Bechtold Alsace Crémant
Region: Alsace, France
I always dreamt of living in New York when I was younger, and having a real holiday season. I'd imagine myself all bundled up and shaking snow off my jacket as I entered my apartment, which was much larger and with much more crown molding than I could ever actually afford in New York. There was also a fireplace, which from what I've gathered from my hundred visits to the Big Apple, is not a real thing for a writer under thirty. But I'd sit next to that fantasy fireplace and I would listen to Vince Guaraldi and drink wine and watch snow cascade down my window, down onto a quiet Brownstone lined street. I would have Meg Ryan's perfect hair, Meg Ryan's perfect poised "there's something so much more there" smile, Meg Ryan's sweater collection... okay, I would be Meg Ryan.
On the contrary, my holiday seasons have mostly consisted of me flipping off sandals and not being Meg Ryan.
Although the California Christmas experience is not the vision I stitched together from 90's movies, it has it's moments. I love the quiet ones, much like I imagined for myself in a borough where Tom Hanks lives. The instrumental version of "Christmas Time Is Here" hangs in the room while the freshly trimmed tree twinkles. The atmosphere is soft and warm, and truly relaxing. It feels like the first time you've really gotten to sit back all year. And even though all is calm, there is still a sense of excitement sparkling.
Few wines could encompass this feeling like the Bechtold Alsace Crémant. Smooth and crisp, this sips like a favorite white wine but has these tiny, spirited bubbles. They are not aggressive or even unruly. They are steady and comforting, like good company and conversation on your couch.
I love this wine because although it could very well be a celebratory pop, for me, it is a "sit back and enjoy the magic while we have it" wine. It's bright and merry without being a holiday office party wine. Even though it's sparkling, this wine is slower. I want to take my time with it, and subsequently take some time for myself.
This is the wine I would be drinking while I watched the snow fall outside my New York window. And this is the wine I will be using to take pleasure in the season here in California. Because no, it does not snow. But it was never the snow that I was looking for. It was the feeling. And with the right wine, a good cozy knit, and A Charlie Brown Christmas, it feels like everything I want Christmas to feel like.
LIKE MEG RYAN!
Tasting Notes: Extremely light on the nose. The palate is effortless and scrumptious, like my mother's lemon bars. Well balanced minerality, and all around a wonderful drinker.
Ross Test: Bubbles are always a little tough but this one is do-able!