly glass of Cremant last night. My oh my it was tasty, refreshing and thoroughly delicious. No reason, no celebration, simply a quiet night in with my loved ones. Well, that is reason enough, isn’t it?

What’s in a Name

You may well ask what Cremant is. Essentially a sparkling wine. Or if I had had the delight to offer you to join me, you would have probably thought Champagne. But this is France, and there are rules. Not on whether you can drink a glass of bubbles, but rather what you can call it.

There is something in France called AOC (more understanding of that here), or AOP sometimes, that denotes a criteria set out to guarantee quality. But it also guarantees where it is from. Champagne is a region in France, so sparkling wines that come from this area can be called Champagne. However, sparkling wines from other regions of France can not be called this. They are known as Cremant.

It goes a step further in that you can then denote a sparkling wine by which region you are drinking it from. Cremant de Bourgogne is from Bourgogne, or Burgundy. Cremant de Loire, from the Loire valley. You’re getting the idea?

One of These is Not Like the Other

Each region, even each village area, is different in so many ways. But when it comes to wine making, the soil in particular, but also the weather, showcase these differences. So therefore although the grape variety might be the same, the wine could taste completely different based on these differences.

If you have never put this to the test, I recommend trying a taste comparison. Pick a region or town in France you wish to test. Let’s say Chablis, but it could be Beaujolais or Vouvray, or… . Visit your local wine store, or supermarket, and choose 3 or 4 wines from this region, eg all are Chablis or Beaujolais, as long as they are the same type (colour/grape variety). Now taste test them to compare. Bet you they all taste very different from each other. And yet, they will have all been made from the same area, with the same grape variety.

Cremant

Cremants are not always the same grape variety. Champagne is made from a classic triad of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. A Cremant de Bourgogne will be Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but not Pinot Meunier. A Cremant de Loire is typically made from Chenin Blanc grapes.

But just to add some confusion, a Cremant de Loire can also contain other grape varieties, such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot d’Aunis. In explanation, a Cremant tends to showcase the grape varieties typically grown in that area.

More Wine

Understanding French wine isn’t about being snooty. It’s just really quite complicated, and thus fascinating to some. Including me. I am always learning. Always. And so I hope to impart some of my learnings to you in my writings about wine.

Here’s a taste:

More detail about why wines are called something different in France – Understanding Terroir

Understanding French Wine Labels

Joining in the Fete de Vincent (a wine maker’s thanksgiving celebration)

What’s a Grape Harvest Like? (enjoy the back breaking work from the comfort of home)

Or, if you would like to know more about the traditions and background of Cremant, Decanter offers a really good article.

If you would like to nourish my passion and sharing of wine, please check out my Nourish Pumpjack & Piddlewick page.

Shop Wine Lover Gifts

As someone involved in wine, I am always on the search for interesting and unique and particularly French wine items for my vintage and antiques shop. Here’s a taste of some of the things I have found:

Simply click on an image to see more.

2024-05-10

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