Clearly the answer is Shiraz
I politely disagree: nothing beats Moscato bianco that goes into making Moscato D’Asti.
Well, I enjoy Champagne and am branching out into the ‘Cremants’, but one of the most enjoyable glasses of fizz in recent years was, of course, Lambrusco!
This wine (properly made, I guess) was a delight.
There’s one of the grapes used for making Cava that I don’t get on well with. I really ought to buckle down and find which one it is (Xarel-lo? Parellada?). So I don’t mind Cava getting the chardonnay treatment, even whilst recognising it isn’t wholly authentic.
Chenin blanc works really well when acidic enough, but the problem with this grape is that it can be grown over a surprisingly wide range of conditions, and too hot means too heavy.
Some of those unusual German grapes can make good sparklers - not just sekt.
Shiraz? The ambassador is having us on!
But honestly, the famous three suit me well for mainstream use.
I’m supposed to receive a bottle of Cap Classique from Klein Constantia tomorrow. I will report back!
Oh, I know it exists! The question is - why?
You might well ask the same question of many things that are “uniquely Australian” (species of spiders, snakes, cricketers…)
It’s a wine that divides opinions (generically, not that one specifically). Some people love it, others - not so much.
To be honest, of the ones I have tried, I think I can see the attraction without ever wanting to buy one for myself.
The post was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek!
My thoughts entirely
The only one I’ve ever had was all kinds of wrong, but that was a few years back. Maybe I should give it another chance…
Shiraz Ambassador ™
Think I might use that
And yes, my earlier post was a bit tongue in cheek…
And yes, sparkling red is a bit of an acquired taste however I will say one thing about it. (Long winded, but I’ll get there!)
These are just general ramblings and not directed at anyone in particular.
Take old vine Shiraz, hand harvested from a premium area like the Barossa or McLaren Vale as a single vintage, ferment and press as you would a top cuvee, age in oak for 12 months+, blend, tirage, carry out the 2nd fermentation in bottle via the traditional method, riddle by hand, disgorge, liqueur, re-cork and label, release as vintage wine with 6+ years on it and you cannot expect to pay £10ish for a quality example.
You pay £25-35 for big brand NV Champagne names (Bolly, Roederer, Taittinger, LP, Veuve, Pol etc etc). That is what you need to pay for decent Sparkling Shiraz.
And then each ‘house’ example will be different so if you’ve ever tried Moët and not liked it, does that mean all Champagne is rubbish and never to be revisited?
There aren’t many good examples on these shores so I won’t go into recommendations but just wanted to highlight the effort required to make decent examples which are typically small production runs Vs massive Champagne brands.
And as for food and wine matching - Christmas Day turkey done on the Weber, all the trimmings, eaten under a gazebo on about a 32°C day, glass of very good red fizz in hand. If you’ve ever experienced that and turned your nose up at it then I can believe Sparkling Shiraz isn’t for you.
The problem for me with sparkling red wines is that I can’t see the sparkle.
What white sparkling wines I can see a stream of tiny bubbles racing to the surface.
With red wines I cannot see them till they burst on the surface, leaving what looks like scum.
Also, I understand from winemakers, that the tannins in red wines inhibit bubbles. I’ve tried red fizz and I’m sticking to white.
(Later edit: I posted With red wines I can see… when I meant to write With red wines I can’t see … - I have edited to read With red wines I cannot see. Apologies to all those who couldn’t see why I was complaining)
I’ve not experienced any scum @peterm (at least with my sparkling reds! )
But yes, less vigorous bubbles due to the tannins is a thing.
Also, dosage tends to be around the ‘Sec’ level (Champagne equivalent) due to those tannins.
I didn’t say it was scum, just that it looks like it. To me.
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder
These are all good points. In my defence, I have tried to sample quality sparkling Shiraz in visiting Maclaren Vale wineries (and a couple of Barossa). I got into discussion with the cellar door staff at Shingleback (some excellent wines here!), and they were pretty relaxed about its potential for dividing opinions.
But very much a “yes” to not over-expecting from an inexpensive wine. But I have tried - honest!