Monday, 6 January 2014

Wine Urchin #1 - Philippe Michel Crémant du Jura Sparkling Chardonnay

Chardonnay, Chardonnay, how I love you Chardonnay as I reach to hold you with my trembling hands

The festive season is now well and truly over and at present I have a plethora of bags, of different shapes and sizes sitting outside on our windswept patio, full to the brim with empty wine bottles. I spent some quiet time staring at them yesterday morning as the rain battered the window, counting the jutting necks and fading labels; all with a strange sense of pride and an even stronger sense of shame. To be fair, we started collecting way before Christmas. We are not total, total lushes. Not totally. However, I am faced with a predicament, insofar that the next visit to the bottle bank is again going to be an embarrassing one. Whenever I go, a little old lady always seems to sidle up beside me with her singular contribution. As she looks up at me and down at my load with protestant scorn, I do sometimes try to lighten the mood by quipping "Ooh, I do love the sound of breaking glass, don't you?" Whether it's the same old lady every time, I do not know. But she has got a terrible sense of humour I can tell you that.

More to the point though, when I do finally make this trip, like when the weather clears up in March, these bottles will soon be forgotten. Down they will tumble into the plastic dome, to be shattered into a million pieces and poof, the memory will be gone and that seems to me to be the real shame. So I've come up with an idea to try and record on a weekly basis, my opinion of a wine, wine wot I've drunk and enjoyed. Or not as the case maybe. Yes, ideas like this do come and go on here all the time but I have to say I've been inspired by this blog post (and the relaxed wine educmicational evenings that are proposed) and to paraphrase, I felt it was high time that I tried to drink smarter and learn a bit more about wine too. These reviews will be delivered in a similar irreverent FU style of course, sometimes short, sometimes long, perhaps not particularly learn'ed or accomplished and hey, they might not even be helpful but they will be my reviews nevertheless.

So without further ado, here is my rundown of a corker that we enjoyed with our mince pies and turkey last year, namely Philippe Michel Crémant du Jura Sparkling Chardonnay, which costs £6.99 at the people's supermarket Aldi.

From the Jura region in France, this is a very pleasing sparkling white wine. Pleasing because of the value and pleasing because it continues to bubble quite happily in your glass for some time. Cheap fizz can go flat rather quickly you see, especially Lambrini. Crisp and dry with wonderful acidity; the mouth waters ever so slightly after each glug, making it a great foil for a three Jacob cream crackers in under a minute challenge. Erm, should you ever wish to take that one on. Otherwise with food pairings, think creamy cheeses and indulgent pâté (notice that I am not giving a one fig for dieting this month). There is citrus but there is also apple. I even ventured a hint of butter on one occasion but that was slapped down in seconds, such is the discursive nature of discussing wine with my wife. In the run up to Christmas, apparently I also made the piss-poor decision to buy a load of rubbish Prosecco from Sainsburys with our nectar card points but that's a story for another time. Back to the Crémant though, if the road ahead in January looks too grey and dreary to suffer, a bottle of this stuff after a blast in the freezer (far quicker innit) will cure those winter blues in no time.

8 comments:

Matt said...

Wine buff too, now. Always lovely to find a new post from you, Dan. Happy new year! P.S. Surely you know you get up to four times their value spending Nectar points away from Sainsburys? Tut-tut-tut-tut-tut....

Danny Kingston said...

Matt - Oh yeesss(and no, I didn't know that, I obviously have much to learn about reward points Master Obi-Wan)

The Brussels Cook(er) said...

Great - looking forward to many more wine (and sparkly) reviews! And as a fellow "Friend of Aldi's" I'm delighted (but not surprised) at the top marks here... (I'm SOO jealous though because we don't get this stuff here in Belgium - we're serviced by Aldi Nord/North (the much more "austere" other half of the Aldi family) - you can soon read all about it in my blog "100(+1) years of Aldi"!

Danny Kingston said...

The Brussels Cook(er) - You are serviced by the austere half of Aldi? This is terrible! Let me know when the blog post goes up.

Ed said...

I thought it was 2 crackers in a minute. Damn.

Danny Kingston said...

Ed - That's junior level *shakes head*

Claire said...

I'm so pleased the UK is discovering Crémant du Jura. Merci beaucoup Aldi. I live in the Jura, so for the holidays, I duly filled my suitcase with bottles of crémant, to surprise my family and friends in Yorkshire. Little did I know I was to receive the said Aldi bottle in my stocking. Talk about "taking coals to Newcastle"! I thoroughly enjoyed it, however. You can never have too much Crémant du Jura. If you are ever in the region I can recommend Daniel dugois http://www.vins-danieldugois.com/ and Raphaël and Adeline Fumey in Montigny Les Arsures.Daniel Dugois can ship to the UK I believe.

Danny Kingston said...

Claire - I visited the Jura last year and loved some of the wines I tried there. Shame you had to journey with such a heavy suitcase!