French non-Champagne Sparklers
- danna Dec 20, 2006 07:28 PM
Having abandonded my Burgundy plans, I'm now thinking inexpensive bubbles for dinner.
I have no experience w/ French sparklers other than Champagne. The restaurant offers a sparkler from Vouvray (Aubuisieres) and one from Limoux(Delmas). I can't tell if it's cremant or blanquette.
What would these be like? Same degree of bubbles as Champagne? Sweet, dry? I know I should just ask the sommelier, but I do so enjoy obsessing over things in advance ;-)
Haven't had that particular Vouvray, but sparkling Vouvray's are, I believe, usually mousseux, or foamy, and less bubbly than champagne; either Limoux would I guess be less agressively sparkly as well. The Vouvray's probably got some chenin sweetness, but the Limoux's I've had have usually been very dry.
Have had very nice limoux and cremant--mine were v. crisply and dry but believe relative dryness in these varies as in champagnes, so you really have to check w/sommelier. Same re bubbles--all sparklers and champagnes vary in this.
Limoux can be all over the board in sweetness. The ones imported to this country are mostly dry. Mauzac is the traditional grape of Limoux, then Chenin Blanc was introduced to increase the acidity levels a few decades ago. Blanquette will have the higheset proportion of Mauzac, whereas Cremant will have more or the majority Chardonnay and sometimes Pinot Noir in the blend.
Ask the somm. If it's a big party, and they have BTG offerings of the wines you are considering - don't be afraid to request a taste, to ensure the menu and wine selections are paired to your liking.
I hosted private NYE dinners for 16-20 friends for years at a favourite NW restaurant. What I enjoyed most was the month of planning the menu with the chef, selecting the wines with the somm, and creating the decor for the evening. The evening itself was the frosting.