I love this time of the year! Our local wine shop hosts an abundance of wine tastings in prep for the coming holiday season so it’s an excellent opportunity to be exposed to wines all for free! I guess it’s not totally “free”. The tasting and learning are free. However, I usually do come home with at least a bottle or two so you get it. Plus, there’s the opportunity to chat with a wine rep who’s sole aim is to help you get to know their wines. They are always amiable and enthusiastic talkers!
Once again, we found ourselves squeezing in a tasting on a crowded Wednesday evening but it was well worth it. Our local wine shop was throwing a Fall Wine Tasting hosted by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants. The wines were all from France, food-friendly and geared towards holiday gatherings. Our favorite was the sparkling wine Bottex “La Cueille” Bugey-Cerdon Rosé. It was the last pour in the line up and the one that elicited the most smiles from everyone. The color alone brought a great reaction and coupled with it’s very heady fragrance, the crowded back corner bar where it was being served quickly turned into a lively party. A few of us may have circled through a second time while the rep spun stories about the Bottex family and the Bugey appellation.
Bugey-Cerdon is actually a blend of the grapes Gamay and Poulsard. The wine is low in alcohol content, vibrantly pink, bubbly, slightly sweet, and fabulously fragrant. Extremely festive. And from a region that according to Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, “… is one of the best-kept secrets of France.”
I really enjoyed doing research on this wine region. Not many of the region’s wines usually flow past their local dinner table but a few are making their way to foreign shores. The region of Bugey is tucked at the foothills of the Jura mountains between Savoie and the Rhone. It received official appellation status in 2009 but has been around since Medieval times.
“Today, Cerdon is considered one of three crus within the appellation of Bugey, and the only one whose entire production consists of sparkling wine.” ~ KermitLynch.com
I’m thinking they’ve mastered the old adage, “Focus on one thing and do it well.”
The 5 hectares of the Bottex vineyard lies in the hamlet of Le Cueille. According to French law, the wine has to be made in the Mèthode Ancestrale which is an ancient process that pre-dates Champenoise. Basically, the wine only goes through a single fermentation in vats and finishes up in bottle. Fairly simple. In my opinion, the results are wonderful!
The wine tasting was so festive that just looking at the picture I snapped in haste (before getting back in queue to ask a question and maybe a drop more wine) makes me excited for the holidays. The “best kept secret” is now out but I’m confident I can get a few bottles during the wine shop’s Fall Sale this week. (Thank you, Alexander Graham Bell)
Rest assured, if you’re coming to my house anytime in the next two months, this is what I’m serving! Cheers!