Clairette de Die is an AOC within the greater Rhone wine region that is devoted to an ancient method of making sparkling wines, a method that significantly predates Champagne and the Cremant wine style. The muscat grape is the base for the wine, and the Méthode Ancestrale dictates that the bubbles are derived from a singular fermentation rather than the complex, industrialized process of double fermentation that Champagne uses.
Muscat is naturally rich in sugars, so in Clairette de Die the winemakers allow the grapes to ferment naturally and slowly, capturing the wine in the bottle while it is still fermenting to seize the bubbles and the rich, sweet fruitiness of the muscat at the same time.
The more natural Méthode Ancestrale, combined with the luscious, velvety rich muscat, makes for a creamy, foamy effervescence that is delightful in the mouth and tickles the nose. As an extra bonus, the wine is low in alcohol as well.
Clairette de Die isn’t a fad, or a newly created brand; it’s an old, rustic, traditional style of winemaking, the kind that France excels in.
You might try Jaillance Clairette de Die Cuvée Impériale. It’s an ultra-premium Clairette de Die, gently effervescent, fruity, refreshing, off-dry, low in alcohol (7%) and affordable (SRP $16). Jaillance has been making Clairette de Die since the 1950s, always using the superior Muscat Blanc á Petit Grains variety and the méthode ancestrale to craft this traditional wine of southern France. It’s perfect for the festive holiday season, or any other occasion of celebration. Like, say, dinner. Or the weekend.
Excerpted from one of my articles, for the whole thing, http://www.examiner.com/article/clairette-de-die-where-muscat-and-bubbles-meet