Happy New Year to you all and lets talk a few minutes about the affordable bubbly. Although Forbes was calling it Crémant d’Alsace this year, Blanquette de Limoux with its light, fruity notes of apples, cider, apricot, its pleasant bouquet and its very fine bubbles is definitely my favourite. And there is a very interesting story to it too.
Six years ago we first visited Languedoc-Rousillon and bravely crossed those steep limestone garrigue hills over from Carcassonne to Limoux. Lost in the mountains of Midi-Pyrénées, we stopped at an old Benedictine abbey Saint-Hilaire and took a quick tour. Here are some photos from that time.
It was then when we learned that the monks of Saint-Hilaire were officially the first ones in the world to discover the effervescent wine back in 1531. They invented the first sparkling brut and tried it well before it was introduced to Champagne region. According to the abbey records, Dom Pérignon was a monk there before moving to the Champagne and spreading the sparkling wine-making method. So, technically, Blanquette de Limoux was the beginning of all champagnes!
And guess who was the first one popularizing Blanquette in America in the 19th century? Of course, Thomas Jefferson, the “first American distinguished viticulturist“ (and the third US President), who else could it be? Apparently, the only sparkling wine he kept in his cellar at Monticello till his death was exactly Blanquette de Limoux. You may have doubts about my palate, but Jefferson’s preferences stood the test of time. So next time you want to try some new amazing bubbly, try Blanquette de Limoux for a change. And for under $20 a pop I am sure it will not brake your bank.
What is you favorite bubbly on the budget?
Well, its time to say good-bye to 2012 and prepare for that amazing bubbly! As for the wishes, no one would probably express them better than Boris from “Whatever Works“ movie, so here you are:
Happy New Year, dear friends, relatives and readers!