Wine and Walnuts

A blog about eating, drinking, cooking and reading in the not so Deep South

This Bubbly Rocks: Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux 2005

Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux 2005

Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux 2005

Aaah, ye olde holiday time, and we’re feeling festive. Break out the bubbly and all that.  My plan was to write a lengthy pre-New Year’s Eve post about Champagne Alternatives for $20 or less, and I may still.  But then, this.  A really delicious (and value-priced!) sparkler crossed my path, and if I were you all, I would try to lay my hands on a few bottles, ASAP, for all your holiday celebrations.   Love the taste of this one.  Love.

The Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux 2005 is around $15 retail in the local Wilmington market, and drinks like a sparkler costing twice the price.  In fact, I read somewhere that it compares to top quality non-vintage Champagne at three times the price, and I would agree.  It’s one of the best values in sparkling wine you’ll find. (I bought it at Temptations in Hanover Center, across from Independence Mall. It’s also available at the Porter’s Neck location of Temptations.) 

The Saint-Hilaire is France’s oldest sparkling wine, created by the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire over 450 years ago; more than 100 years before the first champagne was created.  And I know this because it says so, word-for-word, right on the back of the bottle. 

From The Wine Enthusiast:  “A pretty and remarkable drinkable sparkler with soft green apple, tangerine oil and faint yellow floral notes accented with hints of lavender. There’s medium carbonation and weight in the mouth and pear and apple flavors abound with suggestions of honeydew in the finish.”
89 points, The Wine Enthusiast, November 2009.

And, says Robert Parker, it’s “fresh, lively, crisp and dry.”

Interesting Fact:  By 1794 Blanquette de Limoux was well known and appreciated throughout France. At about that time it was discovered by Thomas Jefferson. The Third American President was an expert on French wines and Blanquette de Limoux was an integral part of his wine cellar.

How about them apples?!  If it’s good enough for Thomas Jefferson, then by gosh, it’s good enough for me.  : )

I’m going to pair this on Christmas Eve with chilied almonds and pancetta biscuits.  Recipes to follow, soon-ish.

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About The Author

Kimberly Houston


3 Responses to “This Bubbly Rocks: Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux 2005”

  1. Benito says:

    I had a fun Blanquette de Limoux imported by Toad Hollow. It’s called Amplexus, and is quite lovely. I enjoy a lot of the lesser-known, more affordable French sparkling wines like Cremant de Bourgogne.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Hey Benito,
    I need to branch out and try more French sparkling wines, and was very happy to find this one that I now love! I’ve been reading about “grower champagnes” for the last two years, and am intrigued to try some, but haven’t tried to search any out yet.

    Merry Christmas to you too!

  3. [...] Christmas Eve I had the delicious French sparkler I wrote about in Wednesday’s post, paired with chilied almonds, pancetta biscuits, pimiento cheese and crackers, and Belgian [...]

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