21 November 2020
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Sparkling Wine Sales

The holidays are upon us, and many Americans are gearing up for end-of-2020 celebrations which means, time to pop the bubbly! Despite the impact of the pandemic and resulting economic downturn, this year will mark the 12th consecutive sales increase for sparkling wine in the US according to the 2020 Edition of The U.S. Wine Market: Shanken’s Impact Databank Review & Forecast.

As consumer interest grows, this presents an incredible opportunity for Crémant de Bordeaux sparkling wine to increase its shelf space in retailers across the US.

Selling Crémant de Bordeaux Sparkling Wines
Doug Jeffirs, Director of Wine Sales at Binny’s Beverage Depot recounts his experience selling Crémant de Bordeaux: “Everyone is going to need a sparkling wine,” says Jeffirs. “When combined with the history and tradition of the most famous French region, it’s a no-brainer.” At less than $20 per bottle, Crémant de Bordeaux makes an easy add-on sale, especially when customers are already shopping for Bordeaux.

Winemakers in Bordeaux began producing sparkling wines in the 1800s, but it wasn’t until 1990 that Crémant de Bordeaux was made an official appellation. Historically, production of sparkling wines has been low, but newfound demand has spurred a growth in production, especially for sparkling Bordeaux rosés. In the last 5 years alone, there has been more than a 300% increase in total production of Crémant de Bordeaux sparkling wine.

Introduce Guests to Bordeaux’s Sparkling Wine

Amy Racine, Beverage Director for JF Restaurants says that Crémant de Bordeaux continues to be a surprise for customers. She explains, “Most guests think big (and expensive) reds when you say Bordeaux. It’s fun to introduce them to something that I know will make them happy.” Racine suggests selling Crémant de Bordeaux for the holidays as a mineral-driven, crisp and bright sparkling wine.

Racine also notes: “Unlike Champagne, this can be a great wine to pop open casually for drop-in guests or for any relaxing weeknight at-home. Crémant de Bordeaux can be enjoyed all the time. Since it’s made in a very similar way to Champagne, it delivers that same amazing taste profile and structure.”

Tasting Crémant de Bordeaux

Tasting Crémant de Bordeaux Stylistically, white Crémant de Bordeaux is mostly dry and delicate with aromas of citrus, hazelnut and white flowers. Crémant de Bordeaux Rosé is lively and fruity with fine bubbles and notes of raspberry, strawberry, and currant.

To qualify as Crémant de Bordeaux, producers must meet several requirements to ensure a top-quality sparkling wine. These include hand-harvesting, whole bunch pressing, and aging for a minimum of nine months on the lees before disgorgement and twelve months in the bottle before going to market. Secondary fermentation must occur within the bottle, using the Traditional Method. Depending on the type of Crémant, varying amounts of sugar may be added later in the winemaking process (a step called “dosage”) but must amount to less than 50 g/l.

Gary Itkin, General Manager and Buyer for Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit elaborates on Crémant de Bordeaux’s approachable style: “Feedback from customers has always been positive. At Bottlerocket, a good portion of our sales comes from corporate gifts, public events and catered affairs. Crémant de Bordeaux lends itself particularly well to these sales, and guests and gift recipients greatly enjoy it.”


To learn more about Crémant de Bordeaux sparkling wines, watch the webinar: The Emergence of Unexpected Styles of Crémant & Rosé.

This webinar is part of the How the Experts Tackle Bordeaux virtual learning series.

Note:
Article written by Jaclyn Misch, WSET Advanced student and Founder of Tasting Grapes LLC.

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