Six Sparklings for Your Summer Celebrations
Sparkling wines that fly under the radar
With centuries of history, it’s tempting to think that the main Chateaux – Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Krug, G.H. Mumm, Piper-Heidsieck – are the be all and end all of sparkling wines.
But there’s a rise of both local sparklings and small-production Champagne houses, run by growers who are choosing to make their own wines instead of simply supplying the large houses with grapes to brand. There’s always a place for Veuve Clicquot et al but there is a significant change in the balance of power – and as consumers, lucky us! There’s a growing supply of delicious, affordable sparklings for every palate and every occasion.
For the purposes of this round-up, we’ve left out the icons, because you already know where to grab those and what to expect from them. Instead we wanted to draw your attention to delicious sparklings that might otherwise fly under the radar – including some grower Champagne, Australian proseccos, French rosés and even a red.
A touch of sweetness with a slightly dry finish, this sparkling rosé is a good way to expand your sparkling knowledge past sweet and sticky moscatos. The vineyard lies in the Loire Valley, meaning it can’t be classified a Champagne, but is still very, very French! With a slight strawberries and cream taste, it would be beautiful with seafood – think sushi, smoked salmon and barbecued prawns.
This French sparkling has only just become available at Dan Murphy’s. An absolute bargain for what it is – grab it before everyone else catches on.
This chic bottle of Yarra Valley sparkling is delicious for Christmas, with undertones of citrus, hazelnuts and… is that brioche? There’s something a bit sweet and creamy here that just makes it sing. This is a lively Australian sparkling that’s not too sweet, not too dry. You’ll drink it all summer long.
Another favourite of the King Valley, Innocent Bystander is known for its interesting Italian-style wines – and the prosecco is no exception.
This Australian sparkling is made for a cheese platter. It’s clean and crisp, but needs a bit of food to really bring out the full flavour.
Australians love a sparkling red at Christmas, and for good reason – it’s flavoursome and refreshing, full of summer fruits and a bit of spice. All the flavours of Christmas.
Penley Estate’s sparkling pinot noir is a modern twist for those looking for a brighter and fresher palate. It’s soft and light with just a touch of sweetness. The capped bottle is perfect for those intimidated by opening a bottle of Champagne – just open this as you would a beer!
Try something a bit different to the usual Veuves and Moet, and try a smaller production house, known as a ‘grower Champagne’. 90% of Champagne growers actually don’t belong to the big brands, so expect to see a surge in interest around these small-production vineyards as they continue to put out superb quality Champagnes.
This aperitif-style Champagne has quite an intense palate of citrus and pear, meaning it doesn’t need food to shine. Serve it as a special way to get the party started. Don’t serve it too cold, or you’ll dull some of the flavour.
The King Valley, north of Melbourne, has been dubbed ‘Little Italy’ in the wine world for its globally-renowned sparklings.
Sure, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but this prosecco is just as fun as it looks. Gently savoury with an almost-cider palate of apple and pear, this is one of the best proseccos at this price point. Light and easy to drink by itself, you could also try making a bellini – with prosecco and peach purée – for a delicious summery cocktail.
All of these wines are available at Dan Murphy’s, but at this time of year, it might be best to check stock levels online before heading to the store. This post is brought to you in partnership with Dan Murphy’s, who occasionally let us walk around the store and grab bottles we think you’ll like. All wine selections, words and opinions are ours. Thank you for supporting local businesses that support The Field Guide.