I am quite partial to a glass of red fizz. To me, it marks a special occasion, a treat for sure. And the only reason that I limit myself is because it is so easy to drink. I try to make sure that I share it, but I have been known to sneakily refill my glass when no one was looking…
There is an abundance of soft rich fruit with incredibly intensity and the best have layers upon layers complexity. The lustre to the dark ruby purple fruit alludes to mysterious depths, the aromas seduce the senses with a generous sweet perfume.
It is true that sparkling red is not unique to Australia, other countries have their own versions. It could be said, however, that an Australian Sparkling Shiraz embraces the best of both worlds. That juicy, soft concentration of ripe berry, liquorice fruit that leaves you in no doubt that this is an Aussie red and the fine mousse and freshness of sparkling wine means that it sits lightly on the tongue. Perhaps you should pick up a bottle or two for Easter and to get in an early toast for Australian Wine Month this year.
The finest spend some time in oak and are then made in the traditional method with the second ferment in the bottle giving the fine creamy texture. The idea is to enliven the fruit but keep any oak in the background adding a spicy chocolate character and extra fullness.
Finally, the dosage often comes with a generous dollop of fortified wine to give some sugar to round it out. My favourites tend to fall into the 18-28 grammes per litre range. Some are ageworthy but it truly depends on whether you want to enjoy the fresh fruit.
Sparkling red wine is very versatile although, many wine lovers are at a loss as to how to drink it. Of course, the obvious answer for this is chilled and in a flute.
The rich sweet combination might not be everyone’s idea of an aperitif or to use for a celebratory toast, unless you are an avid appreciator like myself.
However, sparkling red also is a great accompaniment for food. Peking Duck through to a chocolatey dessert. It is also one of the only wines that I would recommend to go with bacon and eggs in the morning and chocolate cake in the afternoon. Don’t let me get started about Christmas Cake and Easter Eggs …..
Here is the latest release from Peter Lehmann:
Peter Lehmann Black Queen Sparkling Shiraz 2009 ($42) – Dark opaque crimson purple in the glass. The fruit is vibrant and rich mulberry, cherry, offset with some chocolate coated liquorice and earthy notes. Powdery tannins are smooth and add some dryness to the wine. There is soft acid to keep the Black Queen fresh and balanced along the length that lingers with a final flourish making for an exuberant finish that is in no way overwhelming or gauche.