This column is part of a new series called Wine of the Week, in which we highlight a particular wine we love that week. (Just what it sounds like, right?)
As it's still January and we're still feeling that New Year's spirit, it makes sense that our first Wine of the Week is a sparkling one. Everyone should have a bottle of something bubbly in the fridge at all times and, no, we don't mean beer. Sparkling wine can turn a day from bad to good in just a few sips, such is its magic. Instead of pulling a rabbit out of a hat, the Allimant-Laugner Crémant d'Alsace Rosé works a different slight of hand - it's a French sparkling wine made in the traditional (Champenoise) method that costs less than $20. Presto.
Crémant - whether from Alsace or Bourgogne, Limoux or the Loire - is the go-to alternative to Champagne, which can often be a bit too demanding on the palate and the pocket book, especially on a weeknight when you just want to kick back. Made from grapes local to the various regions, crémant celebrates its region's personality in a distinctly festive way. Alsatian crémant is the best known and perhaps best loved because it offers a combination of complex flavors and undeniable value.
The Allimant-Laugner harkens from Alsace, a region that once belonged to Germany and produces mostly white wines. Ironically, this sparkler is made from pinot noir (the reason it's a rosé), which is grown in infinitesimal amounts, but used frequently in Alsatian crémant. It not only gives the wine its soft salmon color, but also its fresh, slightly tart strawberry flavor. Add to that an intentional dryness (thus the term "brut" on the bottle), which keeps the wine from becoming cloying.
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It's worth noting that, other than Champagne, Crémant d'Alsace is the most consumed sparkler in France. One taste of Allimant and you will know why. Available at K & L Wines and Woodland Hills Wine Company.
Wine Name: Allinant-Laugner Cremant d'Alsace Rose
Grape Type: Pinot Noir
Region: Alsace, France
Lesley blogs at 12 Bottle Bar, tweets at @12BottleBar and is the author of the book "Gin: A Global History." Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.