Get ready for the resounding symphony of popping corks as we get down to the business end of the year for Sparkling wines – the festive season!
Not only are bubbles brilliant at helping everyone find their party pants, they also match perfectly with a huge range of festive foods. It’s terrifying to think of how we could survive that many work and family get-togethers in such a short space of time without a glass (or two!) of sparkling wine in hand.
So here are our top picks for the best sparkling wines for Christmas and the entire festive season. *Pop!*
Champagne & Sparkling Whites
Whether you’re serving up quality Australian sparkling wine or bubbles from further afar, popping the cork is like flicking the “on” switch at any get-together.
As well as being the ultimate party-starter, dry Sparkling Whites are the perfect match for canapés and finger foods, and go just as well with blinis and caviar as they do with cheese and crackers.
It really doesn’t matter what festive food you’re serving up, a dry Sparkling white will have everyone grooving to whichever beat your party’s swinging to.
Just remember not to overwhelm the top-shelf stuff with foods that are too robust and full flavoured. A big bowl of turkey curry or – and let’s all admit it now – a packet of Sweet Chilli Doritos is not the best way to maximise your enjoyment of that expensive bottle of fine-beaded bubbly goodness.
Three fabulous festive fizz that won’t cost you the earth:
1. Vinaceous Burlesque Blanc de Blanc NV – Around $35.00
2. Kreglinger Vintage Brut 2006 – Around $50.00
3. Brown Brothers Pinot Noir Chardonnay Pinot Meunier – Around $22.00
Think Pink with Sparkling Rosé
If you’re all dolled up in your Sunday best getting merry and bright, a little blush can be the perfect drink to match the festive mood. That’s where Sparkling Rose comes in.
You can opt for a crowd-pleasing pink fizz with a touch of sweetness to get everyone refreshed as they dab their brow in the 30+°C heat. But I think the dry, oh-so-pale, delicate, blushing pinks, often made with Pinot Noir, make for the best festive fizz.
With delicious flavours of toasted brioche, pear and strawberry, dry Sparkling Roses are sophisticated without being pretentious. They’ll happily marry with both savoury and sweet finger foods, and are just as at home in a more relaxed gathering on the beach or under a shady tree.
Put a blush in your cheeks with these pink pretties:
1. Dominique Portet Brut Rosé NV – Around $28.00
2. Nova Vita Firebird Sparkling Rosé – Around $26.00
3. Barristers Block Poetic Justice Sparkling Pinot Noir – Around $20
Ham it up with Sparkling Reds
When the big day finally arrives and your elderly Uncle has been patting you on the knee one too many times for it to be called endearing, it’s time to pull out a bottle of Sparkling Shiraz from the esky – for the true Australian Christmas experience.
Laden with rich berry flavours, a little sweetness that comes late on the palate, and spices redolent of festive baked treats, Sparkling Shiraz is the ultimate match for the big roasted meats of Christmas, like turkey, ham and pork with all the crackling.
Pioneered in Australia, Sparkling Shiraz really is the true Australian Christmas fizz. And once the plates are all washed up and the wrapping paper swept aside, it’s equally good with that other great Australian pastime – watching the start of the Boxing Day Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
Pour one of these into your glass this Christmas:
1. Bleasdale Sparkling Shiraz – Around $16.00
2. Schild Estate Barossa Sparkling Shiraz – Around $25.00
3. Camp Road Sparkling Shiraz – Around $16.00
(NB: This post is adapted from an original article by Jane Thomson published by the Australian Good Food Guide).