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Nothing delights quite like a crisp sip of bubbly. Whether for a special celebration or just to brighten up a regular day, sparkling wine has long been held in high esteem by oenophiles across the globe.
But one exceedingly amazing offering that gets less…well…buzz than the more popular Champagne is the crémant category of wine. Painstakingly crafted using the same method as Champagne, which is the two-level fermentation process, crémants provide a more accessible price point for excellent effervescence. The rules for production are nearly identical; they just aren’t from the specific region of Champagne in France.
Surprisingly, the often-overlooked European nation of Luxembourg is one of the only places this kind of wine is created, using what is called “méthode traditionnelle”. In fact, the label “crémant” may exclusively be applied to specific French and Luxembourger wine products. (Francophiles can rejoice, as there are eight regions that produce crémants in France such as well-loved spots like Loire, Alsace, and Bordeaux, among others).
The capital of Luxembourg, Luxembourg City, is an easy add-on to your next Euro trip. This metro area is just a two hour train ride from Paris, which has a major international airport with numerous flights to and from the States. To sample some of the delicious wines from Luxembourg in the metro area, consider a trip to great wine bars or shops like Dipso – the Wine Republic or Vinotecca. On my trip last year, I also loved dinner at Vins Fins in the historic Grund neighborhood, which specializes in organic and biodynamic wines. It was one of the highlights of my visit and should be on any Luxembourg City itinerary. Another great spot to grab a meal and taste Luxembourg wine is the Mediterranean-focused Bazaar, where I enjoyed a glass of crémant made with Riesling.
However, to experience actual Luxembourg wine country, get out of the city and journey south to the Moselle area, lovingly called “D’Musel” by its residents. All grapes grown in this district are under the Moselle Luxebourgeoise Appellation. The most common varietals grown in the region includes Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rivaner (the most planted!), Auxerrois, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer, and Elbling. Here, you can sample delicious crémants at their source, the numerous local wineries that call the Moselle home. Some favorites include Schumacher-Lethal, Charles Decker, Bernard-Massard, and Alice Hartmann. The area is one of the most popular tourism destinations in the small yet charming country, complete with picturesque wineries that rise steeply from the banks of the winding Moselle River.
While safely at home, be sure to ask your local wine shop and favorite eateries about sampling crémants from Luxembourg to get a taste of this stunning and historic landlocked nation. It truly is a global sip worth trying.