The latest educational wine tasting event from Clink Different “celebrated all things sparkling from Germany and Bordeaux (with) a virtual tasting of Crémant de Bordeaux and German Sekt.” We were greeted in the Zoom presentation by Cecile Ha from the Bordeaux Council. Ha shared that both Germany and Bordeaux created white, red and sparkling wines, benefitted from a young generation of both male and female winemakers, and both are also well known for healthy tourism in their respective wine regions. Ha then introduced our host for the event, New York Sommelier and Martha Stewart Living wine expert Sarah Tracey.
Tracey shared that all of the four sparkling wines we were to taste “checked off all of the boxes” in being delicious, fun and affordable. She had presented a food pairing for each sparkler which I will share in our tasting notes below. For this tasting I enlisted help from local pals and Friends Who Like Wine in The Glass founders Vashti and Stephen Roebuck.
Celene NV Cuvee Amethyste
60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc. Region/AOC: Crémant de Bordeaux. SRP: $12. Importer: Fine Wine and Good Spirits.
From Tracey: Bordeaux Crémant AOC can be made with both white and red Bordeaux grapes, they spend 12 months in traditional aging methods and there are 214 growers in the appellation. This example was a Blanc de Noir, meaning a white wine from red grapes, and should be drunk within one to two years of bottling. Aromas and flavors: yellow plums, persimmon, honeysuckle. Suggested pairing: green olives, oysters, something salty/briny and creamy.
From our group: We found the choice of red Bordeaux grapes unique, but the flavor was all sparkling with no hint of red fruit: apple, French toast, sweet Meyer lemon, white peach and wet pebbles. A steal and a conversation starter for $12.
Markus Molitor NV Riesling Sekt
100% Riesling. Region/AOC: Mosel. SRP: $19. Importer: Banville Wine Merchants.
From Tracey: Sekt is the word for sparkling in German and there are different quality levels. In the 1800s German winemakers traveled to France to learn how to make sparkling wine. The Mosel region is known for Riesling, is the oldest, has very steep inclines and red volcanic slate soil. Aromas and flavors: Pear, peach, white pepper and nectarine. Suggested pairing: Prosciutto due to its fat and saltiness, working well against the acidity in the wine.
From our group: Cantaloupe melon, biscuit, cool asphalt and milk aromas, with flavors of peach, Red Delicious apple, sweet creamed corn and a nicely carbonated 7 Up. I’d totally buy this one for $19.
Calvet 2018 Brut Rose
100% Cabernet Franc. Region/AOC: Crémant de Bordeaux. SRP: $18. Importer: Monsieur Touton.
From Tracey: 31% of Crémant de Bordeaux are Rose wines, with over 100 wine growers planting specifically for Rose Crémant. There has been a 13% increase in the past 10 years making Rose. The grapes for this wine were manually harvested and manually pressed. Aromas and flavors: Raspberry, wild strawberry and tannins. Suggested pairing: milk chocolate with 40% to 50% cacao, the tannins in both make the pairing work. Also goes well with Prosciutto.
From our group: Very pretty rose gold color with bubbles racing their way to the top of my glass. On the nose there was icy peach, cantaloupe melon, red berries and wet river rock; followed by flavors of freshly sliced peaches, more melon including Honeydew, sweet ripe pears and an interesting minerality that played on my palate for a long finish.
Raumland Cuvee Marie-Luise Brut 2013
100% Pinot Noir. Region/AOC: Rheinhessen. SRP: $46. Importer: German Wine Collection.
From Tracey: This wine is made by “The Pope of Sekt”, has a cooling influence from the climate as well as chalky soil. This was the “premium” wine in the line-up. Aromas and flavors: fresh, minerality, saltiness. Suggested pairing: Drunken Goat cheese and any other “zingy” cheeses.
From our group: Green apple, cheese toast, almond cookie, white peach, Hawaiian ginger flower, citrus oil and hints of crisp slate. This was the favorite amongst the people in the Zoom tasting.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.