| Please remember to turn your clocks BACK one hour, as we will resume Standard Time on Sunday, November 7, at 2 AM.
Falling back … falling slowly … falling fast. Whichever way you’re falling, I’ve got a great suggestion that you can fall back on; again and again. The calendar says it’s November 7th. We all know what’s going down here. November 25th is 18 days away … then there’s all that December madness … then there’s early January. Whew! I just had a chill thinking about what I’m going to be up to; all that madness doesn’t end for me until January 15! Let’s just say that in spite of all of the planning and scheduling, there are things that just arise out of the blue, and we need to be prepared for them. This is the perfect time of year to have a little stash of sparkling wine, just in case. You just never know when you may need a bottle or 2, and for a great price, we’ve got a beauty that you can load up on!
|We’ve been getting a bunch of new stuff in lately, including the latest batch of NV Cremant d’Alsace from Domaine Ehrhart! Typically when we get new batches of sparkling wines, just as we do with new vintages of wines we know and love, we taste them so we know what’s in the bottle. This past Thursday, we were all here, and that’s always the best time to start popping sample bottles. I’ve elaborated about the rule here at TWH about staff tasting and spitting before, but here we were again. We had some Beaujolais and Bordeaux, and we spat that, but then we tasted the Ehrhart Cremant. It was funny, because it was at the end of the day (coincidence?). It seemed we all had our sample pour in different parts of the shop, but when I first put my nose in the glass, my eyebrows popped! There was an unmistakable mineral drive escorting the creamy apples, peaches, and straw. Tom and Anya both endorse that description, adding that its fruit definition, fresh effervescence, and mouthfeel were perfect. It said au revoir with that fresh zest and a smile. Funny thing, there were nothing but smiles around here Thursday evening. The samples of Beaujolais and Bordeaux were taken home by our staff (guess who got the Bordeaux?), but no one took the Cremant home. Wanna know why? Empty. Yup, the abbreviation for “mountain”; M.T. Do you think anyone spit it? Not a chance, not even the boss! It was that good!|
| Okay, a little perspective here. I am not the boy who cried “Wolf”. Know that. Many of you do, as you’ve come back loading up on the 2004 Mont Perat I wrote about a fortnight ago! For a sparkling wine, at this price point, at this time of year, here’s another great buy! At least this is the one I’m stockpiling!
It is with great pleasure that I endorse the Ehrharts’ Cremant in this write-up. It has been over 4 years since Chris and I visited them. You see, Chris built this display during a month where a French promotional group offered a free trip to Alsace for the shop with the best promotion/display. Chris is good. Real good. We won. Maybe it was because I was new here and didn’t know much about Alsatian wines, but I got to go too! We had 3 days with the group, but on the 4th day, we were to see the 2 growers that we represented at the time. The first was Philippe and Corinne Ehrhart’s Domaine St. Remy in Wettolsheim. (St. Remy is what they call Domaine Ehrhart in France.) Philippe picked us up in morning rush hour traffic, and we drove for 45 minutes back to the Domaine. It looks just like it does on the label! We met Philippe’s father there, tasted some tank samples, saw the bottling and packaging process, and then we were off for a 2 block walk to meet Corinne at their house. We also met their 2 children who welcomed us. We were in the kitchen, yet I spied a row of bottles on a table in the next room. We walked into the dining room and all of a sudden, it hit me! That smell, that divine smell! Choucroute! Corinne had prepared the dish for us, and joined us in the dining room to present their wines. We tasted through the whole line, spitting of course, then we selected some Grand Cru Riesling for lunch. Wow! Talk about perfect! The food and wine combos were ethereal. Corinne excused herself early, she had to pick up a group of customers at the airport; it was a great pleasure having met her. Lunch was finished, and it was time to check out the vineyards. We first went to Val St. Gregoire where they grow their Pinot Auxerrois, then Herrenweg (Gewurz & Riesling), then to Grand Cru Brand (Pinot Gris). Then it was back to the house for cafe and little chocolates al fresco, as we enjoyed an Indian Summer afternoon in their backyard. It was way past time for us to go to see our other grower, and when I informed Philippe of this, he said, “That is a shame. I wish you two could stay longer.” Chris and I were more than touched. What a soulful experience!
Our other visit went very well, they were very nice to us. But in no possible way, could I ever forget visiting Philippe and Corinne Ehrhart’s Domaine St. Remy! – Peter Zavialoff
Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments about Cremant d’Alsace, The English Premiership, or anything else you may have on your mind: firstname.lastname@example.org