Champagne for New Years? That’s So Last Year…..

Amanda Claire GoodwinI think that it goes without saying in the United States, New Year’s Eve and Champagne are culturally synonymous. There’s nothing more joyful and warming than popping open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate the beginning of a New Year. 🍾But I have to ask, why does it have to be Champagne? Not to say that Champagne shouldn’t be on the list, but it’s a new year, new you…..right?? Let’s mix it up for a change.

Introducing sparkling wine from Southwest France! About two weeks ago, I spoke about their reds, in particular Malbec and Tannat. This week I’m talking about their sparkling wine and I’ll provide tasting notes on the one I tried.

Something I found really interesting about the sparkling wines in Southwest France is that it can be either a Cremant (traditional method) or Méthode Ancestral. Having no idea what Méthode Ancestral meant, I had to look it up! According to Wine Spectator:

“An inexpensive but risky and difficult-to-control method of producing sparkling wine, and almost certainly the oldest, in which the primary fermentation is stopped before completing, and a secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle, ending when the yeast cells deplete the supply of residual sugar. There is no dosage, or sugar addition, to kick-start the secondary fermentation, and the wine is not disgorged to remove any sediment or lees remaining afterward

In other words, Méthode ancestral is like the OG Pet Nat.

This particular sparkling wine is made with 100% Mauzac.

Prior to writing this article I had no ideas what that grape was, so again I had to do some research for you all! The Mauzac grape is really interesting ! About a century before Champagne came in to existence (early 1500s), a sparkling wine called Blanquette de Limoux (another area in southwest France producing sparkling) was first made by the monks of Abbey St. Hillaire. They used naturally occurring yeast and took advantage of weather conditions to help make their sparkling wine. Thanks, Monks! 🙏🏼

Tasting Notes:

On the nose there is a lot of wonderful notes of apples, I would say more like a red apple, candied lemon, and dried herbs. Although there is zero dosage, it’s slightly sweet on the palate with notes of honey, citrus, and more apples! It’s refreshing and tangy, perfect as an aperitif, with fresh or funky cheeses, and of course as a toast to the New Year.

This is my last blog post of 2018 and I’m looking forward to 2019. Looking back on this year, I’ve made a lot of small personal victories and learned a lot not only about wine, but also about myself. I have to say this for all my 30 years+ people out there: it’s ok to not have it all figured out yet! We’ll get there eventually!! But always pay attention to the signs that are right in front of you. The universe is telling you something!! God Bless all of you! Cheers to all the adventures and new experiences in 2019!

Amanda Claire Goodwin

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