Enjoying Jura’s Wine and Cuisine: Biodynamic Champ Divin Crémant du Jura Brut Zéro + Seared Scallops

Champ Divin Crémant du Jura Brut Zéro

Looking for a new adventure in wine, food, and travel? Searching for a region known for natural wines grown using organic, biodynamic, or sustainable practices? Then Jura is the place for you! The word “Jura” comes from juria, a Latinized form of the Celtic jor meaning”forest”, and refers to The Jura Mountains, the French department of Jura, the Swiss Canton of Jura, AND the Jurassic geologic time period first identified here. Located in the mountainous northeastern part of the French Alps on the border of Switzerland, near Germany and Italy, Jura’s dramatic landscapes and forested slopes attract adventurous athletic activities followed by rich cheese, mushroom dishes, and wine soaked chicken along with the regional wines that feature unusual grapes made into wines that may surprise even the most jaded palates. 

However, the often organic wines from Jura aren’t accessible to most people unless you order online or live in a big city and have a decent sized wine budget. Jura is the smallest wine growing region in France, with very low production. Few wines leave the country, and those that do, tend to be more expensive than most people plan to spend for an introduction to a wine style that’s often acidic and/or oxidized.

Midtown Wines grand opening featured a magnum of Champ Divin Crémant du Jura Brut Zéro; they saved the bottle

Fortunately for me, a new wine store opened not far from where I live, they focus on small producers growing grapes organically to make into natural wines (pictured above). They have wines from around the world, but they didn’t have any wines made from grapes grown in the Jura in stock– only these wines MADE in the Jura from Mondeuse grown in the Rhone. Promise to self: another day! Fascinating but doesn’t meet the prompt. At the last minute, Midtown Wines messaged me that wines had come in, including one of their favorites: this vintage Champ Divin Crémant du Jura Brut Zéro. In fact, when they opened their store a few months ago, they popped a magnum of this wine to celebrate!

Jura Cremant photographed by Midtown Wines at Midtown Wines

So with a bottle of wine from Jura, what to pair?

It really depends on the grapes and the style of the wine. Over the years, we’ve learned that the wines from Jura really adhere to the adage “what grows together goes together.”

Jura wines + chicken with mushroom; Sue hard at work taking notes

Previously, we’ve enjoyed the wines from Jura with:

  • Croute au morbier: 
    Toasted baguette with melted morbier cheese 
  • Croute au morilles: 
    Toasted baguette with wild mushrooms in cream wine sauce with parmesan
  • Fertile combos au Jambon: 
    Ham and comte cheese wrapped in puff pastry

    Delightful, elegant, versatile, it can be an appetizer, a main course, or breakfast, and here’s how Sue made them: defrost frozen puff pastry, cut into strips about 8 x 4, layer rosemary ham and comte cheese, put egg around the edges, fold them over, and cook at 400 degrees. As they grew brown and toasty, she finished them with lightly brushed cream sauce from the chicken dish below. Experiment with different fillings and different wines– and make plenty so there’s leftovers for breakfast!
  • Coq au vin Jaune: 
    Mushroom cream chicken on mashed potatoes with organic green beans (pictured above). Sue dredged chicken pieces in flour, fried in olive oil, braised with white wine, cream, mushrooms, cooked in a generous cup of 2017 Jean Claude Credoz Melon Cotes du Jura AOP and a dry white port as I was out of sherry. In Sue’s version of the classic regional dish that cooks for hours on the stove, Sue used the instant pot and four kinds of mushrooms because we couldn’t find morels.
  • Click here for more details and links to our other Jura posts.

Champ Divin Crémant du Jura Brut Zéro

But this time, with a Chardonnay based Champ Divin Crémant du Jura Brut Zéro, and a busy weekI went for an easy night of familiar foods: seared scallops and raw oysters I had in the fridge, leftover Thai crab fried rice with fresh parsley, and a citrus salad made with greens from the garden, ripe avocados, tangerines from a friend, sprinkled with smoked paprika, then a squeeze of a half lemon, squeeze of a half orange, a drizzle of olive oil, and more parsley.

A simple yet succulent meal that showcases the versatility and the beauty of this biodynamic wine from Jura.

Champ Divin Crémant du Jura Brut Zéro

2020 Champ Divin Crémant du Jura Brut Zéro

ABV: 13%
SRP: $35; purchased at Midtown Wines, Ventura CA
Grapes: biodynamically grown 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir
Importer: Sacred Thirst Selections 

The 2020 Champ Divin Crémant du Jura Brut Zéro comes from Fabrice and Valerie Closset-Gaziaux. With education in agronomy and earth sciences, they worked to help develop sustainable farming practices in Africa, then moved to the Loire to develop organic and naturally balanced vineyards. In 2008, they acquired five hectares land in South-Revermont, considered the “premier plateau” of Jura where they grow Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Savagnin using biodynamic farming practices with the goal of achieving balance on their own land by listening to it patiently.

Soils for this wine are described as “clay-limestone of shallow depth over limestone /silica bedrock.” It aged for 9 months before being disgorged; no dosage.

Appearance:  Gold with a hint of peach; fine perlage that lasts a long time.

Aroma: Brioche with roasted pear and minerals. 

Palate: While this is certainly an enjoyable wine for sipping or toasting, I just wanted to get to the pairing! Clean, fresh, bright, and direct yet with layers of flavor including lime and white flowers and chalky minerals. 

Pairing: Oysters, scallops, and crab become sweeter with the Champ Divin Crémant du Jura Brut Zéro, and the racy Crémant Brut Zéro is tamed. Really fantastic with seafood, but my favorite was the oyster, and I really want to try it with sushi.

For more wine and food pairings featuring wines from The Jura, check out this month’s offerings from the French Winophiles:

• Camilla at Culinary Cam shares “Lamb Sausage-Stuffed Ravioli + Domaine Rolet Arbois Vieilles Vignes Poulsard 2018”
• Linda at My Full Wine Glass shares “Crémant of Jura: A traditional yet different sort of bubbly”
• Lynn at Savor the Harvest shares “Change your 2023 Wine Routine, Reach for the Jura!”
• Jane at Always Ravenous shares “After Dinner Sips From the French Jura to Linger Over”
• Gwendolyn at Wine Predator shares “Enjoying Jura’s Wine and Cuisine”
• Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles shares “Crémant du Jura & Rösti – blurring the borders and blending French and Swiss culture”
• Jeff at Food Wine Click! shares “Caves Jean Bourdy and Comté Cheese: Jura Classics”

No chat this month, but I will host one next month for Women Working in Wine Sustainably in France: A Women’s History Month. Read more in the Invitation to Participate

2023 French Winophiles Calendar: You’re invited! 

Each month, a Winophile hosts a theme which entails writing an invite post like this one, followed by a preview post that links to participants, and a featured post. The host also organizes a chat and samples (generally available to those who are frequent contributors).  Articles are published by or on the third Saturday of the month, and a Twitter chat is often held on the third Saturday of the month at 8am Pacific. All are welcome.

Below is the initial tentative schedule for 2023.

Month: Date | Event name | Host name | Other details

January: Rhone Valley Diversity | Jill Barth | North or South
On Wine Predator: A Range of Rhone Wines Provide Delightful Diversity Paired with Citrus Salad and Instant Pot Cassoulet ( with recipes!)

February: Jura | Jeff Burrows | Any aspect of the Jura.
Enjoying Jura’s Wine and Cuisine: Biodynamic Champ Divin Crémant du Jura Brut Zéro + Seared Scallops

March:  France’s Women in Wine Working Sustainably/ Gwendolyn Alley /any region, any role but showcase their work that’s good for the Earth
Read the invite post here. 

April:  Springtime in Paris – Bistro Wine and Food | Cindy Rynning | Share your favorite Parisian bistro wines and foods – bonus points for your own experiences in the City of Light

May: Chardonnay / Deanna Kang / aligns with Chardonnay Day, Thursday, May 25

June: Normandy for D-Day | Wendy Klik | Drinks, food, travel, culture

July:  New World Endeavors of French Wine Producers | Cathie Jenks Schafer

August: Summer in Provence | Linda Whipple

September: TBD?

October: Cru Bourgeois | Susannah Gold

November: The Ebb and Flow of Beaujolais Nouveau / Camilla Mann / Are You a Fan?

December: Bubbly, anyone?

8 thoughts on “Enjoying Jura’s Wine and Cuisine: Biodynamic Champ Divin Crémant du Jura Brut Zéro + Seared Scallops

  1. “raw oysters I had in the fridge,” that makes me so envious of your culinary life! What a terrific pairing. I do think that the range of pairings for these wines is wide! (Let’s go hiking there Gwendolyn and pick up some wines in person!)

    Liked by 1 person

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