There is so much to love about the wines from Alsace; exceptional quality, value, and a whole lot of deliciousness. The sparkling wines known as Crémant d’Alsace are France’s favorite and best-selling bubbly after Champagne. The refreshing, crisp, food-friendly Crémant d’Alsace wines are perfect for enjoying with summer menus. I’ve grilled up two summer fish menus and paired them with a few of my favorite Crémant d’Alsace sparkling wines.
This month the French Winophiles are sipping on Crémant d’Alsace sparkling wines. Join us for our Twitter chat on Saturday, June 18th at 11:00 AM ET (using hashtag #winophiles). Don’t miss out on more articles on Crémant d’Alsace from my fellow French Winophiles at the bottom of this post.
Fast Facts About Crémant d’Alsace
- Crémant d’Alsace is a sparkling wine made in Alsace in the traditional-method just like Champagne. This means the second fermentation happens in the bottle resulting in the bubbles. After this second fermentation in the bottle, the wine ages on its spent yeast cells, also known as lees, for a minimum of 9 months. The wine is aged for a minimum of 12 months in the cellar (including the nine months of bottle aging) before being released for sale.
- Crémant d’Alsace earned its AOC status in 1976.
- Crémant d’Alsace represents 27% of all Alsace wine production (104.8 million bottles in 2021) and more than half of all French crémant.
- Most crémant is a blended product; however, there are single-varietal and vintage Crémant d’Alsace wines. Rosés are made exclusively from Pinot Noir.
- White Crémant d’Alsace is primarily crafted with Pinot Blanc, but Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Auxerrois, and Pinot Noir (Gewurztraminer is not permitted) may also go into the blend.
- The style profile of Crémant d’Alsace wines is dry, fresh, and elegant, with lively notes of apples, pears, peaches, apricots, and citrus.
- Here is what the different varietals used to craft the crémants bring to the final product:
Pinot Blanc – provides a soft and delicate character
Auxerrois – adds roundness and depth
Riesling – brings a bright fruit notes and freshness
Pinot Gris – contributes richness and round notes
Chardonnay – displays elegance and lightness
Pinot Noir – adds fruit and tannin notes
Crémant d’Alsace Tasting Notes Paired with Summer Fish Menus
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Drink Alsace. The wines were provided to me as media samples. All opinions are my own.
Pale straw in color with fine persistent bubbles. Aromas of green apple and citrus. On the palate, dry with fresh, racy acidity and flavors of lemon and minerals. This easy-drinking crémant is lively with a moderate finish.
Medium(-) straw in color with delicate bubbles. Aromas of yellow plum, citrus blossoms, and pear. On the palate, dry with a round, smooth mouthfeel and flavors of pear, yellow plum, citrus, and minerals. Refined with lingering layers of flavor.
A Taste of Alsace by Way of Germany
grilled trout with herbs and lemon
creamy cucumber salad
Alsace has changed its nationality and allegiance many times over the years as a result of wars between France & Germany (four times in a century). The result is a blending of culture, language, and even cuisine. Giving the nod to that German influence, I paired the two white crémants with a menu of grilled trout with herbs and lemon, caraway potatoes, and a creamy cucumber salad. The flavors, textures, and weight of the food were a perfect pairing for the two white Crémant d’Alsace wines. I favored the Pierre Sparr with the menu; the citrus notes in the wine elevated the lemon, and herby notes of the trout and the acidity countered the creamy texture of the potatoes and cucumber salad.
Grilled Trout with Herbs and Lemon
- 4 whole trout, cleaned, rinsed, and patted dry
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 sprigs fresh tarragon
- 8 sprigs fresh Italian parsley
- 8 sprigs fresh basil
- 6-8 lemons, sliced
- extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat a grill to medium high.
- Season the inside cavity of each trout with sea salt and black pepper. Place 2 sprigs each of tarragon, parsley, and dill and then top with about 3 sliced of lemon in each trout cavity.
- Line a large grill basket with lemon slices and place the trout on top of the lemons. Place more lemon slices on top of the trout and securely close the basket. (The layer of lemon slices on the bottom and top of the trout not only infuse the lemon flavor to the trout but prevent the fish from sticking to the basket.)
- Place the fish basket on the grill and cook until the skin is nicely charred on both sides and the flesh is cooked through, about 6-8 minutes per side.
- Transfer the trout to a platter and serve with the grilled lemon slices.
Medium salmon with a hint of copper in color and a fine persistent mousse. Aromas of red berries and herbs. On the palate, dry with refreshing, bright acidity. Concentrated flavors of red berries with a savory note. An inviting wine with a long finish.
A Seasonal Menu Featuring Wild King Salmon
grilled wild king salmon with brown sugar and mustard glaze
oven-roasted potatoes with thyme
fresh skinny green beans with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
I savor the change of seasons and what each new season brings to my table. I never get bored. When wild salmon is available at the market, it is on my table as often as possible. The flavor of fresh wild salmon is so incredible, a simple preparation of the salmon and no-fuss sides are perfect for a summer meal. I have always been a fan of Pinot Noir with salmon. The Jean-Baptiste Adam Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé produced with 100% Pinot Noir grapes brings fresh red fruit aromatics, bright acidity, and palate cleansing bubbles to the pairing.
Grilled Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 salmon fillet, skin on, about 1¼ lb., about 3/4-1 inch thick
- In a small sauté pan over medium heat, add the brown sugar, honey, and butter. Melt the butter and dissolve the sugar; stirring to combine. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, and ginger. Set aside and cool.
- Place the salmon fillet skin side down on a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil. Fold the foil to leave a 1/4 to 1/2 inch border around the salmon. Spoon and spread the brown sugar mustard glaze over the flesh of the salmon.
- Grill the salmon over indirect medium heat for about 25-30 minutes. The internal temperature of the grilled salmon should be 125° F.
- Transfer the salmon with the foil to a baking sheet and cut into 4 pieces, but do not cut through the skin. Slide a metal spatula between the skin and flesh to remove the salmon pieces to a serving platter. Serve immediately.
More articles on Crémant d’Alsace from my fellow French Winophiles ~
- Wine Battered Perch; Michigan and French Classics Collide on A Day in the Life on the Farm
- A Thai Green Curry Lesson + Willm Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé on Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Crémant d’Alsace: An Elegant Sparkling Wine from France on Grape Experiences
- Crémant d’Alsace – Exploring the Nuances of France’s 2nd Favorite Sparkling Wine #Winophiles on Crushed Grape Chronicles
- Crémant d’Alsace: A Candidate for Your House Bubbly on Food Wine Click!
- Crémant d’Alsace Paired with Summer Fish Menus on Always Ravenous
- Crab Crêpes Compliment Crémant d’Alsace for Summer #Winophiles on Wine Predator
- Cheese Hour at the Culinary Cabin with Pierre Sparr Crémant d’Alsace Brut Reserve on Somm’s Table
- Porch Sipper of the Year: Crémant d’Alsace on Keep the Peas
- Crispy Fishwich + an Organic Cremant d’Alsace from Charles Bauer on Wineivore
- Try This Traditional French Sparkler For Modern Drinkers on l’occasion
- Baumann-Zirgel Crémant d’Alsace – Your New Champagne Alternative on Wining with Mel