Every year, my dad brings it out- a bottle of sparkling shiraz for Christmas. I’ve never been a fan of the stuff; I find the bubbles and the chill just don’t quite work. But every year, without fail, there it is. Sparkling shiraz…. Why? I’m not sure why but it is a tradition, and a pretty awful one.
But what if it wasn’t? Surely we can make any tradition better, but the problem is that my dad doesn’t believe you should ever spend more than five dollars on a bottle of wine.
So my wife and I headed into sparkling shiraz territory to find a bottle that would save Christmas.
Being the tail-end of Summer, the weather was similar to what we get at the end of December, but it was much more humid. Actually, this was perfect Christmas weather: I was uncomfortable, I was hot, slightly stressed and I had eaten too much. If the sparkling shiraz couldn’t win me over now then it never would.
And in the Great Western District of Victoria, that was all they had to offer. Actually, that is a lie, but the wineries we visited prided themselves on their sparkling shiraz. This is the home of champagne that is not golden.
But is it any good?
It was better than good. It was Christmas in a bottle. We’re talking colours that were deep and rich, more purple than red. The bubbles added to the wine, rather than distracted. The flavours were softer, too- they allowed the chill and the acidity to come into their own. It is a shame we didn’t have any roast turkey on offer, as that would have made the test complete.
But I am confident Christmas has been saved.
If you’re interested, go and visit Seppelt Great Western. They are the Kings of Sparkling Shiraz. (And stay for the tour! It was great.)