Schramsberg Vineyards' president and winemaker Hugh Davies selected Schramsberg's Crémant Demi-sec 2003 for dessert. And Hot & Hot's Chris Hastings paired the wine with a Wild Apple Croustade. Each pleased the other with their choices, and the pairing very much pleased the fortunate group who attended the dinner. “I was delighted that Hugh Davies came to Birmingham and would not have missed the wine dinner. On my last trip to Napa Valley I visited Schramsberg Vineyards, and it has been my favorite sparkling wine since,” Jackie Walls explains. “All the pairings were delicious, and the apple croustade with crémant was divine.”
French for creamy, crémant refers to a sparkling wine with less pressure and softer effervescence. With approximately half the pressure of Schramsberg's sparkling wines, the Crémant Demi-sec offers a creamy texture and exotic flavors. “I prefer a dessert wine that is not overly sweet or heavy. I like wines with a hint of acidity and citrus notes to balance the sweetness of the dessert. And the Crémant Demi-sec 2003 is a perfect example of this,” Hastings explains.
It is a delicate and off dry, dessert wine with aromas of kiwi and honeydew, layered with pineapple, freshly baked bread and a hint of ginger spice. Fresh and young, juicy tropical fruit and melon flavors offer just enough acidity to balance its sweetness—making a great dessert pairing or a dessert itself.
Unknown to Hastings, Davies had his own food preference for this dessert pairing. Yet Hastings could have been reading Davies' mind when he made the menu. “The fifth course of Crémant Demi-Sec 2003 would go nicely with a fall pie—an apple pie,” Davies said to himself, while planning the wine dinner. The featured dessert selected was a Wild Apple Croustade with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce.
“This time of year we have access to some of the most beautiful produce, including the wild apples used in this dessert,” Hastings explains. Harvested from the Northeast, these tart and juicy apples are stewed down with fall spices and loosely wrapped in a buttery, flaky pastry. The vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce help highlight the fall flavors in this dish. It is a rustic dessert that's not overly sweet and pairs well with the creamy texture of the slightly effervescent Crémant Demi-sec. Each not only do justice to the other, they complement and are well deserving of the match.