WRITTEN BY: KRISTINE HANSEN
Cheers to Your Upcoming Trip to France!
Champagne is the wine most often linked with France. Stemming from the Champagne region 90 miles northeast of Paris, these storied bubbles, however, can be costly.
Did you know there are other French sparkling wines that are less expensive but still of amazing quality? Twenty-three regions, in fact, make bubbles.
As you’re traveling around the country—whether docked in Nice and hugging the Mediterranean Sea (via the “Best of the French Riviera” excursion) or immersed in a private cooking class in Lyon—don’t miss an opportunity to sip local sparkling wines. They pair wonderfully with oysters and, of course, French fromage. Sparkling wines can usually stand up to spicy food, too, in case you hunger for Moroccan cuisine. And don’t forget how photogenic a flute of bubbles can be, against a backdrop of Alpilles National Park in Arles or glam Monte Carlo.
Here are some of the many varieties to whet your palate.
Crémant de Alsace, from the Alsace region, means winemakers employ methode traditionelle, just like Champagne. Grapes used include Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Riesling. Like pink? Check out Rosé Crémant d’Alsace, made from Pinot Noir.
Crémant Limoux, dating back to the early 1500s in Languedoc-Roussillon, folds in Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Mauzac.
Crémant de Bourgogne, tucked into one of France’s most famed wine regions (Burgundy), taps into the two grape varietals grown here: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which are two of the three grapes commonly used to make Champagne (Pinot Meunier is the other).
Now that you’ve been schooled on different types of French sparkling wines, take your knowledge to a cozy café after touring the highlights of Paris. Or throw a dinner party back home serving all the eats you learned to love in France—plus bubbles, of course!