One taste of this and you understand why Crémant d’Alsace is the most popular sparkling wine in France (aside from Champagne) and why the French keep nine out of every ten bottles for themselves. It’s dreamily fresh, rounded and floral with delicate honeysuckle, peach, ginger and citrus flavours and a breezy grapefruit-zest finish. It’s made in the same way as Champagne, which means the bubbles are created in the bottle during a second fermentation and the wine is then aged on its lees (flavour-giving yeast residue), but the grape varieties are different from Champagne. Pinot Blanc is the principal variety and accounts for just over two-thirds of this wine, blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. It’s an ideal aperitif, but you could easily take it on the onward journey with a fish starter.
Arthur Metz Crémant d’Alsace Brut 2015, Alsace, France