Pound for pound (literally) Crémant de Bourgogne, a sparkling wine sold only at UK supermarket chain Lidl, has weighed in as the world’s finest vintages, earning the coveted IWSC’s Silver Outstanding award at the 2017 International Wines and Spirits Competition.
In fact, the Business Insider reported that the bubbly, which sells for a mere £ 7.99 (a little over $10 US) “beat out each of the three other Crémant wines in its category.” The wine is described by a supermarket spokesperson as “dry and with plenty of flavors, with well-integrated fizz and a dry, lingering finish. An excellent apertif.”
Lidl also stated that they expect their Crémant de Bourgogne will emerge as a “key sparkling disruptor” to Prosecco and is “set to be the next big bubble” as the country’s summer heat gets into full steam. The stores currently sell and an average of 10,000 bottles per month.
Prosecco is “crisp, fruity” Italian sparkling dry white wine with a “hint if almond and citrus flavor made primarily from Glera grapes. It is also low in alcohol content (only about 11%) compared to other varieties of vino.
Related to champagne, sparkling wines differ in the fact that their fermentation process results in lower carbon dioxide pressure, which is thought to give them a more “creamy” rather than “fizzy” feel on the palate. However, production for both is dictated by French Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) regulations. These require that grapes used to create a Crémant “must be harvested by hand with yields not exceeding a set amount for their class.” The wines must also be aged for no less than 1 year.
While the majority come from the area around Saumur in the Loire Valley (France’s largest producer of sparkling wines outside of the Champagne region), other members of the EU, such as the UK and Luxembourg have become well-known for their own varieties of wines. These include the above-mentioned Crémant de Bourgogne, Crémant de Bordeaux, Crémant de Die, Crémant de Loire, Crémant de Savoie, Crémant du Jura, Crémant d’Alsace and Crémant de Limoux
Although a remarkable achievement, Lidl’s Crémant de Bourgogne isn’t the first “cheap” wine to be lauded by the international community. In fact, La Moneda Reserva Malbec, a private label red wine sold exclusively by Walmart at its ASDA, a supermarket chain in England, took the Platinum Best in Show prize at the 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards. La Moneda Reserva Malbec, which is made in Chile from grapes grown in Argentina, carries a price tag of a mere £5.75 (just under $7).