Want to put sophisticated pop in holiday parties? Surprise your guests with French sparkling wine. Not possible? Au contraire! Crémant de Bourgogne – sparkling Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – hits the mark without breaking the bank.
The fresh and lively taste is a great match with appetizers of all sorts, from oysters, scallops and light meats to chips and popcorn. And, amazingly, it can serve you well through an entire holiday dinner. To confirm this, we asked sommeliers Marie-Louise Friedland at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco and Randall Restiano, director of Eli’s Table in New York, for advice.
Friedland likes Non-Vintage Brut with seared scallops with dashi broth. “This dish is all about being delicate while assertive and I love using a Brut Crémant de Bourgogne to add the delicate texture of bubbles and the great robust flavor that mingles well with the broth,” said Friedland, a well-known bubble nerd.
“Herb roasted chicken, turkey, goose would be great and mushrooms of any kind will just enhance the texture of the wine and make pure harmony,” said Restiano who manages Eli’s 17,000-bottle cellar. He opts for a Vintage Crémant de Bourgogne.
Both go for a runny, bloomy rind, creamy cheese such as Brillat-Savarin or Epoisses de Bourgogne. Restiano reaches for Blanc de Blancs and Friedland likes the nutty taste of Vintage.
The grapes are the secret ingredients. Any meal that goes well with a high-end Bourgogne is a prime candidate for delicious dining with this sparkling wine. The Crémant de Bourgogne winemakers also make some of the best vibrant and elegant Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines in the world. The skill, the terroir and the grapes are not lost on the wine just because it has bubbles.
Friedland and Restiano are true believers in Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé at the end of the meal. “It has that typical, light almost whisper of strawberry, raspberry and cherry palate that goes really well with fruit desserts,” said Restiano.
A quick look at retail prices puts most of the Crémant de Bourgogne wines in the awesome $15 to $25 range. While brand options vary by state, you can find brut non-vintage, vintage, special cuvées, blanc de blancs, blanc de noirs and rosé variations.
Sommeliers naturally focus on wines that guests may not know about. Do the same with Crémant de Bourgogne when choosing a wine gift for a holiday host or for your party.
Guide To Crémant de Bourgogne Savoir-Faire
- NEW YEAR: Oysters and seafood, appetizers such as really hard cheese or Bourgogne runny cheese and charcuterie.
- HOLIDAY MEALS: Roasted winter vegetables, foie gras, turkey, ham and duck.
USE CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE (impressive and inexpensive) for your ice pops, shooters and sorbet. Why not?
- FOCUS ON FLAVOR; the fizz is in the glass. Serve at 43°F to 48°F. Too cold and you mute the taste.
- FOR DINNER, have sparkling wine corks on hand and put remaining Crémant de Bourgogne back in fridge after each course. There are plenty of bubbles three to five days later (really!). Without a sparkling cork, expect three days maximum.
- PICK UP TIPS and recipes. Add your #BourgogneWines party to the buzz.
MARIE-LOUISE FRIEDLAND, 28 Sommelier, State Bird Provisions, San Francisco Holiday movie: The Nightmare Before Christmas
RANDALL RESTIANO, 35 Director, Eli’s Table, Eli’s List, New York City Holiday movies: A Christmas Story, Home Alone (original)