Make Christmas Easy: Dresden Stollen and Cremant de Limoux Gerard Bertrand 2013

So, this is Christmas.  While rampantly wrapping last minute gifts, I need something to drink before I hate this holiday. It need not be great. I just want something quality that I will not overwhelm my attention. There are sharp scissors and paper cuts involved here people.

Enter sparkling wine.

I would feel guilty guzzling Champagne, so I crack open a favorite Crémant de Limoux from négociant Gérard Bertrand:

gerard-bertrand-cremant-de-limoux-2013-stollen

And looky here, we also happen to have Stollen from the only place certified to make Stollen: Dresden, Germany. We went there in 2012 and were converted. Read about it here.

No more rock hard bread that feigns Christmas spirit. No, true Dresdener Stollen is moist, spiced, citric, powdered sugar, rum-soaked, mouth-melting magic:

Dresden Stollen MachenToday’s Stollen comes from none other than Dresdener Backhaus, whose young baker Marie Lassig is this year’s reigning, 22nd, Stollenmädchen aka Stollen Maiden.  She even autographed her own card:

stollen-madchen

It tastes delicious. The texture balances firmness and softness like a warm handshake. Golden raisins feel plump and juicy rich with alcohol.  Spices taste mildly exotic but unobtrusive. The powdered sugar sends our mouths watering…drool…

Oh, right, this is a wine blog.  Well, Bertrand’s 2013 Crémant de Limoux Brut is stellar and not expensive at $18.99.  Especially when one considers that Limoux lays claim to inventing secondary bottle fermentation, aka the Champagne Method, before Champagne.

LimouxMap2

It may come from sunny, southern France, but thanks to Limoux’s mountainous elevation, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Mauzac, and Pinot Noir grapes retain ample acid to make for a refreshing wine.  In Bertrand’s cellars it becomes sparkling magic.  It is called the Thomas Jefferson Cuvée to honor the fact that the only sparkling wine in Tommy’s cellars was not Champagne, but Crémant de Limoux.

Imagine a nearly dry wine, racing with a stream of effervescence, smelling and tasting of bright lemon juice, light salt, fresh chamomile flowers, white strawberries, and creme fraiche. It is very good (4 of 5) and sings a high note alongside Dresdner Christstollen:

gerard-bertrand-cremant-de-limoux-2013-stollenMerry Christmas

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