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What is Cremant? 5 Facts For First-Time Wine Drinkers

 

What is Cremant? Cremant is sparkling wine made outside of the Champagne region in France. Compared to Champagne, it is a fraction of the price and just as good quality. It’s the next best thing for savy drinkers who want quality sparkling wine at less than £25.

You may not be familiar with Cremant but we assure you it has a similar taste profile to Champagne. The truth is 99% of wine drinkers will not be able to tell the difference. Learn where it is made, what it tastes like and how Cremant is different from Champagne.

What is Cremant
What is Cremant?

For starters, Cremant is a French sparkling wine that is made outside the Champagne wine region. Cremant goes through the same production process as the Champagne called “methode traditionelle”. It is a process where the secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle rather than in a large stainless steel vat or tank, like Prosecco does. The secondary fermentation process gives Cremant its character, forming rich texture and becomes creamier.

There are eight regions in France are currently producing Cremant. It this includes prominent regions such as Burgundy, Alsace, the Loire Valley and the famous region of Bordeaux. One of the popular Cremant producing wine regions is Cremant​​​​​ d’Alsace, known for its rich and complex character and a wide variety of grapes used.

What Grape is Crémant Sparkling Wine Made From?

The reason why Cremant is becoming popular is due to its versatility. The rules and regulations for making Cremant allow winemakers to use a wider variety of grapes. As an example, Cremant​​​​​ d’Alsace is made from six different grape varieties including Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, and Chardonnay. Champagne on the other hand is made from only three.

It is important to remember that Cremant can be made in eight different French wine regions. Each region uses different grape varieties and has a different micro climate which produce different flavours and aromas. For example, Cremant de Loire from the Loire Valley uses primarily Chenin Blanc as the base grape for their style of Cremant which is different to Cremant from Alsace referenced above.

If you try Cremant from each of the different regions you will notice subtle differences in taste. As a starting point we recommend you try some from either Burgundy, Alsace or the Loire Valley. 

Where is Cremant Made?

There are eight different French wine regions producing it in France. These are Alsace, Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Die, Jura, Limoux, Loire, and the latest addition Savoie in the Alps.  As consumers become more educated on sparkling wine, Cremant sales will continue to rise 2020. Cremant is better value for money than Champagne and the difference in quality is marginal.

How Does Cremant Differ From Champagne?

There are two primary differences between Cremant and Champagne. These are:

  • A Sparkling wine can only be called Champagne if it is made in the Champagne wine region. Cremant is sparkling wine made outside of the Champagne region. There are eight different regions in France making Cremant.
  • Champagne is made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grape varieties. Cremant is made from grapes which are synonymous to the regions they are being produced. These can be different to the three used to make Champagne.

Fact: Ageing affects the taste of sparkling wine, with more complex dried fruit flavours and nuttiness as it gets older. Some wine collectors will age vintage Champagne with the objective of selling wine for a profit down the track.

Buying Cremant

Your local retail wine merchant will have a few different Cremant sparkling wines for you to try. However, don’t expect them to have a large range just yet. We suggest you start by looking for sparking wine online so you have an idea on which region you might like to try first. When buying Cremant online, expect to pay anywhere from £15 – £25 a bottle in the UK. Anything priced over £25 is too expensive and you will be able to find better value if you keep looking.

Takeaway

Champagne will always be the king of sparkling wine. However, Cremant is slowly becoming more and more popular as consumers are finding it similar to Champagne in style and quality but half the price. Next time you are looking for some sparkling wine give it a try. It is half the price of Champagne and just as good. Savage Vines source wine direct from small, family run vineyards. Try one of our certified organic Cremant’s and see what you think.

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By Kyle

21st June 2020

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