Chandon Garden Spritz has now arrived in the UK and is bound to be the hot drink for Summer 2022! It captures the current excitement around Aperol Spritz cocktails that continues to be just as popular this summer as it was last. Well, if the number pubs and bars with Aperol branded merchandise, including large umbrellas in the beer gardens, where ever I traipse here in the UK is anything to go by.
An Australian innovation?
I remember reading the buzz around the launch of Chandon S in Australia in 2017.
The innovative Chandon team in the Yarra apparently hand peeled 300 kilograms of oranges to make the bitters base to add to the different blends to find just the right one. This is the team that also produced wines such as the long term favourite, Cuvee Riche blend, and has extended the Australian wine range to include grapes outside the traditional trio of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Wines such as Sparkling Pinot Shiraz, Pinot Gris, the Field Blend (Petit Meslier, Pinot Gris added to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) and their own take on an ancestral method rosé.
The team developed the first version of the bitters which included blood orange and navel orange peel. It also had gentian root, fresh ginger, vanilla, cinnamon and green cardamom. This was added to the traditionally made Chandon Brut Rosé.
An iteration later, and in 2021 Australia saw the launch of Chandon Garden Spritz with a reworked bitters recipe that increased the bitterness of the additives. That is apparently to increase the ‘refreshment’ element of the wine. This time the new version bitters have been added to the traditionally made Chandon Brut Rosé. The bitters was added with the dosage.
What is the UK version?
The wine released here in the UK in 2022 is made from an Argentinian Chandon base sparkling wine made by the tank method. As this base wine goes through it second ferment, the lees (dead yeast cells) are continuously stirred through the wine. This leaves a creamy texture and a fresh fruity wine. Another difference is the base wine which is created from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with an addition of Semillon.
The wine is then flavoured with orange bitters made in Chandon Argentina.
According to Chandon, this version contains up to 50% less sugar than an ordinary spritz. It is also a rather convenient spritz. It really needs little effort.
How to serve it?
It seems that the best way to serve the Chandon Garden Spritz is to simply pour it, with some ice and top with a slice of orange (try an intense dried orange slice!) and a sprig of rosemary.
What does it taste like? Like a fresh and fruity sparkling wine served with a bitter orange twist. It is rather more-ish…..
Bring on summer!