Monday, December 28, 2009

Tiny Bubbles In My Red Wine...

When I was back in the States in November I was a bit surprised to find a bottle of Shingleback Sparkling Shiraz on one of the shelves of Fred Meyer Grocery Store.  I was surprised for two reasons.  First that Fred Meyer carried a family owned hand-crafted wine from a small vineyard in Southern Australia, and second because they carried a Sparkling Red.  I am no stranger to Red Bubbles, and have been drinking them for over a year.  In my experience this type of Sparkling Wine, and I am not referring to that Cold Duck from the 1970's, is unique to Australia (though I have read it is made in other parts of the world).  However, I do believe that it fairly unknown in the USA.  In fact when a friend of mine recently returned home after a visit to OZ and tried to find a bottle in a local liquor store she was told that no such thing existed.
Sparkling Reds are made in the same way as Sparkling Whites, but the big difference is that the skin is left in the fermenting juice.  In addition to affecting the color this process also leads to a more tannic wine that has to be sweetened later.
Another difference is that for Sparkling Whites the grape must be picked before those  used in making regular wine.  However, the grapes used to make Sparkling Red can remain on the vine until the regular wine grapes are picked.  The leaving of the grapes on the vine produces a richer flavor, and also produces a wine that is higher in alcohol content.
Sparkling Reds may not be for everyone, but if you enjoy a robust, full flavored wine with a special tingle you may want to look for a nice bottle of Red Bubbly.


  1. Thanks for the recommendation. I've tried Shingleback still wine and enjoyed it but avoided the sparkling mainly because of my memories of 'cold duck'. I can find sparkling shiraz in the area and I'll give them a try.

  2. Marta--sparkling reds may not be for all, but we enjoy them. The Red Knot line by Shingleback is one of our favorites.