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Ask Dr. Vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.




Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Dear Dr. Vinny,

What exactly does the term "crémant" mean on sparkling wine? Is it simply a sparkling wine from France—other than Champagne—or is there something more to it?

—Phil, Boston

Dear Phil,

"Crémant" (pronounced "cray-mawn") originally indicated a less-bubbly style of sparkling wine. Think gentle fizz, not the nose-tingling experience of some bubblies.

You're correct that the term is also used to designate sparkling wines made by the méthode champenoise but falling outside the boundaries of the Champagne region. Crémants might also be made from grapes other than the traditional Champagne varieties. Crémant d'Alsace, for example, can be made from Pinot Blanc, Riesling or Pinot Gris.

—Dr. Vinny

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