“Come quickly! I am drinking the stars” were the supposed words exclaimed by Dom Pérignon upon his accidental invention of Champagne in the late 17th century.
Since then, Champagne or sparkling wine has been the drink of choice for celebrations. Whatever the occasion, we have adopted the habit of celebrating with sparkling wine and are reaching for this ''bubbly wine'' like never before. So brace yourself for the sound of enthusiastic cork popping as we get down to the business end of the bubbles this festive season.
Sparkling wine is usually white or rosé but there are many examples of sparkling red wines as well. In Australia, most sparkling wine is produced from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but an Australian specialty is Sparkling Shiraz - a red sparkling wine produced from Shiraz grapes. The sweetness of sparkling wine can range from very dry "brut" styles to sweeter "doux" varieties.
Although wonderful on its own, when it comes to food sparkling white wine can be enjoyed with just about any meal, although pairing it with seafood, tapas or other hors d'oeuvres is the perfect way to get any party started.
Here are some of the Hunter Valley’s top sparkling wines to enjoy this festive season…
Mistletoe Winery Pétillant (Bubbly) Rosé 2016
With a belief that Rosé is a wine style that suits the Australian climate perfectly, Mistletoe commenced producing Rosés in 1998. When the days are too hot for a red wine, a Rosé fills the void perfectly. It is Christmas in a bottle!
TASTING This Rosé style Pétillant (French word used to describe bubbly wines) sits in the same mould as the past 10 vintages, with sweet strawberry characters on the front of the palate balanced by a long and drying finish. Perfect wine for Christmas Day celebrations, easy drinking aperitif style that also goes well with Asian food.
DRINKABILITY Drink now. Absolutely smashing drink for the Festive Season and the warmer months!
Sandalyn Wilderness Estate Fuchs Sparkling Cuvee
Sandalyn Wilderness Estate is a family owned and operated boutique winery situated in Lovedale, Hunter Valley. All Sandalyn Estate and Fuchs wines are made from estate grown and locally produced grapes of the highest quality.
TASTING The Fuchs Sparkling Cuvee is made from an award-winning blend of Chardonnay and Semillon, with the wine honouring the family’s 200-year history in viticulture and horticulture. Natural fermentation using traditional methods has resulted in a wine that is rich in flavour with a delicious crisp finish.
This wine is ideal as a refreshing festive celebratory wine. The glitter bottle make it the perfect Christmas gift on its own or with a gourmet pudding in one of Sandalyn Estates great Christmas hamper packs!
Gartelmann Wines 2015 Blanc de Blancs
Gartelmann Wines has built a reputation for producing quality, hand-crafted wines that have gone on to achieve a range of impressive accolades.
TASTING This is a contemporary style of Australian sparkling wine with a clean mineral fresh nose with hints of lemon, grapefruit and light toastiness. The palate shows sherbet and lime characters with a creamy, almost nutty complexity and mouth feel. The finish is dry, long, persistent and generous. Clean and fresh flavours make this wine the perfect pre-dinner aperitif style to be served with fresh shucked oysters, smoked salmon and trout pate.
DRINKABILITY Drink now or cellar until 2020 for a guaranteed smooth “honey” or until 2024 for maximum aging.